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House caucus to ensure BBL draft approval

Congress will hold an all-member caucus to guarantee the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law and other priority bills before the end of May, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Sunday.

Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas said they will meet at 1 p.m. to ensure productive sessions before Congress goes on a sine die adjournment on June 1.

“On behalf of Speaker Bebot Alvarez, I am inviting all House members to an all-member caucus on Monday regarding the Bangsamoro Basic Law and other matters,” Fariñas told reporters through a Viber message.

On May 15, the House joint committees on local government, Muslim affairs and the special panel on peace, reconciliation and unity unanimously approved the proposed BBL.

The proponents wanted the retention of the central government’s power and control over defense and external security.

Rep. Luis Ray Villafuerte said the final version of the BBL must ensure that the autonomous region arising from it would be financially stable to undertake economic activities in a bid to eradicate poverty.

“A vibrant economy is essential to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao,Villafuerte said. “Building peace also requires building prosperity that will benefit the people in the island’s conflict-afflicted communities.”

Villafuerte supported the calls to expedite the approval of the BBL for a long-lasting peace in Mindanao.

He said both the houses of Congress must hold marathon sessions to do so.

Topics: House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez , Bangsamoro Basic Law , Rep. Luis Ray Villafuerte
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