Speaker Alvarez optimistic House can pass new draft BBL by year end

In a radio interview with radio station DzMM yesterday, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he is optimistic the House can pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and the 2018 budget before yearend, an online report by Philstar said today.

However, Alvarez said that it will only happen “if there is no problem with the Constitution”.

Lawmakers are planning to conduct simultaneous deliberations on the draft BBL and budget proposals until the end of the year, convene the chamber later into a constituent assembly (con-ass) and push for federalism early next year. 

Alvarez said he and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III have agreed on this, said the report by Philstar.

In his speech during the turn-over of new draft BBL by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) yesterday afternoon, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte assured that ‘there shall be a Bangsamoro Country within the context of the Republic of the Philippines”.

However, nothing in his speech that says he will certify the new draft BBL as “urgent bill”.

Meanwhile, local government officials in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) led by Regional Governor Mujib Hataman expressed support to the new draft BBL and are looking forward for its immediate passage.

He told Philstar yesterday that the new BBL would provide Muslim communities political strength to address violent religious extremism plaguing some areas in the region.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu in an interview by Philstar yesterday thanked Duterte for ensuring the enactment into law of the new draft BBL.

Mangudadatu said he is sure Duterte would keep his promise to help secure congressional imprimatur for the new BBL.