Zubiri hopes an approval of BBL Wednesday
With only one “contentious” and “sensitive” issue left, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri has high hopes that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) would be approved this Wednesday.
The congressional bicameral conference committee resumed its deliberations at the Senate, its sixth day of marathon hearings since July 9.
“Hopefully, today will be the last day,” Zubiri, head of the Senate contingent in the bicam, said in a press briefing before the resumption of its hearing.
“In principle, pumayag na kami na huwag nang balikan yung mga provisions na inaprub na namin para mapailis ang prosesong ito [We decided not to go back to the provisions that have already been approved so we can expedite the process],” he said.
Zubiri said he hopes that by 4 p.m., the panel would finally sign a reconciled version of the measure, which was renamed the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The panel, he said, has already completed almost 70 percent of the 18 Articles of the draft measure.
“We’re down to the last five Articles,” said the senator.
Zubiri said the only contentious and sensitive issue is Article XIII, which is the regional economy and patrimony.
“Dito na lang kami magkakaroon ng substantial discussions,” he said.
Aside from Article XIII, the remaining articles are about rehabilitation and development (Article XIV), the plebiscite (Article XV), the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (Article XVI), amendments and revisions (Article XVII) and the final provision (XVIII).
After completing all articles, Zubiri said the panel will return to the issue on the wordings of the “Preamble” particularly the proposed change of the phrase “We, the Bangsamoro,” to “We, the Filipino people.”
Once approved in the bicam, the measure will then be reverted back to the Senate and the House of Representatives for ratification before transmitting it to President Rodrigo Duterte for signature.
Both chambers expect to ratify the measure when the third and last regular session of Congress opens at 10am on Monday. /jpv
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