Sen. Bongbong to check plans to ensure ARMM workers welfare, other sectors affected by BBL

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Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos wants scrutinize plans to guarantee the welfare of over 36,000 public servants in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, as well as other key sectors like women, youth and business, that could be adversely affected with the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic law.

Marcos, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, has called for a hearingTuesday (June 2) for this purpose, among others, to address the concerns of all the major stakeholders before the panel can buckle down to write its committee report on BBL.

He noted that in October last year, during a hearing in Cotabato City, the OPAPP said that while a transition team was organized to craft a plan for ARMM employees that would either be separated for service or opt for early retirement with BBL’s passage, details still have to be hammered out.

“I’d like to know if indeed such a plan has been completed, as OPAPP has promised, and what specific measures were put up to ensure the welfare of ARMM public servants who might be displaced as a result of the establishment of a new autonomous government under the BBL,” Marcos said.

The senator earlier said a better approach could be to strengthen the language of BBL to make the guarantee for the welfare of ARMM employees more specific.

Apart from the Civil Service Commission, other agencies invited to shed light on this issue on Tuesday’s hearing include the Departments of Interior and Local Government, Education, Labor and Employment, Finance, Trade and Industry, as well as the Health department.

To discuss the ramifications of BBL on banking, business, and finance, the Senate panel also asked the participation of the National Economic Development Authority, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Bureau of Customs in the hearing.

Marcos earlier said he has yet to see any serious study done on how the wide-ranging powers on finance, banking, and taxation and control over natural resources of the Bangsamoro government, as contemplated under BBL, will impact on the business and economy of the entire Mindanao.

To represent the business sector, Marcos has invited to the hearing the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Federation of Philippine Industries, Incorporated.

Likewise invited to the hearing are representatives from the women sector, including the Philippine Commission on Women, the Women and Gender Institute, and the Women Engaged in Action on 1325. The youth sector will be represented in the hearing by theBangsamoro National Movement for Peace and Development.

Marcos said he is conducting the hearing as part of his promise to consult all major stakeholders who were not given a chance to voice their concern on the proposed BBL.

The senator earlier said he is actually doing the work that OPAPP should have been done prior to the drafting of the BBL. Had this been done, Marcos said it would have been much easier for Congress to pass the proposed law.

Marcos will conduct another hearing on June 3 to get the inputs of local executives in core areas of the proposed Bangsamoro territory and other adjacent local government units, who were likewise not properly consulted in the process leading to the drafting of the BBL.

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