A former high ranking leader of the Moro National Liberation Front has proposed that the Bangsamoro share in the revenues generated from natural resources be earmarked to basic social services for the Bangsamoro people.
Abul Khayr Alonto, also a former ambassador, suggested this to Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, during the panel’s public hearing on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) held recently in Marawi City.
“The revenues that will be generated from the exploration of oil, natural gas or uranium as well as the strategic minerals that include the precious metals must be programmed solely by the (Bangsamoro) parliament, to be implemented by the Bangsamoro government in Muslim Mindanao, to promote free education for the Bangsamoro people,” Alonto said
Alonto said the same share should also be used for free medical care and affordable housing for the Bangsamoro.
“This (proposal) is new. This is good,” Sen. Bongbong said.
Sen. Bongbong said that the proposal will be studied thoroughly and will form part of the bases for the final fine-tuning of the bill after all the public hearings have already been conducted by the committee.
The hearing in Marawi was the second to be conducted in Mindanao on Senate Bill No. 2408, to be known as the “Bangsamoro Basic Law.” The first was in Cotabato City last October 8.
The bill was authored by Senate President Franklin Drilon and Sens. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Allan Peter Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Ralph Rector, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Maria Loudes Nancy Binay, Francis Joseph “Chiz” Escudero, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Pia Cayetano, Gregorio Honasan, and Teofisto “TG” Guingona III.
If enacted, a Bangsamoro political entity will be established to replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Article 12 of the SNB 2498 refers to the sharing in exploration, development and utilization of natural resources.
Section 32 of the article provides that the central government income from taxes derived from the exploration, development and utilization of all natural resources within the Bangsamoro shall be allocated as follows:
• For non-metallic minerals (sand, gravel, and quarry resources), such revenues shall pertain fully to the Bangsamoro and its local government units;
• For metallic minerals, seventy-five percent (75%) shall pertain to the Bangsamoro;
• For fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, and coal) and uranium, the same shall be shared equally between the Central and Bangsamoro governments.
It further provides that such sharing scheme shall be applicable to the natural resources found in the land mass that comprise the Bangsamoro territory as well as the waters that are within the territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro.