Manila Bulletin – Substitute BBL bill has stringent funding safeguards – Bongbong

By Mario Casayuran | Manila Bulletin

ManilaBulletinOnlineThe substitute bill of the controversial proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) contains strict safeguards against reckless appropriation and use of government funds.

Sen. Ferdinand ‘‘Bongbong’’ R. Marcos Jr., principal author of the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region’’ (BLBAR) or Senate Bill (SB) No. 2894, the substitute of BBL, stressed this to make it clear that the Commission on Audit (COA), a constitutional body, should audit the funds.

In a related development, Marcos, chairman of the Senate local government committee, estimated that the Upper House might be able to wrap up its discussions on the BLBAR in six weeks.

He, however, stressed that this is not a deadline he imposed on himself or on the Senate ‘’but an estimate based on the pace of the on going interpellation and the expected length of the amendment period, which is the next step in the process.’’

On the need for COA to audit the Bangsamoro funds, Marcos emphasized that the appropriations and use of funds that would be made by the Bangsamoro parliament shall be audited by the COA …(and) based on the generally accepted practices of government accounting.

Article 5 of SB 2894, or the “Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region,” according to Marcos, states that COA shall establish an auditing unit in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region which shall examine, audit and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of, and expenditures or uses of funds and property, owned or held in trust by, or pertaining to the Bangsamoro Regional Government.

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