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Fiscal autonomy, taxation in proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region need further clarification — DOF

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

 

Senate deliberation for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law

MANILA, Philippines — Today’s Senate deliberation for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law  (BBL) centered on the issue on Bangsamoro Region’s autonomy on fiscal and taxation aspects.

Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said that the national government cannot just let go of the important programs and easily hand them over to the administration of the Bangsamoro Region.

Dominguez cited the health and agriculture sectors in particular.

“As far as I know the health and agriculture sectors as devolve functions hardly improved health status in different regions, different provinces hardly improve agricultural production,” said the finance secretary.

The secretary also said that it is important to have transparency in the 72 billion peso-bloc grant per year to the Bangsamoro government.

“And if the people they don’t agree that this money spent this correctly then we will have a problem,” said Dominguez.

Dominguez added that the Congress should also clarify the issue of taxation.

“That the differentiation between national taxes and local taxes are very very clear, so there’s no confusion  I think the law is very clear on that, I think there are gray areas,” said the official.

The chairman of the Senate subcommittee on BBL Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri assures that the financial management will remain in the power of the Bangsamoro government.

“Bibigay po natin yung power na y an sa Bangsamoro parliament kasi pangit naman na ididikta na muli tayo” said Zubiri.

The Senate targets to approve the BBL before the session break in March. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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Bicam deletes anti-political dynasty provision in the proposed BBL

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The bicameral conference committee has deleted in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) the provision that bans political dynasty in the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

According to House Majority Floor Leader Rudy Farinas, the provision was removed because it violates the current Constitution.

“It was dropped by the Senate after we cited the flaws of the provision that violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution,” he said.

The Senate version of the bill states that “no Party Representative should be related within the second (2nd) civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to a District Representative or another Party Representative in the same Parliament.” This means that the anti-political dynasty provision applies only to party-list representatives.

Farinas said that though one senator argued that such similar prohibition is contained in the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform Act, he explained that “such law applies to all SKs in the whole country without distinction.”

“It does not violate the equal protection clause as it applies to all those belonging in the class so distinguished,” he added.

Farinas said there was no objection on the side of the Congressmen but they called the attention of the Senators on the “constitutional infirmity” of the provision. The Senators then decided to remove it.

The Bangsamoro Transition Committee (BTC) earlier noted the provision as “discriminatory” and “selective.”

The bicameral conference committee has created subcommittees to tackle controversial provisions of the BBL such as the government structure, public order, security and judicial system of the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

Deliberations are expected to be tedious especially when it comes to the territorial provisions of the BBL as long debates on the inclusion of Lanao Del Norte and North Cotabato to the Bangsamoro territory are expected.

The bicameral conference committee targets to finish its deliberation on the proposed BBL on Wednesday (July 11). – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

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Analyst: Original BBL version might not hurdle Congress

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

 

FILE PHOTO: Members of the House of Representatives attend the opening session of the 17th Congress to cast votes for their new leaders. Kenji Hasegawa/Photoville International)

FILE PHOTO: Members of the House of Representatives attend the opening session of the 17th Congress to cast votes for their new leaders. Kenji Hasegawa/Photoville International)

 

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers hope to ratify the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)  on July 23, in time for President Rodrigo Duterte’s third State of the Nation Address (SONA).

But political analyst, Professor Edmund Tayao, doubts that  Congress will approve the original version of the BBL which was crafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC).

He explained that Congress will have to amend the charter first before approving its provisions.

It can be noted that the Senate and the House modified some of the BTC’s proposal but asserted it is not a watered-down version and could withstand legal scrutiny.

However, he admitted that BBL is necessary for the advancement of the proposed federal form of government being pushed by the Duterte administration.

“That’s why the issue on federalism is important. This is a significant opportunity and it would be a shame if we let it pass,” said Tayao. — UNTV News & Rescue

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House passes BBL on third and final reading

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines —The proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) breezed through the Lower House on Wednesday after it was certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday.

With a vote of 226 in favor of the bill, 11 against and 2 abstentions, the proposal passed the third and final reading. None of the lawmakers proposed amendments in the plenary earlier.

The Lower House version includes amendments that Mindanao lawmakers proposed, such as conducting plebiscite only once in 120 days after the BBL is signed into law; and ensuring that the police, armed forces, Comelec and COA are still under the jurisdiction of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“The police and military, it should be clear that they are one police force national in scope. So no more Napolcom board in the Bangsamoro. The military no longer have to coordinate their movement protocol. Many proposed amendments have been included in the substitute bill,” said Zamboanga Representative Celso Lobregat.

However, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez admitted that the proposed BBL might have constitutionality issues.

As pointed out earlier by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, the Constitution should be amended first before abolishing and replacing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with an autonomous region on Bangsamoro.

But Alvarez said the Supreme Court would be the one to decide on the matter.

“We are not the ones to decide if it is constitutional or not. We will focus on the proposal, the BBL as a substitute to the ARMM law. That’s why we will do it now. Anybody can question the constitutionality of what we will do. The Supreme Court will decide if it’s inconsistent with the Constitution,” said House Speaker Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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