Duterte agrees to certify new BBL
President Rodrigo Duterte agreed to certify as urgent two proposed laws that could define his future relationship with Moro rebels and his readiness to honor a campaign promise to institute radical tax reforms.
The President gave the verbal commitments “in the course of the discussion” at a meeting on Wednesday of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) in Malacañang, according to Palace officials.
Ernesto Abella, presidential spokesperson, said Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza briefed Mr. Duterte during the Ledac meeting on the progress of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in Congress.
At the same meeting, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III gave the President updates on the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Act, which Mr. Duterte also agreed to certify as urgent.
BBL seeks to replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with a new self-governing region with bigger territory and
additional powers. BBL is called for by the March 27, 2014 peace pact between the then Aquino administration and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Train, on the other hand, would be the fulfillment of Mr. Duterte’s campaign promise to ease the tax burden on wage earners and shift it to luxury or nonessential consumption. Train was being touted as a source of additional revenue for the Duterte administration’s ambitious infrastructure program.
According to House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, the House leadership would file the BBL version drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, composed of MILF and government representatives.
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