House, Senate approve Bangsamoro Basic Law

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The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second and third reading the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which has been certified as urgent by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

With 227 affirmative votes, 11 negative votes, and 2 abstention, the House passed the substitute bill of House Bill 6475, which provides for the BBL and seeks to abolish the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The substitute bill contains the proposed amendments discussed during the three all-member caucuses.

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.
The Senate unanimously approved on third and final reading early Thursday morning its version of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), following marathon deliberations that started Wednesday afternoon prior to the closing of the Second Regular Session of the 17th Congress.
The chamber approved Senate Bill 1717, or the Act Providing for the Basic Law on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, with 21 affirmative votes and no negative votes after ending deliberations at around 1 a.m.
Read More: Senate unanimously approves proposed BBL on final reading
Opposition lawmakers in the House said the proposed BBL is unconstitutional as it seeks to abolish the ARMM, which was provided for by the Constitution, using just mere legislation.
The bill 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 that will secure their identity and posterity and allow for a meaningful self-governance.
One major amendment is the conduct of only one plebiscite not earlier than 90 days or later than 120 days after the effectivity of the BBL.
There will also be a block grant to the region amounting to five percent of the national revenue. (PNA)

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