COTABATO CITY – The European Union Delegation to the Philippines and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao formally launched today, 15 November 2021, the five-year Php 1.5 billion Support to Bangsamoro Transition (SUBATRA) Programme.

The SUBATRA aims to help BARMM lay the foundation for lasting peace and development in the region by strengthening the capacities of its institutions to establish an enabling democratic governance environment during the Bangsamoro transition period.

The Bangsamoro transition period includes the passage of priority legislation and the setting up of BARMM bureaucracy to ensure uninterrupted delivery of basic services.

With support from SUBATRA, the BARMM executive, parliament, judiciary, and civil society will strengthen their capacities to drive and coordinate key transitional policies, exercise lawmaking, and oversight functions, adjudicate litigations, improve access to justice, and contribute to a peaceful transition.

EU Ambassador Luc Véron who joined BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim during the launch reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to supporting the achievement of lasting peace and development in the Bangsamoro region.

“With the help of the SUBATRA Programme, the BARMM will establish an autonomous regional government that will address the many forms of injustices in the region over the years,” the Ambassador said.

Ambassador Véron noted that the Bangsamoro transition period is a timely opportunity for stakeholders in the BARMM to heed the lessons of the past and journey towards the bright future of the region, “leaving no one behind,” he said.

For his part, Ebrahim said SUBATRA helps BARMM provide regulatory standards while taking a facilitative and risk-proportionate approach in all levels of its new bureaucracy.

“SUBATRA helps boost the capacity of our regional government in crafting transitional policies and strengthening our Parliament’s ability to exercise its legislative, oversight, and representation functions during this transition period,” he said.

Ebrahim added that SUBATRA adheres to local principles and existing efforts to avoid duplication and waste of resources while creatively adapting frameworks suitable to the ever-changing landscape of the Bangsamoro.

“The Bangsamoro is still learning, and we are miles away from the BARMM that we aspire for in the Bangsamoro Organic Law, but with SUBATRA and the EU by our side, we know that we can reach possibilities,” said Ebrahim.

The SUBATRA Programme is also co-funded by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development. It started in July 2020 and will run until June 2025.

The United Nations Office for Project Services, Particip, the Bangsamoro Development Agency, and the Consortium of the Bangsamoro Civil Society are the implementing partners of the SUBATRA Programme.