COTABATO CITY: Several lawmakers have introduced a bill seeking to establish a Bangsamoro Anti-Poverty Commission in order to have an economic and social tool for measuring the success of poverty alleviation and development programs in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The commission, according to the legislators, will generate up-to-date and disaggregated data necessary for identifying beneficiaries, conducting more comprehensive poverty analysis and needs prioritization, designing appropriate policies and interventions and monitoring impact over time.

In their explanatory note, principal authors of BTA Parliament Bill 202, known as the Bangsamoro Anti-Poverty Act of 2022, stated that the impending fiscal crisis and the poverty of at least one-third of the region's population drive the urgency to focus on the elimination of hunger and extreme poverty in the BARMM.

The legislators said everyone "should link arms and unite in the fight against poverty since it's the responsibility not only of the Bangsamoro government but of all sectors of society."

The commission's functions include developing and reviewing data collection forms; monitoring, overseeing, and coordinating the impact of poverty alleviation programs; and ensuring the success of the implementation of poverty alleviation programs.

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Once approved, the commission will be composed of the chief minister, the ministers of Labor and Employment, Social Services and Development, and the director-general of the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority.

Other members are the ministers of Basic, Higher and Technical Education; Health; Science and Technology; Human Settlements and Development; Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform; Interior and Local Government; Trade, Investments and Tourism; Indigenous People's Affairs; Transportation and Communication; Public Works; Public Order and Safety; Environment, Natural Resources and Energy; Finance, Budget and Management; and the head of the Cooperative and Social Enterprise Authority.

Funds necessary for the implementation of the act shall be charged against the current appropriations of the region.

The proposed bill is principally authored by Members of Parliament Abdullah Gayak, Romeo Sema, Marjanie Macasalong, Eddie Alih, engineer Aida Silongan, Abdulazis Esmael and Ibrahim Ali.