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PIA Press Release
2008/11/06

Office of Muslim Affairs placed under Office of the President

Manila (6 November) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has placed the Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA) back under the Office of the President.

This was announced yesterday by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita at his weekly media briefing in Malacanang.

Ermita said the President signed last on Friday (Oct. 31) Executive Order (EO) No. 763 "Placing the Office of the Muslim Affairs (OMA) Under the Oversight of the Office of the President."

The new EO repealed EO 697 issued last Jan. 18, 2008 which placed OMA under the control of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

The OMA was first placed under the oversight of the OPAPP through EO No. 496 issued in Jan. 2006.

However, the OMA was placed back directly under the Office of the President through EO 517, which amended EO 496; and back again under the supervision of the OPAPP by virtue of EO 697 issued last January.

Last month, the House of Representatives approved House Resolution No. 544, principally authored by Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Simeon A. Datumanong, urging the President to repeal EO 697.

OPAPP's function is largely dependent on the outcome of the peace process while OMA's all-encompassing mandate transcends and may even outlive OPAPP in the long run, Datumanong said.

He added that OMA's charter (E.O. 122-A) has the nature of a law having been issued by then President Corazon Aquino in the exercise of both her legislative and executive powers under the "Freedom Constitution."

The OPAPP, on the other hand, is purely an issuance of the Office of the President under E.O. No. 125.

Aside from its mandate to uplift and improve the conditions of the Muslim Filipinos, the OMA also acts as the bridge of the government in ensuring the participation of Filipino Muslims in nation building as well as preserving and developing the culture, traditions, institutions and well-being of Muslim Filipinos. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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