Article 7 of the Bangsamoro Basic Law Simplified

The Bangsamoro Government

September 2, 2021

Section 1. Powers of Government

The powers of government shall be vested in the Bangsamoro Parliament, which shall exercise those powers and functions expressly granted to it in this Basic Law, and those necessary for or incidental to the proper governance and development of the Bangsamoro.

It shall set policies, legislate on matters within its authority, and elect a Chief Minister, who shall exercise executive authority in its behalf.24

Section 2. Legislative Authority

The Bangsamoro Parliament shall have the authority to enact laws on matters that are within the powers and competencies of the Bangsamoro Government.

Section 3. Executive Authority

The executive function and authority shall be exercised by the Cabinet, which shall be headed by a Chief Minister. The Chief Minister who heads the ministerial government of the Bangsamoro shall be elected by a majority vote of the Parliament from among its members.

The Chief Minister shall appoint the Deputy Chief Minister from among the Members of Parliament, and the members of the Cabinet, majority of whom shall also come from the Parliament.

Bangsamoro Parliament

Section 4. Composition

The Parliament shall be composed of at least sixty (60) members, unless otherwise provided by the Parliament, who are representatives of political parties elected through a system of proportional representation, those elected from single member districts and to reserved seats to represent key sectors in the Bangsamoro, except as otherwise provided under this Article.

Section 5. Classification and Allocation of Seats

The seats in the Bangsamoro Parliament shall be classified and allocated as follows: (1) District Seats – 40% of the Parliament shall be elected from single member parliamentary districts apportioned for the areas and in the manner provided in the Appendix of this Basic Law.

The Bangsamoro Parliament may by law undertake new redistricting in order to ensure a more equitable representation of the constituencies in the Bangsamoro Parliament.25

The district representatives shall be elected through direct, plurality vote by the registered voters in the parliamentary districts.

(2) Party Representatives

50% of the Members of Parliament shall be representatives of political parties who win seats through a system of proportional representation based on the whole Bangsamoro territory. Parties shall submit their respective list of approved candidates prior to the election.

(3) Reserved Seats; Sectoral Representatives

Sectoral representatives, constituting 10% of the Members of Parliament, including two (2) reserved seats each for non-Moro indigenous communities and settler communities.

Women shall also have a reserved seat.

The Bangsamoro Parliament shall determine the manner of election of sectoral and other representation in the Parliament.

Section 6. Election for Reserved Seats for Non-Moro Indigenous Peoples

Notwithstanding the immediately preceding sections, reserved seats for the non-Moro indigenous peoples, such as, Teduray, Lambangian, Dulangan Manobo, B’laan and Higaonon, shall be pursuant to their customary laws and indigenous processes based on the following: a. Primacy of customary laws and practices; b. Primacy of consensus building; c. Acceptability of the community; d. Inclusivity and full participation; e. Representation of the collective interests and aspirations of non-Moro indigenous peoples;26 f. Sustainability and strengthening of Indigenous Political Structures; g. Track record and capability; and h. Gender equity.

Section 7. Regional Parties

A free and open regional party system shall be allowed to evolve according to the free choice of the people. Towards this end, only regional political parties duly accredited by the Bangsamoro Electoral Office may participate in the parliamentary elections in the Bangsamoro.

Section 8. Redistricting

The Parliament shall have the power to reconstitute, by law, the parliamentary districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographic areas of the Bangsamoro to ensure equitable representation in the Parliament. The redistricting, merging or creation, of parliamentary districts shall be based on the number of inhabitants and additional provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographic areas, which shall become part of the territories of the Bangsamoro Government.

For the purpose of redistricting, parliamentary districts shall be apportioned based on population and geographical area; Provided that each district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory and should have at least a population of 100,000.

