By Bernadette E. Tamayo | Journal Online
Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, tasked to handle the discussion on the BLBAR has raised the need to approve the measure creating a Bangsamoro government in Mindanao before the filing of certificates of candidacy for next year’s national elections.
Asked whether he is “positive” that the Senate will be able to pass the BLBAR in October, Marcos said: “Palagay ko. I think we will be able to finish our version before we adjourn. Dahil we are in September, actually iilan na lang ang session days, but palagay ko nga pagka nagkaroon ng special session or ii-extend, ay magiging mas mabilis.”
“Alam naman natin na kapag pumasok na tayo sa budget, kapag pumasok na tayo sa filing of CoCs baka mahirapan na tayong magkaroon ng qourum sa House of Represenatatives, actually pati na rin sa Senado. So naiintindihan ko na kailangang tapusin before we adjourn in October,” said Marcos in a briefing.
“I keep reminding people that although prominent is the Basic Law on Bangsamoro ay very important din yung mga ibang panukalang batas na aming pinag-aaralan. So kami mismo, kaming mga legislator, ay gusto naming sana matapos lalo na meron din kaming sari-sariling priority bills—para sa akin tungkol sa local government, at nasapawan na nga ng tungkol sa Basic Law on Bangsamoro Autonomous Region,” he said.
Pressed whether he sees a need for the Senate to extend session days to expedite the passage of the BLBAR, Marcos said: “Wala pa kaming napag-usapan na ganyan. I don’t know kung kailangan ito sa Senado. Hindi ko alam kung ano ang napagkasunduan ni Senate President (Franklin Drilon) at saka ni (House) Speaker (Feliciano Belmonte). I have always said that having sessions starting in the morning ay maaari talagang maging posibilidad para sa both Houses.”
Marcos is busy attending student forums on BLBAR during the past weeks to educate the youth about the proposed measure. “It is very important that all our citizens talk about this because this is in fact a national issue. And who best to talk to and to spread the word about what is going on in Muslim Mindanao than young people?”
“That is why I have been around to schools to try and get the discussions started —para masimulan ang pag-uusap at pagdiskusyon ng ating mga kabataan tungkol dito sa subject na ito,” he said.
“And I think this is an important process not only for the young people but also for us so that we can hear from them kung ano ba ang kanilang nagiging opinyon tungkol dito sa aming ginagawa,” said Marcos.