PRLS, LMLAD releases its first legal primer

The Legislative Measures and Legal Assistance Division (LMLAD) of Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS) releases its first legal primer of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Act No. 1 or “An Act Adopting the Official Flag of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.” The primer delineates the design and the underlying interpretations of the elements, symbols, and colors of the Bangsamoro flag.

Legal Primers are summarized versions of Bangsamoro Autonomy Acts underscoring salient provisions therein

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PRLS presents “The Bangsamoro Struggle Today” at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute conference in Singapore

“The new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) government is the opportunity for the Bangsamoro people to chart up their future in accordance with their distinct beliefs, culture, and aspirations, a shift from the struggle into fighting against oppression, corruption, discrimination, and other malpractices that are worsening the situation of the Bangsamoro people,” Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS)


Director Nassef Manabilang Adiong phrased in an abstract submitted to the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (formerly Institute of Southeast Asian Studies). Director Adiong presented the paper titled “The Bangsamoro Struggle Today” at an international conference held in Singapore on July 18-19, 2022.

The conference was anchored on the theme, “Trendsetters of Islam in Maritime Southeast Asia: Emerging Discourses and Trending Ideologues.

It provided a platform for researchers to map out emerging ideas from countries like the Philippines and know how these ideas are acquired and transmitted, as well as examine identified transmitters of new trends, which include vital personalities, groups, or institutions to watch.
Also present at the two-day event were division heads Atty. Hisham Nazz Ala Biruar, Mr. Vincent Casil, and technical staff Kebart Licayan, and Musthafa Mazhar Ali.

This coming September, the research team is set to attend another international conference on Cohesive Societies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where they were invited as delegates.

PRLS Director, LMLAD Chief serve as resource speakers at BWC’s communication and advocacy workshop

PRLS Director Nassef Manabilang Adiong and LMLAD Chief Atty. Hisham Nazz Biruar were invited as resource speakers during the workshop, “Information Dissemination and Awareness on the Parliamentary Governance in support of the implementation of the Bangsamoro Women Commission Communication and Advocacy Strategy”. They initiated discussions on how women can engage in the BARMM’s parliamentary process on Monday morning, September 26.

Said workshop was facilitated by the Bangsamoro Women Commission (BWC) in partnership with the Mindanao Organization for Social and Economic Progress, Inc. (MOSEP) and The Moropreneur Inc. (TMI). It was also supported by The Asia Foundation (TAF).

The PRLS and BWC believe that women’s political participation in the BARMM region shall be strengthened. They underlined that through “awareness and understanding of the parliament proceedings as women, access to information, and building of effective communication between CSOs and the Parliament,” finer policy drafts and frameworks to serve the needs of the Bangsamoro people better will be established

PRLS joins the Gender Sensitivity Training conducted by the BTA GADFPS

In support of the commitment of the Bangsamoro Parliament in adopting gender-mainstreaming in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, the PRLS staff participated in the two-day Gender Sensitivity Training conducted by the BTA Gender and Development Focal Point System (GADFPS) from September 14–15, 2022 at Paragon Hotel and Restaurant in Cotabato City.

The training aims to increase regular employees’ awareness of gender and development concepts as well as integrate gender-sensitive and gender-responsive systems and procedures into the operations of various BTA offices and services.

PRLS Policy Commentary 004 discusses Mandanas as an inevitable Challenge to BARMM Ministries

Because of the implication of the Mandanas-Garcia ruling, the National Government agencies are devolving some of their functions to the Local Government Units (LGUs). The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), however, has put forward that the Bangsamoro Government is not required to comply with the devolution transition program.

PRLS Policy Commentary 004, entitled “The Inevitable Transition: Mandanas Ruling Challenge to BARMM Ministries,” describes how the budget of the Bangsamoro Government will be affected, despite DBM’s stand on BARMM’s situation.

The paper points out that the Bangsamoro Government inevitably faces the budgetary constraints of the Mandanas-Garcia ruling and that devolution of its functions to its LGUs should be done immediately to ensure the delivery of affected programs. To realize such task, BARMM Ministries are in the strategic position to specify which programs are feasible to be devolved to BARMM LGUs.

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PRLS-LRD releases special series 002 on the impact of environmental decentralization

PRLS Special Release 002 discusses Mandanas and Environmental policies With the enactment of the Mandanas-Garcia ruling, the Local Government Units are now presented with opportunities to realize more programs, as greater resources are allocated to them, with local units being given the authority to make expenditure decisions. 

