BBL needs to be passed “not later than two years from now”:  Guiamel Alim, KFI Executive Director 

In a press conference last Friday, April 23, 2016 at Davao City, Guiamel Alim, Executive Director of Kadtuntaya Foundation and a member of the Council of Elders of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) said that ,”The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) needs to be passed “not later than two years from now” in accordance with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB),  to allow for the establishment of the new Bangsamoro political entity that can be the pilot project for the shift to a federal form of government”, said a report by MindaNews.

He said that the BBL has to be passed within this period as the CAB provides for a transition period of at least one year for the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) that would prepare for the establishment of the Bangsamoro, the new autonomous political entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), MindaNews quoted Alim saying.

In a symposium at Davao City on April 21dubbed “Titayan: Bridging for Peace” (Inclusive Political Transitions in the Bangsamoro) a reporter asked if convenors are planning to make a barangay as a pilot project for the implementation of the CAB?

Archbishop of Cotabato Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, and lead Convenor of Friends of Peace said there are candidates who are advocating federalism “but federalism is a long-term project “as it involves amending the 1987 Constitution.

 “What we would like is begin with a pilot project – not a barangay – but the Bangsamoro territory. If it succeeds, then perhaps all the others would say ‘ah dapat ganyan, more power more autonomy sa mga provinces… we hope that this will happen”,  Quevedo said. 

Alim said during the press conference that the shift to federalism may not come soon. “I don’t think that will happen very soon. It will take time before we can change the Constitution.”

But he said the idea of making the Bangsamoro region as an example is possible “because you know the system that is being adopted in the CAB is more of a federal type of government, than presidential.”

“If this works then we can improve on it, if this is the way we think can help the country. But for now, federalism is only in the mind. There are so many things to consider in adopting federalism,” he said: geographical cohesion and competence of local government units (LGUs).

“What are the geographical boundaries in creating these federal states? Two is the competence of LGUs without which we will be creating only a layer of bureaucracy like what is happening today,” Alim said.