House leaders ask Duterte to certify BBL as urgent

MANILAThe leadership of the House of Representatives said it will request President Rodrigo R. Duterte to certify as urgent the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) before Congress adjourns sine die (without any future date) on May 31.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Majority Leader Rodolfo FariAas made the statement after emerging from an all-member caucus to discuss issues on contentious provisions of the proposed BBL.

"Oo, kinakailangan (Yes it is necessary [to certify the bill as urgent])," Alvarez said as he vowed to meet the lower chamber's deadline to approve the bill before the congressional break.

FariAas, for his part, said the urgent certification would ensure the bill's swift passage.

"Kung May 30 (If the deadline is on May 30), the Speaker will request the President to certify it as urgent para ma-approve na namin yan(so that we could already approve it) on second and third reading," FariAas said.

Under the rules, the House can only vote a measure on third reading after copies of the bill that passed second reading are given to its members at least three days prior to voting.

But with the President's certification, the House can now vote on third reading immediately after the second reading.

Alvarez said he, along with other House leaders, would meet with the Bangsamoro Transition Commission on Tuesday to discuss the issues that were raised during the caucus.

"Kinakailangan kasama rin sila para hindi masyadong maging problema sa Senate (The BTC should be involved so that there won't be any problems at the Senate)," Alvarez said.

Both leaders, however, did not disclose the members' disagreements about the proposed law.

The House committee on Muslim affairs, voting 27-3; committee on local government, voting 32-3; and the special committee on peace, unity and reconciliation, voting 27-3, approved the committee report on House Bill 6475 or the BBL.

Authored by Alvarez, HB 6475 provides for the BBL and seeks the abolition of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The bill is based on the proposal submitted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to Duterte.

It aims to establish a political entity, provide for its basic structure of government in recognition of the justness and legitimacy of the cause of the Bangsamoro people and their aspiration to chart their political future through a democratic process. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency