Boundary Demarcation: Mindanao Final Agreement

Article 2:

b. The new area of autonomy shall then be determined by the provinces and cities that will vote/choose to join the said autonomy (1998). It may be provided by the Congress in a law that clusters of contiguous Muslim-dominated municipalities voting in favor of autonomy be merged and constituted into a new province(s) which shall become part of the new Autonomous Region.

Implementation History

1996

No Implementation

In 1996, the peace agreement was brokered between the MNLF and the Philippine government. Under the peace agreement, there would be a transition phase (Phase I), lasting a couple of years, that would be characterized by intense development and aid projects, followed by another referendum for creating a larger expanded autonomous region. The peace agreement designated the current 4 provinces of the ARMM and 10 other provinces and nine cities to comprise a Special Zone of Peace and Development (SZOPAD). After previous democratic rejections, the MNLF hoped that the two phase agreement would pave the way for an expanded ARMM, as provinces would vote for inclusion after seeing the benefits of autonomous rule.1 

  • 1. Astrid S. Tuminez, "This land is our land: Moro ancestral domain and its implications for peace and development in the Southern Philippines," SAIS Review 27, no. 2 (2007): 77-91.
1997

No Implementation

There were no changes made to the provincial boundaries of the ARMM this year. 

1998

No Implementation

There were no changes made to the provincial boundaries of the ARMM this year.

1999

No Implementation

There were no changes made to the provincial boundaries of the ARMM this year.

2000

No Implementation

There were no changes made to the provincial boundaries of the ARMM this year.

2001

Full Implementation

As called for in the 1996 accord, the Filipino legislature passed the Republic Act 9054 or Expanded ARMM Law in 2001 and the plebiscite which was to determine which provinces would join the new ARMM was scheduled for August 2001. Of the 14 provinces and 9 cities in the SZOPAD that voted in the referendum, only one additional province (Basilan) and one city (Marawi) voted for inclusion in the new expanded ARMM. Thus, the new ARMM consisted of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Tawi-tawi, Sulu, Basilan and Marawi.2

2002

Full Implementation

No further boundary changes took place.

2003

Full Implementation

No further boundary changes took place.

2004

Full Implementation

No further boundary changes took place.

2005

Full Implementation

No further boundary changes took place.