PRLS participates in enhancing the Bangsamoro Local Governance Code

As one of the partners in realizing inclusive Bangsamoro, the Policy Research and Legal Services of the Bangsamoro Parliament, represented by Atty. Hisham Nazz A. Biruar, CPA, participated in the Training-Workshop on the Enhancement of the Bangsamoro Local Governance Code held at Acacia Hotel, Davao City, last May 18-20, 2022.

Other participants from the Ministry of Finance, and Budget and Management, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Social Services and Development also attended the training-workshop organized by the Legal and Legislative Liaison Office of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government.

After careful evaluation of the current draft of the priority legislation, key discussions focused on basic services and functions that will be devolved by the Regional Government to its constituent local government units, including the necessity of issuing interim guidelines on gradual devolution pending the effectivity of the Bangsamoro Local Governance Code.

PRLS releases its quarterly accomplishment report with flying colors

The Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS) is proud to present the introductory video and quarterly accomplishment report of the office for the year 2022. An accomplishment report is a gist of an office’s achievements made throughout the course of the year.

It is remarkable that the office was able to achieve a lot during the past few months. By the numbers, the office managed to accomplish 20 deliverables and 17 engagements in a span of three months.

As an embodiment of excellence and dedication, the Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS), with its plethora of achievements, once again has affirmed its dedication and commitment to the service of the Bangsamoro.

Click the hyperlink provided below and enjoy watching!

PRLS Introductory and Quarterly Accomplishment Report

A Look into the Poverty Incidence of BARMM Provinces

Authored by: Anisah U. Lingga

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) was recorded as the second-fastest-growing region in the country, with 7.5% Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) growth in 2021. Accompanied by this economic growth is the reduction of the proportion of poor families from 55.9% in 2018 to 39.4% in 2021.

However, this significant economic improvement at the regional level does not translate to the provincial level which poses a challenge in expanding and making the growth inclusive in all areas of BARMM. This paper looks into the poverty profile of the BARMM provinces to provide valuable insights and policy recommendations that could help alleviate the poor families in the next succeeding years.

Click the download button to access the full paper.

PRLS, UP AC review draft MOA on joint research initiatives

To review the draft of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the University of the Philippines Asian Center (UP AC) and the Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS), LRD Head Mr. Vincent Casil and Technical Staff Mr. Kebart Licayan attended another meeting with UP AC Dean Dr. Henelito Sevilla Jr.

During yesterday’s meeting, orientation and plans for conducting research workshops on non-traditional security and culture in the Bangsamoro region were also discussed. The PRLS remains steadfast in promoting research-based measures to combat threats on human security such as climate change, pandemics, and shortage of food and resources.

PLRS pays visit to ICRC, plans future collaborations

Officers of the Bangsamoro Parliament’s Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) met on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at the ICRC’s office in Makati City, to set a framework on conducting studies about international humanitarian laws and its implication to the Bangsamoro region.

The PRLS was represented by Mr. Vincent Casil, Chief of Legislative Research Division (LRD), together with his staff, Mr. Kebart Licayan. Standing beside Mr. Casil was Mr. Danny Merhy, Head of Prevention & Communication Manager of the ICRC, while Mr. Aminul Islam, Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs, stood next to Mr. Licayan. The newly-formed collaboration between two offices provides an avenue for the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), through the PRLS, in exploring international humanitarian laws, which will aid members of the Parliament in drafting legislation in BARMM.

PRLS Mentors MOH-BARMM Research Proponents

The Ministry of Health BARMM (MOH-BARMM) has formed partnership with the Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS) of the BTA Parliament for mentoring their research proponents on health research which took off last March 22-25, 2022, at the Grand Summit Hotel, General Santos City.

Research mentoring is part of the service deliverables of the PRLS under Legislative Workshops. The main objective of the formed partnership with the MOH-BARMM is to help the proponents in coming up with health research proposals and guide them throughout the implementation of their research.

Five health research studies were proposed during the program. The proposed titles, the researchers, and their respective PRLS mentors are presented below

1. How to make Epidemiology and Surveillance Units Functional in BARMM

Researchers: Ms. Katherine Gay G. Villanueva and Ms. Zenaida K. Pandita

Mentor: Mr. Nashrolah S. Langco, Legislative Staff Officer, PRLS Office of the Service Director

2. Respiratory Therapist Job Perceptions: The Impact of Protocol Use in Amai Pakpak and CRMC

Researchers: Dr. Mohammad Candao and Ms. Shymalyn Guialel

Mentor: Mr. Mc Erschad D. Pabillan, Legislative Staff Officer, PRLS Legislative Research Division

3. Factors affecting why pregnant mothers opt for home delivery over Rural Health Unit Facility in the Island of Tawi-Tawi

Researchers: Ms. Michelle F. Lu and Ms. Bai Hazrat Fatima Biruar

Mentor: Ms. Anisah U. Lingga, Legislative Staff Officer, PRLS Legislative Measures and Legal Assistance Division

