Cotabato City (November 11, 2015) – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman has approved on Wednesday a legislation that establishes a regional religious authority in the ARMM to help address contemporary issues and challenges faced by Filipino Muslims.
Hataman signed into law Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act (MMA) No. 323 or An Act Creating the Regional Darul Ifta’of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The law institutionalizes the Darul Ifta or the Islamic advisory council in the region.
ARMM’s Regional Legislative Assembly House Speaker Datu Roonie Sinsuat, members of the region’s legislative assembly and some religious leaders (muftun) from different provinces of the region attended the signing.
The RDI shall be primarily responsible for the promulgation and issuance of legal opinions (fatwa) pertaining to Muslim personal laws and jurisprudence pursuant to Article VIII, Section 20 of Republic Act 9054 or the act strengthening and expanding the organic act for the ARMM.
They will also advise and serve as consultant to the regional government of the ARMM and the RLA on matters pertaining to Islamic laws, jurisprudence and ecclesiastical matters and serve as the “religious guide” of ARMM leaders, bureaucrats and professionals, including those in the local government units.
Governor Hataman said they have earmarked P5-million for the initial operation of the RDI from the unexpended fund of the Office of the Regional Treasury (ORT) and its succeeding annual budget will be provided for in the Local Appropriations Act.
He reiterated that the creation of the RDI will help unite all the Bangsamoro in the region and will boost good governance in the region.
For his part, Speaker Sinsuat said: “This office will recognize rights and well-being of the Bangsamoro due regard to their beliefs, customs, traditions and institutions, and further ensures their contribution to the regional government’s goals and aspirations.”
The MMA 323 also calls for the establishment of RDI provincial offices in each of the five component provinces of the ARMM. The provincial office shall be headed by a Provincial Mufti who shall be selected from among the resident Ulama in the particular province.
Dr. Abulhakir Tarasol, regional grand mufti, said they will work, collaborate and cooperate with the international, national, regional and local bodies on matters of mutual interest and benefit, such as halal businesses, marriages, hajj (pilgrimage), professional engagement, intellectual exchange and academic discourses.
In September 2013, Governor Hataman institutionalized the juris consult in the region through Executive Order No. 009 series of 2014 to help oversee the conduct of religious activities in the region and the propagation of the Islamic faith.
Source: (Bureau of Public Information)