House panel eyes BBL approval by June
The House of Representatives’ committee on local government has targeted the approval of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by June next year, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s pleas for its immediate passage.
South Cotabato Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr., the chair of one of the three committees tackling the measure, said on Tuesday that it would not be feasible to pass it by the end of the year.
“On the part of the … House of Representatives, we will try to pass this before we adjourn [in] June,” Acharon told reporters on the sidelines of the first hearing held on the draft BBL. “This year? It can’t be. We only have three meetings left this December before we have a break.”
During Tuesday’s hearing, Acharon proposed a Jan. 15, 2018, target for the subcommittee led by Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Wilter Palma II to present a working draft harmonizing the four versions of BBL.
He suggested that the committees on local government, Muslim affairs, and peace, reconciliation and unity hold their joint hearings from Jan. 22 to Feb. 16, with Fridays and Saturdays devoted to public hearings throughout Mindanao.
Approval of the bill at the committee level is targeted to take place between Feb. 19 and March 9, while plenary deliberations could take place afterwards.
Some lawmakers questioned the feasibility of the timetable, especially as the bill contained contentious provisions.
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