The ancient name of Basilan Island was Tagime, named after a Datu who once ruled a big part of the island before the Spaniards came to Basilan. In the long past, Basilan had other names. It used to be named Uleyan, derived from a mountain located at the heart of the island. Later, it was changed to Matangal, also named after Mt. Matangal in Tuburan. Other names given were Puh Gulangan (island of forest); Umus Tambun (fertile land); Kumalarang, named after a river; Baunuh Peggesan; and later it was changed to Basih Balan.
The name Basih Balan was derived after a heavy fight between the natives led by Sultan Kudarat, a great Muslim leader and his brave Muslim warriors, Apuh Menggah, Apuh Dagang, and Apuh Batilan against the Spanish invaders from nearby Zamboanga. After a fierce resistance, the natives successfully repulsed the invaders. The victory played a major role in changing the name of the island into “Basih Balan”, derived from their legendary weapon called “pira” which was made of basih, meaning iron and balan, meaning magnetic. By combining the two words, it became Basih Balan. But when the early historians wrote the name of the province, it was shortened to Basilan. The name Basilan remained unchanged up to the present.
The political boundaries of the province define the primary level of geographical analysis. Other provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the country are also included to provide benchmarks in analyses.
Cities and municipalities inputs and data will be the focus of analysis although barangay-level data may be used, whatever applicable.
Isabela City is a special case. By virtue of R.A. 9054, the Expanded ARMM Law, Basilan became part of the ARMM except Isabela City which remained with the Zamboanga Peninsula region. But in the planning dimension, Isabela’s location and structure as center of governance, industry, commerce, and services make its demographics, resources, and performance indispensable inputs.
THE FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT ON THE BANGSAMORO (FAB)
The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro is an agreement between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that aims to end the armed conflict between government forces and the MILF. The FAB lays down the principles for the establishment of an autonomous political entity for the Bangsamoro, as a way of recognizing their distinct history and their aspirations as a distinct people.
The parties agreed that the status quo is not acceptable. One of the more important steps in changing the present situation is the establishment of the “Bangsamoro”— the new autonomous political entity in Mindanao. The Bangsamoro will have the necessary powers to run its own government, including the powers necessary for taxation, availment of funds and the creation of wealth, and sharing of revenues from the utilization, development and exploitation of natural resources within its territory.
In recognition of the distinct history, culture, and aspirations of the Bangsamoro, the Bangsamoro Government shall enjoy stronger autonomy compared to the local government units of the Philippines. The Bangsamoro shall also have a different form of government, while the rest of the Philippines has a “presidential” form. In the parliamentary form of government, there will be a closer relationship between the legislative and the executive branches of government. In addition, the Bangsamoro Government shall have competence over the Shari’a justice system, and indigenous systems of conflict resolution.
The ARMM shall remain as an autonomous political entity unless and until it replaced by the Bangsamoro political entity through the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Once the BBL will be ratified, the ARMM shall be abolished and in its place shall be established the Bangsamoro. (Source: OPAPP)
As of to date, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is in high expectations for the immediate approval of the Bangsamoro Basic Law by the Congress on or before 2015. In this case, this document sooner or later be reviewed and discussed in order to commensurate with the direction and priorities of the new Bangsamoro Government.