Mon, 27 Jan 2020

Manila [Philippines], Jan 20 (ANI): Localities in southern Philippines are all set to vote for a historic proposal on Monday that would provide greater autonomy to the region.

South China Morning Post reported on Sunday that Monday's referendum will provide those residing in the autonomous region in Muslim majority Mindanao, also known as Bangsamoro, with more funding and a bigger revenue share, along with the full control of its resources, ending a decades-long conflict in the between locals and the Philippines government.

Few officials from the Philippine government seemed to oppose the referendum and the new political entity that would take control of the region soon.

Insurgency has been plaguing the region since the past four decades, claiming lives of thousands of people and restricting the economic development of the region, which is rich in mineral deposits worth approximately USD 300 billion.

Head of Bangsamoro's investment board, Ishak Mastura, was quoted as saying, "The approval of this law will signal peace, and hopefully, the Bangsamoro can hitch on the coming Mindanao boom in investments."

Meanwhile, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to adapt new economic provisions in the constitution of the region once the vote has been passed.

"Your approval of this law will not only serve as an expression of your desire to end more than half a century of armed struggle in the region," Duterte said.

"It will also serve as a testament to your determination to bring genuine peace and development in Muslim Mindanao," the President added.

According to Anadolu news agency reports, around three million people are expected to vote on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) under high-security provisions in Cotabato City, the regional centre of Muslim Mindanao.

A second round of voting for the referendum is slated to take place on February 6. (ANI)

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