BOL may be useless if federalism is pushed, says Villarin
While the Bangsamoro Organic Law, approved at the bicameral level Wednesday night, is “a good start” for the Bangsamoro region, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin has warned that the legislation could be a “stillborn baby” due to the federalism push of the Duterte administration.
The 28-member bicameral conference committee approved on Wednesday night the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), formerly the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
“The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is a good start as a law that would probably provide a transition to an autonomous Bangsamoro region, which in a way would be higher in terms of power and jurisdiction than the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM),” Villarin said Thursday at the weekly Serye forum in Quezon City.
“Ang medyo nakakakaba, baka maging stillborn baby itong BBL because of the federalism push of the administration,” he added. “Mababale-wala itong BBL.”
The opposition lawmaker explained that the proposed federal charter would abolish the current 1987 Constitution, under which the BOL was anchored.
Asked if the BOL cannot exist under a new federal charter, Villarin said the BOL was constructed in the framework of 1987 Constitution.
“The BBL was drafted and passed within the framework of the 1987 Constitution. Under a federal charter, in which there will be 18 region or federal states, magkaiba ho ‘yung magiging framework,” the lawmaker said.
He explained that the framework under the proposed federal charter, as well as the power and budget given to the proposed 18 federated regions, would be different.
“Because here in the BBL, supposedly there is a 75-25 wealth sharing and there’s also a block grant to be given, while dito sa federalism, they will be left on their own and if you look at the existing regional gross domestic product of ARMM, talagang kulang na kulang po no,” he continued.
“Kung biglang mawala itong national transfers given to ARMM I think what will happen to the Bangsamoro under a federal state would be utter chaos… Biglang ibalewala mo ‘yun lahat,” Villarin said.
He added: “Hindi lang ito parang biglang bigay-bawi, iniwanan ka pa sa kangkungan.” /je
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