POWERS & FUNCTIONS

(a) Provide advice and assistance to the President in the formulation, coordination, implementation and monitoring of policies, plans, programs and projects affecting Muslim Filipino communities; when so authorized, represent the President on matters concerning Muslim Filipino communities; serve as a link between the President and public or private agencies, internal or external, that are involved in such programs and projects; and recommend such affirmative actions as may be necessary for their efficient and effective implementation;

(b) Undertake and coordinate development programs and projects for the advancement of Muslim Filipino communities, including designing, implementing and maintaining settlements for Muslim Filipino communities: Provided, That the Commission shall not take jurisdiction or ownership over lands, and bodies of water traditionally and actually occupied by indigenous peoples and within the identified ancestral domains of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples: Provided, further, That lands may be identified by the Commission for the purpose of settling the homeless and displaced Muslim families to improve the conditions of the members of the Muslim communities;

(c) Act as the primary government agency through which Muslim Filipinos can seek government assistance and redress; serve as the medium through which such assistance may be extended to Muslim Filipinos; for this purpose, the Commission is hereby authorized, subject to existing auditing rules and regulations, to give grants-in-aid out of its appropriations or other appropriate funds to cooperating government agencies for such programs or projects for the development of Muslim Filipino communities; provide services including legal assistance, medical aid, relief, rehabilitation and other forms of assistance for socioeconomic upliftment of Muslim Filipino communities;

(d) Participate in the peace process involving conflicts between Filipino Muslim groups and/or individuals and the government in cooperation with appropriate agencies, individuals and institutions. Pursuant hereto, the Commission’s Secretary or his/her duly designated representative shall sit aa a regular member of the government’s peace panel negotiating peace with the Muslim Filipino groups or individuals;

(e) Enter, subject to existing laws, policies and guidelines, into contracts, agreements or arrangements with government or private agencies/entities as may be necessary to attain the objectives of the Commission;

(f) In accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations and subject to guidelines provided by the Office of the President, promote and enhance the development of domestic trade and commerce among the members of the Muslim Filipino communities; promote or facilitate the establishment by members of the Muslim Filipino communities joint venture and investments in cooperation or coordination with existing public enterprises, corporations or private entities; initiate and/ or organize, in accordance with pertinent laws, rules and regulations, enterprises based on the principles of Islamic business and finance for the benefit and welfare of the Muslim Filipino communities;

(g) Recommend to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) the proposed expenditure for the development of all Muslim Filipino communities;

(h) Promote and develop the Philippine Halal Industry and accredit halal-certifying entities/bodies for the utmost benefit of Muslim Filipinos and in partnership or cooperation with appropriate agencies, individuals and institutions here and abroad;