The Philipine Star – Bongbong: Senate body ready to tackle proposed Bangsamoro law

By Christina Mendez | The Phillipine Star

Featured-Image-Philippine-StarMANILA, Philippines – Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday said that the Senate committee on local government is ready to start the public hearings on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Marcos, chairman of the committee, said he has talked to Senate President Franklin Drilon about the BBL and added that they have taken cognizance of the need to pass the proposed law to attain peace in Mindanao.

However, Marcos said he wanted to iron out kinks in the proposal including the issues on power sharing and power sharing arrangements between the national government and the proposed Bangsamoro government.

“The contentious issue of national wealth and power sharing have not been resolved,” Marcos said.

Marcos also expressed doubt whether the Senate and the House of Representatives can wrap up the discussions on the measure by yearend.

There is a provision in the proposed Bangsamoro Law which supposedly will provide details on how to operationalize the exercise of joint cooperation between the central government and the Bangsamoro Government within the Zones of Joint Cooperation. All local governments along Sulu and the Moro Gulf are supposedly to be represented in the joint body that will be created for that purpose.

In a statement released last week, Drilon said he hopes that Congress will be able to pass the measure by first quarter next year.

Sought for comment, Sen. Francis Escudero remains optimistic that the Senate and the House of Representatives will be able to deal with the measure even as both chambers start simultaneous discussions of the 2015 national budget.

“The Senate is not a ‘one bill’ chamber. We can multi-task,” Escudero said.

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