Bangsamoro barangays in Cotabato

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Cotabato, a province which is part of the Soccsksargen region of the Philippines has 63 barangays which are administratively part of another region, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) or simply known as Bangsamoro. These barangays were partitioned from Soccsksargen following a two-part plebiscite held in January and February 2019 which formed Bangsamoro after residents of said barangays consented their localities inclusion in the new autonomous region. The municipalities these barangays are a part of, as well as the barangays themselves remains a part of Cotabato but could be reorganized by the new Bangsamoro regional government to form at least a new municipality or merged with adjacent localities in neighboring Maguindanao.

The barangays while by law is part of Bangsamoro are not yet under the effective jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro regional government pending a local government code for the autonomous region.

Some of these barangays are exclaves entirely surrounded by localities not part of Bangsamoro.


The Philippine government organized a two-part plebiscite which concerns the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the founding basis of the then to be established Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) which was intended to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the expansion of scope of the then-proposed Bangsamoro autonomous region to potentially include municipalities in Lanao del Sur, Isabela City in Basilan, Cotabato City, and select barangays in Cotabato province. For the prospective barangays in Cotabato to join, voters in all of the parent municipality also had to consent their bid to join BARMM.

Out of 67 barangays of Cotabato that were included in the plebiscite, 63 had successful bids for their inclusion in the Bangsamoro autonomous region.[1] The four that rejected the measure are Galidan in Tulunan, Balatican in Pikit, and Pagangan and Lower Mingading in Aleosan; these four were excluded from BARMM and remained part of Soccsksargen. Meanwhile, each municipality consented to its barangays in joining the BARMM. In Pikit, the most popular municipality in Cotabato, all but one barangay that voted in the plebiscite to join declined. This led to 20 barangays staying out of the BARMM, out of 42. Pikit's town hall, which is located in Fort Pikit, one of the barangays that voted for inclusion, is being petitioned to be annexed by Poblacion, one of the towns that didn't petition to be included.[2]

The barangays in Aleosan and Tolonan voted in favor of their inclusion but majority of voters in the rest of their parent municipalities voted against the barangays' inclusion. Barangay Baltican in Pikit rejected their inclusion while the rest of Pikit consented the barangay's inclusion and would have been part of the new autonomous region if Baltican voters also voted for their inclusion.[3]

Upon the effective foundation of the new Bangsamoro autonomous region, the barangays remained part of their parent municipalities. Their residents voted for municipal officials of their parent municipalities and Cotabato provincial officials in the 2019 Philippine general election.[4] The barangays could be reorganized into one or more municipalities or merged with any of the neighboring neighboring municipalities of Maguindanao.[5]

The full transfer of jurisdiction of the Cotabato barangays to the Bangsamoro autonomous government were ordered by Secretary of Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año following a meeting with Bangsamoro Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim on July 8, 2019.[6]

These barangays are still not under the effective control of Bangsamoro as of July 2019 since they were not yet officially turned over to Bangsamoro regional government which is set to occur once a local government code is passed by the Bangsamoro Parliament.[7]



  1. ^ a b Santos, Tina (15 February 2019). "63 Cotabato barangays now part of BARMM". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  2. ^ Arguillas, Carolyn O. "Pikit's fate: 20 barangays remain with Cotabato, 22 joining BARMM". MindaNews. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  3. ^ Depasupil, William (15 February 2019). "63 NCotabato villages to join Bangsamoro". Manila Times. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  4. ^ Arguilas, Carolyn (February 8, 2019). "Pikit's fate: 20 barangays remain with North Cotabato, 22 joining BARMM". Minda News. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  5. ^ Layug, Margaret Claire (8 February 2019). "What happens to Cotabato barangays not part of new Bangsamoro region?". GMA News (in English and Filipino). Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  6. ^ Fernandez, Edwin (9 July 2019). "Cotabato City, 63 villages placed under BARMM". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  7. ^ Fernandez, Edwin (21 July 2019). "NoCot guv, BARMM chief meet on fate of 63 villages". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved 22 July 2019.