Section 9. Bangsamoro Electoral Code

The BTA shall enact the Bangsamoro Electoral Code, which shall be correlated to national election laws, insofar as these are consistent with this Basic Law. The electoral system shall allow democratic participation, ensure accountability of public officers primarily to their constituents and encourage formation of genuinely principled political parties.

There is hereby created a Bangsamoro Electoral Office which shall be a part of the Commission on Elections, and which shall perform the functions of the Commission on Elections in the Bangsamoro. The Bangsamoro Parliament shall submit a list of three27

(3) recommendees to the President, who shall choose and appoint from among them the Director General, who shall head the Office. In addition to enforcing national election laws in the Bangsamoro, the Bangsamoro Electoral Office shall likewise implement the Bangsamoro Electoral Code enacted by Parliament in the Bangsamoro, and shall perform the following functions:

  1. Register and accredit regional political parties;
  2. In relation to plebiscite for joining the Bangsamoro, receive petitions/resolutions to join from geographic areas;
  3. Schedule plebiscites for expansion; and
  4. Prepare rules and regulations for Bangsamoro elections and plebiscites, for the promulgation of the Commission on Elections. All rules and regulations governing Bangsamoro elections and plebiscites shall emanate from the Bangsamoro Electoral Office.

Section 10. Budget for the Bangsamoro Electoral Office

The budget for the Bangsamoro Electoral Office shall be included in the appropriations for the Commission on Elections.

Section 11. Term of Office

The term of office of members of Parliament shall be three (3) years unless otherwise provided by law passed by the Bangsamoro Parliament. No member shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms.

Section 12. Qualifications

No person shall be a Member of Parliament unless he or she is citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-five (25) years of age on the day of the election, able to read and write, and a registered voter in the Bangsamoro.

For district representatives, he or she must be a registered voter of the district in which he or she is a candidate on the day he or she files his or her certificate of candidacy, and has resided in said district for at least three (3) years immediately preceding the day of the election.

For the first regular elections immediately following the enactment of the BBL, the abovementioned residency requirement shall be reduced to one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election.28

Section 13. Salaries of Parliament Members

The Bangsamoro Parliament shall determine the salaries and emoluments of its members. No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the members of the Bangsamoro Parliament approving such increase.

For the first Bangsamoro Parliament, salaries and emoluments of its members shall be determined by law passed by the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).

Members of the Bangsamoro Parliament shall not receive during their tenure other salary and emoluments from the Bangsamoro Government or from the Central Government except as provided by law or regulations from the Bangsamoro Parliament.

Section 14. Disclosure

Members of the Bangsamoro Parliament shall, upon their assumption to office, make full disclosure of their financial and business interests, including those of their spouses and children. They shall notify the Bangsamoro Parliament of any potential conflict of interest that may arise from the filing of bills or resolutions of which they are authors.

Any member found guilty of non-disclosure as required under this Section may be subject to disciplinary action by the Bangsamoro Parliament in accordance with its Rules and without prejudice to his/her other liabilities under the law.

Section 15. Prohibition Against Conflict of Interest

The Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and all the members of the Bangsamoro Parliament, during their term, shall not engage, directly or indirectly, in any business or commercial enterprise where there may be a conflict of interest in the exercise of the functions of their respective offices.

Section 16. Forfeiture of Seat

A Member of Parliament shall forfeit his or her seat if: a. He/she resigns voluntarily in the form of either a written or oral declaration in the Parliament;29 b. He/she is convicted of a grave offense as stipulated in the House Rules that the Bangsamoro Parliament will promulgate pursuant to Art VII Sec 19 of this Basic Law, or treason, high crimes, heinous crimes, crimes against morality or other crimes punishable by more than 6 years c. He/she becomes permanently physically or mentally incapacitated and is unable to discharge his/her duties as Member of Parliament or dies while in office d. He/she, having been elected under the proportional representation system, is replaced by the party to which he/she belongs with another member of said party e. He/she, having been elected under the proportional representation system, transfers to another party during his/her incumbency as Member of Parliament f. Such other grounds as may be provided in the Bangsamoro Electoral Code as mentioned in Article 7, Section 9 hereof.

