Zubiri panel wraps up hearings on BBL, eyes report by end-February

Senator Migz Zubiri discusses the fiscal aspects of the proposed BBL during a Senate hearing, Tuesday, February 13, 2018. Also in photo is Senator Sherwin Gatchalian. (PRIB Photo by Albert Calvelo/AYA/13 February 2018)

MANILA – The Senate subcommittee on Bangsamoro Basic Law wrapped up its hearings on the BBL on Tuesday, with the panel chairman expressing satisfaction they had met their self-imposed deadline and will be ready to render a commiittee report by end-February.

Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri also hopes the measure can hurdle 3rd reading before lawmakers go on recess in March.

Next week, marathon meetings of the technical working groups and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission are scheduled, during which a line-by-line review of the BBL draft will be made to ensure it is constitutionally sound.

Zubiri underscored the importance of ensuring the bill they will pass is not watered down, so that all stakeholders can benefit from the provisions of a measure on which many had pinned on their hopes for sustainable peace and development in the South.

If passed, the BBL will give the future Bangsamoro Autonomous Region greater fiscal autonomy through appropriate funding mechanisms to allow it to become self-sufficient, as well as to enable it to adequately exercise its powers and functions consistent with the principles of autonomy, the senator’s office said.

Zubiri said he cannot afford to present the Bangsamoro people with a measure that will not do them justice.