Senators hold more BBL ‘listening tours’
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Senators are conducting more “listening tours” in Mindanao in a bid to strengthen and improve the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Sen. Sonny Angara who chairs the Senate committee on local government, and Sen. Migz Zubiri of the sub-committee on the BBL conducted public hearings in Jolo and Tawi-Tawi yesterday.
The senators will visit Basilan and Zamboanga today to consult with BBL stakeholders. Two weeks ago, the hearings were conducted in Marawi and Cotabato.
Angara said there are “many shades of grey” in the BBL draft which should be ironed out.
He said the final output should be “veto-proof, TRO-proof and one that will not be turned down by the people.”
“A shortcut is a no-no. This bill was aborted once. If it is scuttled again, there may be no third time,” Angara said.
He said among the provisions of the proposed BBL that need fine-tuning are on revenue-sharing, financial block grants from the national government, status of the police and other security forces as well as some aspects of the asymmetrical political relationship.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza called on local officials to give the BBL a chance to work.
“Jolo is the model place. What Jolo will feel will resonate in other municipalities in Sulu…We are here to listen,” Dureza said during a gathering of local officials at the town hall on Wednesday.– With Jose Rodel Clapano