19 Jumada Al Akhirah 1444 AH / 12 January 2023 – The Commission Proper of the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission held its 1st Special Meeting for the year 2023 on January 11, 2023, at Davao City.
Under the charter of the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission (BHRC) or the Bangsamoro Autonomy Act No. 4, otherwise known as the “Bangsamoro Human Rights Act of 2019,” the Commission Proper is the highest decision-making body of the Commission and shall exercise the mandate, powers, and functions of the Commission, and shall transact its official business upon the decision of the majority with the presence of the quorum.
The quorum was present in the Meeting with the complete physical attendance of the Honorable Members of the 1st Commission Proper of the BHRC, namely: Chairperson Atty. Abdul Rashid P. Kalim, Commissioner Archie U. Buaya, MPA, and Commissioner Atty. Dayang-Dayang Khadija J. Baguinda Dambong.
During the meeting, the Commission Proper discussed the implication of the enactment and ratification of Republic Act No. 11550, otherwise known as the “Charter of the Provinces of Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur,” which is an Act signed into law on May 27, 2021, dividing the Province of Maguindanao into two (2) distinct and independent provinces known as the Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur. The same Act was ratified in a plebiscite the result of which was declared official on September 18, 2022, by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).
In consonance with this Act, the Commission Proper resolved to divide the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission’s Maguindanao Provincial Office into two (2) separate offices by way of issuing Resolution No. 001, Series of 2023, entitled: A Resolution Dividing the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission – Maguindanao Provincial Office into Two (2) Separate Provincial Offices, Thereby Creating the Maguindanao Del Norte and Maguindanao Del Sur Provincial Offices.
The Resolution was in consideration of the vast territory and population of the entire Maguindanao Province and thus, the Commissioners thought that the division of the BHRC’s Maguindanao Provincial Office will help address the various human rights issues in these provinces and to bring the Commission’s services, programs, and projects closer to the people.
Moreover, during the Special Meeting, the Commission Proper also invited the presence of BHRC key personnel to discuss the status of human rights in their respective areas of responsibility as well as the appropriate action points to address certain issues so that the Commission can move forward.
In addition, project-based employees were also invited to present before the Commission Proper the proposed BHRC Annual Reports for the years 2021 and 2022.
The Special Meeting was conducted in the middle of the week-long Strategic Planning Activity of the BHRC which intended to illuminate the direction upon which the Commission is headed for the year 2023.
The said week-long activity centered on the presentations and discussions of Work and Financial Plans, Project Procurement Management Plans, Best Practices, and Challenges of the different Provincial Offices and Divisions of the BHRC.
The Commission Proper is set to conduct its Regular and/or Special Meetings in the coming days to resolve important decisions for the BHRC.