4. Factors Affecting the Hesitancy and Uptake of COVID 19 Vaccines in BARMM, Philippines

Researchers: Dr. Nihaya P. Macasindil and Ms. Lilian P. Macadupang

Mentor: Mr. Kebart P. Licayan, Legislative Staff Officer, PRLS Legislative Research Division

5. Health Literacy Assessment in the Province of Basilan: A cross-sectional survey using the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ)

Researchers: Ms. Nasiba Masuhul and Mr. Eldhi Francis B. Alibangbang

Mentor: Mr. Vincent L. Casil, Chief, PRLS Legislative Research Division

As stated in PRLS Training Design for Mentorship, the PRLS mentors’ responsibilities extend well beyond helping novice researchers (NR) learn what is entailed in the research and writing components of the research mentoring program. PRLS mentors also incorporate NR into the culture of the discipline, clarifying and reinforcing—principally by example—what is expected of a professional scholar.

Moreover, a research board was formed consisting of Ms. Lilian P. Macadupang, head of the Research and Development Unit of MOH-BARMM; PRLS director Nassef M. Adiong; and Mr. Vincent L. Casil. The board acts as the panelist during the presentation of the research proposals of the proponents.

The revised proposals shall be presented by the proponents to MOH to request for funding. As of writing, the proponents and their mentors continue to keep in touch to give updates on their research.

PRLS Observes Ramadan with Grand Iftar

The Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS) held a Grand Iftar on April 19 in observance of Ramadan. Ramadan is the holiest month of the year in Islamic culture. For Muslims, it’s a time for spiritual reflection and growth; it’s also the perfect opportunity to help those in need and spend more time with friends and families. The sacred month of Ramadan is practiced by fasting from food and water and abstaining from committing evil deeds from the start of dawn to sunset every day.

Iftar marks the end of each day’s fast and often celebrates and brings together the community. Ramadan also emphasizes a renewed commitment to generosity and charity, and iftar is connected to those values as well. Providing food for others to break their fast is considered an important part of the observance. As part of the event, the dinner also serves as a celebration and thanksgiving for its newly appointed staff. The gathering also welcomes the new employees of PRLS and congratulates the Service’s new lawyers who have recently passed the Bar examination 2020-2021

Policy Commentary 2: Media representation of women in the Bangsamoro region: A case of Mindanao Expose

Media representation of women in the Bangsamoro region: A case of Mindanao Expose

Authored by: Keindel Maha D. Vizcarra

This paper aims to contribute to the discussion on how media represent women in the  Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Given the interlocking issues of religion, culture, and economic conditions, the research engages the question of how women in BARMM are represented in media to understand how these representations could contribute to the existing gender structures in BARMM, whether just or unjust. This study analyzes the contents of Mindanao Expose, a weekly newspaper based in Cotabato City, for a four-month period. Through content analysis, this study shows that despite the underrepresentation of women in the news, as men still dominate the news images, the newspaper has moved beyond the depiction of women as simply sexualized, subordinate, or in their traditional roles; instead, women in BARMM are seen as formal, active, and someone who is engaged in public. Based on these representations, one can draw the conclusion that the representation of women in BARMM through news platforms has the potential to challenge stereotypes against women and promote more meaningful roles and conditions for Bangsamoro women. 

Click the download button to access the full paper.

PRLS Reviews Draft Bangsamoro Investment Code

To help refine the Bangsamoro Investment Code, the Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS) attends the Bangsamoro Board of Investments Technical Working Group (BBOI TWG) meeting on April 13.

PRLS Director Nassef Manabilang Adiong has served as a resource speaker during the meeting, along with the heads of two divisions under the service, Atty. Hisham Biruar and Mr. Vincent Casil. The BBOI TWG, of which the PRLS is a member, convened to review and discuss matters relating to various sections of the bill.

The said TWG was formed after the BBOI adopted a resolution to expedite the approval of the draft of the proposed measure on Regional Investment Incentives Law, or the Bangsamoro Omnibus Investment Code.

The measure is one of the priority legislation the Bangsamoro Government intends to pass in order to “promote investments in the region and render fiscal incentives-giving services for the development of the regional and national economy in consonance with the principles and objectives of achieving regional and global competitiveness; fostering economic efficiency; encouraging and supporting investments that promote region-wide development and create productive and quality employment.”

Policy Note 3: Devolution – BARMM’s Road to Moral Governance?

Devolution: BARMM’s Road to Moral Governance?

Authored by: Nashrolah S. Langco

Executive Order No. 138 mandates that local government units (LGUs) of the Philippines be awarded larger responsibilities in pursuit of the full devolution in response to the Mandanas-Garcia ruling, which demands that LGUs be given a larger share of the national fiscal pie through a larger IRA. As such, there is now a burden to capacitate said LGUs to take over some functions formerly handled by the national government in relation to the larger funds allocated to them. In line with the trend, there are expectations for discourse centered around the administrative and logistical implications of the said ruling. There must, however, have a focus on investigating and exploring the concept of devolution itself, particularly in the case of BARMM, whose goal is to inculcate moral governance as a framework. Devolution, and as a corollary political decentralization, might be a key factor in paving the way for moral governance.

Click the download button to access the full paper.