Not enough time to pass — Celso PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 14:00

District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat said there is no sufficient time for Congress to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Besides, Lobregat said, the first election in the planned new autonomous Bangsamoro region in Muslim Mindanao, can only be held in 2019 or later.

“That is, if the present Congress or the next Congress passes the proposed BBL  that would create such region”, Lobregat told  the media in Usaping Balita Forum at the Serye Restaurant in Quezon City on Thursday.

He said there is “moving timeline” set for the approval of the draft BBL in the House. “The first deadline was in June, before the adjournment of the second regular session. The second is before we go on our first recess on Oct. 10, but that is no longer possible because we will tackle the 2016 budget starting on Monday. So Dec. 16 before the Christmas break is the new deadline,” he said. He expressed doubt if the new timeline can be met. “There is still a lengthy process before we could finally vote on this controversial measure. We are still in the period of debates,”

Lobregat added, “After that, we go to the period of amendments. We will tackle all provisions one after the other. The amendments will be subject to debate and there is the turno en contra before we vote on second and third reading.”

Lobregat said that he has numerous changes to propose to the BBL bill. Lobregat also said there is a problem of lack of quorum which could derail the Dec. 16 timeline. “We’ve had only five or six days of BBL debates since we convened last July 27. Those of us who were interested in participating in the discussions were always there. Unfortunately for us, there was no quorum on most days,” he said.

He said if the proposed BBL were not approved before the Christmas break, most likely it would be the next Congress that would have the burden of passing it. — Jubels Santos