BY PRINCE GOLEZ
MANILA – More discussions on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law are needed.
Questions on the sharing of national wealth have yet to be thoroughly discussed, said Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
The Senate committees on local government and peace, unification and reconciliation held on Sept. 23 a joint briefing on the proposed Bangsamoro law.
“It has to be further explained why the Bangsamoro government has a different sharing scheme with the national government when it comes to taxes, national wealth, mineral deposits, and even fishing rights,” said Marcos, chair of the local government committee.
He shared that other local government units (LGUs) were asking why wealth-sharing arrangement between the Bangsamoro and the national government is different from theirs.
“The sharing of national wealth and even taxes is very much in favor of the Bangsamoro,” said Marcos.
His committee will conduct out-of-town hearings “twice or thrice a month” to clarify other issues.
“Other senators like to ask other questions, but others need to attend their budget hearings, and others needed time to examine the law. There will be another continuation of (the briefing) or perhaps those questions can be brought up when we come back to Manila after hearings in the south,” said Marcos.
Mohagher Iqbal, chair of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, said the passage of the measure will “end the long-standing conflict” in Mindanao.
Also, it will help boost the country’s overall economic activity, said Iqbal.
“The Bangsamoro will spur (our) development, as it will become an economic hub in an area adjacent to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. With peace that the Bangsamoro will bring, there will be more investments, more jobs, more education and more opportunities not just for the Bangsamoro but for the whole country as well,” said Iqbal./PN