Section 17. Filling of Vacancy

In case of a vacancy of a proportional representation seat, the party to which that seat belongs shall fill the vacancy. In case of a vacancy of a district seat by an affiliated Member of Parliament, his/her party shall nominate a replacement within 30 days from the occurrence of such vacancy, and the said nominee shall be appointed by the Chief Minister.

In case of a vacancy in the seat occupied by an unaffiliated Member of Parliament, a special election may be called to fill such vacancy in the manner prescribed by law enacted by Parliament.

The appointee or elected Member of Parliament, as the case may be, shall serve the unexpired term of the vacant office.30

Section 18. Privileges and Immunities

No member of the Bangsamoro Parliament may be arrested while the Bangsamoro Parliament is in session, except for crimes punishable by more than six (6) years of imprisonment. The members of the Bangsamoro Parliament may not be questioned in any other place of held liable for any speech or debate delivered in the Bangsamoro Parliament sessions or meetings of its committees.

Section 19. Sessions of the Bangsamoro Parliament

The Bangsamoro Parliament shall conduct its regular session once every year starting on the 15 th of June up to thirty (30) days before the opening of its next regular session. A special or emergency session may be called by the Speaker, upon the request of the Chief Minister or by a majority of the members of the Bangsamoro Parliament.

Section 20. Officers of the Bangsamoro Parliament

On the first session following their election, the members of the Bangsamoro Parliament shall, in open session, elect by a simple majority vote from all its members the Speaker, a Deputy Speaker, and the other officers of the Bangsamoro Parliament as the House Rules of the Bangsamoro Parliament may provide.

In case of death, removal, resignation, or permanent disability or legal incapacity of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker shall act as Speaker until a new Speaker shall have been elected by the Bangsamoro Parliament.

Section 21. Presiding Officer

The Speaker, Deputy Speaker, or any other person presiding over the Bangsamoro Parliament shall: a. Be independent; b. Serve to secure the honor and dignity of the Bangsamoro Parliament; c. Be responsible for ensuring – (i) the rights and privileges of all members; and (ii) public access to the proceeding of the Bangsamoro Parliament and its committees;31 d. Have the authority and moral ascendancy to maintain order and decorum in the Bangsamoro Parliament, in accordance with its House Rules; and e. Act impartially, and without fear, favor and prejudice. Section 22. Rules of Procedure. – The Bangsamoro Parliament shall adopt its House Rules for the conduct of its business. Section 23. Proceedings. – A majority of all the members of the Bangsamoro Parliament shall constitute a quorum to do business. The legislative proceedings in the Bangsamoro Parliament shall be recorded in its original form and translated in the Filipino, Arabic and English languages. Unless otherwise provided by law or the House Rules of the Bangsamoro Parliament, the members of the Bangsamoro Parliament may use any of the commonly understandable native languages during legislative deliberations. Section 24. General Welfare. – The Bangsamoro Parliament shall pass laws that promote the general welfare of the people in the Bangsamoro. Section 25. Appropriations. – No public money may be spent without an appropriations act clearly defining the purpose for which it is intended. The Bangsamoro Parliament shall pass an annual appropriations law.

Section 26. Budget

The form, content, and manner of preparation of the Bangsamoro budget shall be prescribed by law enacted by the Bangsamoro Parliament. Pending the enactment of such law, the budgeting process shall be governed by existing laws, rules, and regulations on budget.

Section 27. Reenacted Budget

If, by the end of a fiscal year, the Bangsamoro Parliament shall have failed to pass the Bangsamoro appropriations bill for the ensuing fiscal year, the Bangsamoro Appropriations Act for the preceding year shall be deemed automatically reenacted and shall remain in force and effect until a new Bangsamoro appropriations law is enacted by Parliament.32

Executive Officers

Section 28. Qualifications of the Chief Minister

No person may be elected as the Chief Minister unless he/she is at least twenty-five (25) years of age at the time of the election, a bona fide resident of the Bangsamoro for three (3) years immediately preceding the day of the elections, and with proven competence and probity, mentally fit, and known for his/her integrity and high moral standards. For the first election of the Chief Minister immediately following the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the abovementioned residency requirement shall be reduced to one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election.

