Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and COVID-19: Crisis Response, Relief, and Recovery

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The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) was established on 25 January 2019; after decades of peace negotiations. On 29 March 2019; the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) held its inaugural session; marking the official start of building a new parliamentary government in BARMM. The BTA has less than two years to complete the transition phase required to prepare the Bangsamoro Government for the 2022 regular parliamentary elections. In the middle of this critical transition; the COVID-19 pandemic confronted the BTA; and forced an abrupt shift of priorities to deal with the serious; more urgent public health threat. The necessary shift in governance priorities has disrupted people's lives as well as the transitional priorities that the BTA needs to address during their two-year term. In this chapter; we highlight various response; relief; and recovery programs initiated by the BTA to contain COVID-19. We conclude with some recommendations on promoting agile and effective governance to address both the pandemic challenge and the delays in the transition process.