PRLS Special Series 002, entitled “The Impact of Environmental Decentralization and its Critical Role in Mitigating Environmental Issues in the BARMM Region” explores the question of reasonable environmental decentralization in the Bangsamoro region.

Its author discusses the problems and limitations of devolved environmental function to the LGUs, and how the BARMM government and its LGUs can draw lessons from these conditions. This policy note is part of the PRLS Special Series on Mandanas, which explores different implications of decentralization and its aspects as realized in the BARMM context.


This paper is part of the PRLS Special Series on Mandanas, which explores different implications of decentralization and its aspects as realized in the BARMM context.

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MOST awards PRLS, IBS another research grant for Bangsamoro “halal certification industry” framework

Researchers from the Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS), still in collaboration with the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies (IBS), have been awarded another research grant from the BARMM’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).

Led by Brian Doce, project leader from IBS, the grant will fund a study to:

• map the developments of the halal certification industry in the Philippines;
• contribute to the institutionalization of the Bangsamoro Halal Board and its action plan;
• formulate a blueprint for stakeholders of future halal ecozones in the region; and
• write a concrete action plan or roadmap to emphasize the position of BARMM as a new halal hub.

In addition, the research also aims to develop a learning module that will synchronize the contributions of local government units, business and industry groups, universities, religious leaders, and other organizations. PRLS research team members to help Doce in accomplishing the above goals are Vincent Casil, Kebart Licayan, Aisah Solaiman, and Anisah Lingga.

PRLS, IBS receive a research grant to study the viability of establishing “RE-based hybrid” system in BARMM’s island provinces

In partnership with the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies, the Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS) received a research grant to explore the viability of establishing a “RE-based hybrid” system that will provide Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi with 24/7 access to electricity.

PRLS research team led by Legislative Research Division (LRD) technical staff Mc Ershad Pabillan will work on the study titled, “Decentralized Microgrids: An Energy System Model for the Rural Electrification of BaSulTa Islands.” Other researchers to join Pabillan are Abhoud Syed Lingga, Vincent Casil, Anisah Lingga, Gurhan Adan, and Franscesca Agua. The BARMM’s Ministry of Science and Technology awarded the grant on September 1.

PLRS, BWC host workshop on policy research writing

LOOK: The BTA – Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS) served as resource speakers and research mentors during the “2nd Bangsamoro Women’s Commission Policy Research and Formulation Workshop (BWC)” held in Davao City, August 22 – 26, 2022, organized by the BWC with the support of UNDP.

The workshop’s discussions include:

  • Policy Research Template by Director Nassef Manabilang Adiong
  • Policy Making and Legislative Procedures by LRD Chief Vincent L. Casil * Ethical Concerns in Policy Formulation by Technical Staff Mr. Kebart P. Licayan
  • Simplifying Policy Formulation Writing by Technical Staff, Mr. Moh’d Al-Khaleel A. Bogabong
  • Qualitative Research Methodology by Technical Staff, Ms. Aisah P. Solaiman
  • Quantitative Research Methodology by Technical Staff, Mr. Erschad D. Pabillan
  • Mixed Methods Research by Technical Staff, Ms. Anisah U. Lingga

Aside from the joint discussion on crafting policy research, the workshop also provided an avenue to review and revise existing working drafts of policy research on identified gender-related issues, namely:

  • the Adoption of the GAD Transformation and Institutionalization through Mainstreaming of Programs, Agenda, Linkages, and Advocacies (GADTIMPALA) Award;
  • the creation of women Para-legals at the community level for the prevention of Gender-based Violence;
  • the development of Gender Responsive Protocols in Handling CEFM, GBV, and VAW Cases;
  • the Development of Gender Disaggregated Data on Education, Employment, and Governance;
  • the Development of Magna Carta on Bangsamoro Women
  • on Gender Humanitarian Response in Emergencies, SGBV, and VAW Cases, conflict and Natural Calamities; and
  • on Monitoring Gender Responsive and Gender Sensitive Facilities in Government Structures, business establishments, and evacuation centers. The workshop concluded through the presentations of the improved versions of policy papers of BWC delegates.

These policy papers will be released on the PRLS website on the last quarter of 2022.

PRLS-LMLAD Chief provides heads up on the new composition of the BTA

PRLS Legislative Measures and Legal Assistance Division Chief Atty. Hisham Nazz Ala Biruar provided updates on the new composition of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) during his radio guesting on the 29th episode of Talakayang Parlyamento on Thursday, August 18.

The episode was aired a week after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. named the new 80 members of the BTA, composed of 41 nominees from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and 39 from the government