Republic Act No. 9054
AN ACT TO STRENGTHEN AND EXPAND THE ORGANIC ACT FOR THE AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6734, ENTITLED ‘AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO’ AS AMENDED
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
The people of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to develop a just and humane society and establish a Regional Autonomous Government that is truly reflective of their ideals and aspirations within the framework of the Constitution and national sovereignty, as well as the territorial integrity of the Philippines, and to secure to themselves and their posterity the blessings of autonomy, democracy, peace, justice and equality, do ordain and promulgate this Organic Act through the Congress of the Philippines.
Section 1. The name of the Autonomous Region shall be the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao unless provided otherwise by the Regional Assembly. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao shall be governed by the Regional Government.
Section 1. Expanded Autonomous Region
(1) The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao which, under the provisions of Republic Act No. 6734, the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, is composed of the four provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, is hereby expanded to include the provinces and cities, enumerated hereunder, which vote favorably to be included and in the expanded area of the autonomous region and for other purposes, in a plebiscite called for that purpose in accordance with Section 18, Article X of the Constitution. The new area of autonomy shall then be determined by the provinces and cities that will vote/choose to join the said autonomy. It is understood that Congress may by law which shall be consistent with the Constitution and in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991, provide that clusters of contiguous-Muslim-dominated municipalities voting in favor of autonomy be merged and constituted into a new province(s) which shall became part of the new Autonomous Region.
(2) Plebiscite Coverage. The plebiscite shall be conducted in the provinces of Basilan, Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Palawan, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and the newly created Province of Zamboanga Sibugay, and (b) in the cities of Cotabato, Dapitan, Dipolog, General Santos, Iligan, Kidapawan, Marawi, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, Digos, Koronadal, Tacurong, and Zamboanga.
Section 2. Result of the Plebiscite
(a) In the four provinces,if the majority of the voters of the four provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi vote in favor of the above-mentioned proposed amendments, the amendments are deemed ratified. Otherwise, the amendments are deemed rejected except as regards the inclusion of the provinces and cities that vote for their inclusion in the Autonomous Region as provided in this Organic Act, in which case, the said provinces and cities shall become members of the autonomous region.
(b) In the provinces or cities proposed for inclusion in the expanded area of the autonomous region. A majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite in every province or city in favor of the inclusion of the province or city as members of the expanded area of the autonomous region as provided in this Organic Act shall effect their membership in the autonomous region.
Section 3. Seat of Autonomous Government.
The regional legislative assembly, hereinafter referred to as the Regional Assembly, shall by law, fix the permanent seat of government of the regional government in any province or city that is a member of the autonomous region, taking into consideration accessibility and efficiency in which its mandate may be carried out under this Organic Act. Until the seat of the Regional Government is transferred as provided above, its provisional seat shall be in Cotabato City. The Regional Assembly elected after the plebiscite mentioned in this Organic Act, shall, within its term, identify the site of the permanent seat of the Regional Government. The central government, which shall also mean the national government, shall appropriate funds for the transfer of the provisional seat to its permanent site as determined by the Regional Assembly.
Section 1. Integral Part of the Republic
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao shall remain an integral and inseparable part of the national territory of the Republic as defined by the Constitution and existing laws.
The Autonomous Region shall be governed and administered in accordance with the laws enacted by the Regional Assembly and by this Organic Act.
Section 2. Peaceful Settlement of Conflicts
The Regional Autonomous Government shall adopt the policy of settlement of conflicts by peaceful means, and renounce any form of lawless violence as an instrument of redress.
Section 3. Devolution of Powers
The Regional Government shall adopt a policy on local autonomy whereby regional powers shall be devolved to local government units particularly in areas of education, health, human resource, science and technology and people empowerment. Until a law implementing this provision is enacted by the Regional Assembly, Republic Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991, shall continue to apply to all provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays within the autonomous region. The Regional Assembly may not pass any law to diminish, lessen, or reduce the powers, functions, and shares in the internal revenue taxes of the said local government units as provided by Republic Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991.