Lawmaker doubts BBL passage this year, says still in period of debates

By , on September 25, 2015


The Plenary Hall, House of Representatives Complex, Constitution Hills, Quezon City (Photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau/Robert Viñas)
The Plenary Hall, House of Representatives Complex, Constitution Hills, Quezon City
(Photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau/Robert Viñas)

MANILA – Zamboanga City Representative Celso Lobregat said Friday that the ‘moving timeline’ for the deliberations of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) would derail its passage in the House of Representatives.

“The first deadline was in June, before the adjournment of the second regular session. The second is before we go on our first recess on October 10, but that is no longer possible because we will tackle the 2016 budget starting on Monday. So December 16 before the Christmas break is the new deadline,” Lobregat said in a Philippine Star report.

Noting that they were still in the period of debates, the lawmaker doubted the draft BBL’s passage this year.

“There is still a lengthy process before we could finally vote on this controversial measure. We are still in the period of debates,” he said.

“After that, we go to the period of amendments. We will tackle all provisions one after the other. The amendments will be subject to debate… Then there is the turno en contra before we vote on second reading. After that comes the third and final reading vote,” he added.

Should the Congress fail to approve the BBL this year, Lobregat disclosed that the next Congress would continue its deliberations and passage.

Still hopeful  

The Malacañang, for its part, remained hopeful that the proposed BBL will be approved in its December 16 deadline and believed that it was indeed possible.

“Kung ito ay maisasabatas kahit na sabihin nating Disyembre na nga, ay meron pa rin namang sapat na panahon para makapag-appoint ang Pangulo ng mga kasapi ng Bangsamoro [Transition] Authority at mayroon pa ring sapat na panahon para magdaos ng isang plebisito,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a press briefing.

(If this will be made into law even by December, there is still enough time for the President to appoint members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority and there is still enough time to hold a plebiscite.)