(On BBL Bicam)Contiguity, ARMM properties still pending Print
Thursday, 12 July 2018 16:32

By Bhong Simbajon

The Special Committee of Congress created to tackle the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) has already started deliberations and has agreed on some of the contested provisions.

The committee has prioritized provisions where no discussions are foreseen between the Senate and House of Representatives and set aside those where heavy deliberations are expected.

“There have been issues and provisions that have been assigned to sub- committees and after discussions we will report back to the Bicam on the phase by phase provisions in order to harmonize part by part on the agreed version,” said Zamboanga First District Congressman Celso Lobregat.

The committee has reportedly agreed on only one plebiscite.

The provision which allows barangays being able to petition to join was assigned to the sub-committee on territory because of differences of opinion between the two congressional houses.

The issue on properties outside the ARMM have not yet been discussed, according to Lobregat.

Provisions pertaining to self-determination and the territory being integral and inseparable have been removed to make sure that the Bangsamoro remains part of the country.

The sub-committees will be taking up issues on contiguity of territory and the Cabatangan properties in the last provision of the proposed law.

Congressman Lobregat said that all the Bicam members want the bill to be passed but they also want to make sure that all provisions will be constitutional.

“There are still issues which have to be settled, we will sit down in the sub-committee and report back to main committee in the Bicam what both panels from the House and Senate has agreed upon, as much as possible, we would like to make it as constitutionally compliant,” Lobregat said.  (Bhong Simbajon/RMN News)