Section 29. Election of the Chief Minister. – On the inaugural session of the Bangsamoro Parliament following their elections, the members of the Parliament shall, in open session, elect the Chief Minister by a majority vote of all its members. If no member of Bangsamoro Parliament obtains the majority vote necessary to be elected Chief Minister in the first round of voting, a runoff election shall be conducted.

In such case, the members of Bangsamoro Parliament shall elect the Chief Minister from the two (2) candidates who obtained the highest number of votes cast in the first round. There shall be no abstentions allowed in the runoff election.

Section 30. Powers, Duties and Functions of the Chief Minister

Unless otherwise provided by law, the Chief Minister shall exercise the following powers, duties and functions:

a. Heads the government of the Bangsamoro; b. Appoints heads of ministries, agencies, bureaus, offices of the Bangsamoro Government or other officers of Bangsamoro owned and/or controlled corporations or entities with original charters;33 c. Appoints other officers in the Bangsamoro Government, as may be provided by the Parliament d. Formulates platform of government subject to approval by the Parliament e. Issues executive orders and other policies of the Bangsamoro Government f. Represents the government of the Bangsamoro in affairs outside the Bangsamoro g. Exercises such other powers and functions inherent to the position.

Section 31. Administration of Oath of the Chief Minister.

The Wali shall administer the oath of office of all the Members of Parliament, including the Chief Minister upon his/her election.

Section 32. Ex-Officio Membership

The Chief Minister shall be an ex-officio member of the National Security Council (NSC) on matters concerning the Bangsamoro and of the National Economic and Development Authority Board (NEDA).

Section 33. The Deputy Chief Minister

The Deputy Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Chief Minister from among the members of the Parliament and may hold a cabinet position. In case of death, removal, resignation or incapacity of the Chief Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister shall temporarily act as the Chief Minister until the Parliament shall have elected a new Chief Minister. Said election shall be held within thirty (30) days from the occurrence of the vacancy.

Section 34. Call for a New Bangsamoro Parliament Election

Within 72 hours upon a 2/3 vote of no confidence of all members of Parliament against the government of the day, the Chief Minister shall advise the Wali to dissolve the Parliament and call for a new parliamentary election. In no case shall the Wali countermand the advice of the Chief Minister.34

The Wali shall call for election of a new Bangsamoro Parliament on a date not later than 120 days from the date of dissolution. In case of dissolution, the incumbent Chief Minister and the Cabinet shall continue to conduct the affairs of the Bangsamoro Government until a new Parliament is convened and a Chief Minister is elected and has qualified.

Article 8: WALI

Section 1. Titular Head of the Bangsamoro

There shall be a Wali who shall be the titular head of the Bangsamoro. As titular head, the Wali shall take on only ceremonial functions.

The Wali, as part of the Bangsamoro Government, shall be under the general supervision of the President.

Section 2. Appointment of Wali

The Bangsamoro Parliament shall issue a resolution reflecting its consensus on the selection of the Wali from a list of names of eminent residents of the Bangsamoro submitted by the Council of Leaders.

Section 3. Term of Office of Wali

The first Wali shall be appointed by the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) and shall hold office for three (3) years. Each succeeding Wali shall have a term of six (6) years.

Section 4. Allowances of the Wali

The first Wali shall receive allowances in such amount as may be determined by the BTA. The allowances of the Wali subsequently chosen shall be determined by the Bangsamoro Parliament. Such allowances shall be sourced from the funds of the Bangsamoro Government and shall be provided for in its annual appropriations law.35