Bangsamoro Basic Law measure faces delay in Philippine Senate

Bangsamoro Basic Law measure faces delay in Philippine Senate
Philippine Muslims holding placards with slogans supporting the peace accord between the government and the Moro Islamic liberation Front (MILF) shout slogans during a rally to press for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic law that will implement the peace treaty in front of the Philippine Senate.

The draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will begin moving in the Senate a week later than scheduled, but it remains among the priority measures to be tackled in the third regular session.

Senate President Franklin Drilon said the committee report on the draft bill would be filed on Aug. 10 and sponsored on the floor the following day. Interpellation in the plenary would be on Aug. 17.

But the senators did not set a definite date to conclude deliberations on the measure.

"We will not set any deadline on interpellation, so everybody will be given a chance to review the report that will be submitted," Drilon told reporters after a caucus with colleagues.

Initially, the report of the local government committee on the draft BBL was expected on Aug. 3.

But committee chair Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Monday he would need a few more days to complete the report because of the submission of new position papers on the proposed law.

Marcos is expected to submit a substitute version of the draft BBL, amending provisions in the Malacañang-backed version of the bill.

The senator said that among the amendments-aside from those that would affect the constitutionality of the measure-are those dealing with economic provisions.

The draft BBL would create a new Bangsamoro region with its own powers and local government to reflect the Moro aspiration for self-determination.

But the bill had been criticised for containing provisions that are supposedly unconstitutional and would lead to the dismemberment of the country.

Meanwhile, the senators agreed during the caucus yesterday to suggest a pet bill that each of them would want to pass, on top of the priority bills.

The bills given priority yesterday included the 2016 budget bill, the public-private partnership bill, amendments to the build-operate-transfer law, the amendments to the right of way law, the customs and tariff modernization bill, the measure to create the Department of Information and Communication Technology, the national ID system bill, the Pagasa modernization bill, the prepaid SIM card registration act, the Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act, and the bill amending the charter of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.

None of the senators mentioned the antidynasty bill, which President Aquino mentioned in his final State of the Nation Address.


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