House formally asks Duterte to certify BBL as urgent measure
The House of Representatives has formally asked President Rodrigo Duterte to certify as urgent the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to fast-track the deliberation on the measure and pass it before Congress adjourns sine die next week.
In a one-page letter to Duterte, dated May 23, 2018 and coursed through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the House requested that the BBL or House Bill 6475 under Committee Report 758, “be certified as urgent by your Administration.”
The letter was signed by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas.
“We aim to pass the said measure on Third Reading before the sine die adjournment of Congress on June 2, 2018. Thus, we are hoping for your usual support as we work for the proper passage of the law,” the two House officials said.
With only three session days left for Congress next week, Malacañang’s certification of BBL as an urgent measure would allow the Legislature to forego the “three-day rule” and approve the measure on second and third reading on the same day.
The Constitution provides that “no bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members three days before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency.”
Last Tuesday, House leaders, the government’s peace panel and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission met to discuss the proposed amendments to the House version of the bill regarding concerns raised by lawmakers on the current draft of the proposed measure.
However, the BTC sought more time to discuss the proposed amendments and promised to go back to the House on Monday to present their position.
Following the meeting with the BTC, the House is expected to hold another all-member caucus and then proceed with the debates on the bill in the plenary.
Despite the delay, Alvarez remained confident that the House can pass the measure before Congress adjourns.
Duterte has appealed to Congress to pass BBL by May 30, as he stressed the crucial role of the proposed law in maintaining peace in Mindanao amid threats posed by radical Islamic groups. DMS