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HOUSE PANEL OKS EASIER ACCESS TO SHARI’A COURTS

The House Committee on Muslim Affairs chaired by Lanao del Norte Representative Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo approved the amended version of HB 5045 which would amend Republic Act 9997, or the “National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Act of 2009” to provide Muslim Filipinos outside of Mindanao better access to Shari’a courts.

Dimaporo, author of the bill, said the measure is intended to give the NCMF the mandate to help Muslim Filipinos outside of Mindanao in getting access to Shari’a courts.

Court Administrator Raul Villanueva submitted for the consideration of the committee, an additional paragraph on the provision on digital transformation for Shari’a Court services.

The paragraph states that any information or data obtained by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and NCMF through a digital platform which allows paperless documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates and the like, should be treated with confidentiality and observe the right to privacy of concerned parties.

Meanwhile, the panel also approved the substitute bill that would establish Muslim cemeteries in cities and municipalities with a significant number of Muslim population.

The bill substituted House Bill 2587 filed by Lanao del Sur Representatives Zia Alonto Adiong and Yasser Alonto Balindong and HB 3755 by Deputy Minority Leader Mujiv Hataman.

The bill substituted House Bill 2587 filed by Lanao del Sur Representatives Zia Alonto Adiong and Yasser Alonto Balindong and HB 3755 by Deputy Minority Leader Mujiv Hataman.

Dimaporo said the two bills have been extensively heard and tackled in the previous meetings and they have agreed to adopt the substitute bill to consolidate the two different versions.

“The draft substitute bill is more or less a merger or compromise among the two. Some amendments were made or provisions were inserted by me, the chair, to make the substitute bill a little bit less hostile should it course through the different committees here in Congress,” the veteran legislator told the panel.

“The authors of the bills expressed no objection to the substitute bill.”

The seasoned lawmaker said the authors of the bills expressed no objection to the substitute bill.

The panel also approved HB 5594 which would facilitate the immediate burial of Muslim cadavers in accordance with Islamic rites.

The bill is authored by Sultan Kudarat Representative Princess Rihan Sakaluran.

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