Malacañang on Tuesday announced that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has certified as urgent the two versions of the proposed BBL pending in both houses of Congress.
“Just three minutes ago, the Office of the Executive Secretary officially issued a certification as urgent both versions on the creation of the BBL pending on both the House of Representatives and the Senate,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced during the #RealNumbersPh’s first year anniversary at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
The certification was released after President Duterte conferred on Monday with the Bangsamoro Transition Council (BTC) and the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives in Malacañang.
Roque said the President met separately the leaders of the two houses of Congress and the BTC officials.
“The query last night was how to certify two bills pending in the House and the Senate because they were not the same but the decision was reached finally to certify both versions of the bill and there was an agreement that after both houses of Congress had passed already their respective versions that the differences would be threshed out immediately,” Roque said.
With the Palace certification, both the Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to pass the BBL before Congress adjourns sine die on June 1.
Roque said certified copy of the bill “is on its way to both Houses of Congress”.
“Once both chambers have reconciled and finalized the version, the President will sign the Bangsamoro Basic Law,” Roque said.
The BBL is designed to address the decades-long conflict in Mindanao by creating a political entity to replace the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
“The passage of this measure is a manifestation of the government’s commitment to address the diverse needs of the people in Bangsamoro, and all communities and constituents of Mindanao, towards a just and lasting peace in Mindanao and in the Philippines as a whole,” Duterte stated in the certification submitted to Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Duterte had earlier said he would like to see the BBL passed ahead of the proposal to amend the Constitution that would give way for the shift of the form of government to federalism.
A Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked by Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution has started introducing its proposed amendments. (By Jelly Musico, Philippine News Agency)