Lawmakers in the Philippines expected to give final approval to new autonomous region

Lawmakers in the Philippines expected to give final approval to new autonomous region

The creation of the Bangsamoro region with a largely Muslim population comes as the government seeks an end to a decades-long insurgency.

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Photo: Reuters

Lawmakers in the Philippines are expected to give their final approval to draft legislation that seeks to create a new autonomous region of Bangsamoro in the country’s south. The creation of a new region with a largely Muslim population comes as the government seeks an end to a decades-long insurgency.

The new region of Bangsamoro will replace the autonomous region of Mindanao that was created in 1989 along with other devolved regions in the Philippines. The new devolved powers will significantly expand the regional government’s funding, justice system, and security powers over the predominantly Muslim region. Despite the national government surrendering direct control over security, it will still have veto control over certain aspects in emergency situations.

While passage of the legislation is expected, no immediate end to the insurgency is likely in the short-term, due to the decades-long nature of the conflict. But the new powers that will be given to regional authorities are expected to help stabilise a region where national intervention and military action has had no lasting impact on peace and stability.

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