MANILA—President Benigno Aquino III on Friday stressed the need to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that would ‘certainly’ push Mindanao, and the Philippines, further into the global spotlight.
The President made this statement as he inaugurated the Aboitiz’s Power Plant, a 300 megawatt baseload power in Davao province.
President Aquino said the BBL, a codification of the peace agreement signed between the government the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), will provide a framework “that can truly make good, inclusive governance the norm rather than the exception.”
”This is why we need to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law in the soonest possible time,” the President said in his speech.
The BBL is one of Malacanang’s priority measures that both the Senate and the House of Representatives are eyeing to pass in the remaining session days of the 16th Congress.
In the Senate, Senate President Franklin Drilon said the Senate will work harder in order to finish important bills, including BBL, even though most of the Senators will be busy campaigning for the upcoming national elections.
The BBL’s substitute bill, Basic Law on Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR) is being sponsored by Senate committee on local government chairman Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos who is running for vice president.
The House of Representatives is also facing a hard time to muster quorum since majority of its members are either seeking reelection or running for other positions in the May 9 elections.
President Aquino said he will meet next week with the House leaders to push for the passage of the BBL.
”Congressman Rufus Rodriguez tells me that they are reading to wrap up “turno en contra” and after that they will vote already. So the possibility that the BBL will be passed is still good,” the President said in an interview with the media.
He said even before they drafted the BBL, the government has already started showing the benefits particularly the Sajahatra program that provide skill trainings for the former MILF combatants “to become fruitful economic players.”
Both the houses of Congress will resume session on January 18 and will adjourn on February 5 to give way to the campaign period. (PNA)