Traders still back passage of BBL

Local businessmen still supports the Bangsamoro Basic Law but conceded the Mamapasano incident may delay the passage of the bill.

“That way it is now, the approval [process] of BBL may even outlive the present administration. Many issues may crop up that will delay its passage. There is also the proposal to change the composition of the peace panel,” Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Alfredo Yao said.

He said the development plans for the entire Mindanao were pushed back, including planned investments in agriculture, pending the approval of a legislation that would support progress even in conflict areas.

Local businessmen supports a review of the BBL to ensure it is pro-active and will protect and uphold the interest of Mindanao as a political and economic region.

“I’m not saying that the BBL is wrong, but surely it will undergo the scrutiny, not only by business people but by legislators and the civic groups. The slaying incident have aroused the interest on the BBL,” Yao said.

Another group of businessmen earlier expressed support for the Bangsamoro peace process, saying there was no other alternative to guarantee the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people. It said the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law was a crucial component in the overall peace in Mindanao.

The Makati Business Club has appealed to the Aquino administration and all parties involved to put the peace process back on track at the earliest time possible.

“While I fully support putting the peace process back on track as early as possible, with the hope of still passing the Bangsamoro Basic Law and implementing the required referendum in the next 16 months, I share the pessimism of many that the prevailing environment and the shortage of time may no longer allow this to be done,” MBC chairman Ramon del Rosario said.

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