Press Release
June 9, 2015

We want a clear list of Bangsamoro gov't responsibilities - Recto

Senate President Ralph G. Recto wants a detailed "list of responsibilities and functions" to be undertaken by the Bangsamoro government once the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is approved.

In today's hearing by the Senate committee on Local Government chaired by Sen. Bongbong Marcos, Recto said that to make the Bangsamoro government viable, there has to be accountabilities from those who would be running this proposed regional government and entrusted with billions of money coming from the Filipino people.

"If we intend to make it work, pwede bang malaman sa proponents kung ano ang mga responsibilidad ng Bangsamoro government, halimbawa sa poverty reduction, health, education at infrastructure?" Recto asked.

Recto said that in the draft BBL, there are no clear functions and responsibilities.

"Kung sa national budget may performance targets, dito napakalaki ng perang ibibigay natin sa kanila sa pamamagitan ng block grant pero walang malinaw na performance targets," he said.

"In public works, for example, municipal road is the responsibility of the municipality, city road by the city government, provincial road by the provincial government, national road by the national government. If we are talking of devolution of functions in the BBL, will the maintenance and the construction of the regional roads in areas to be covered by the BBL now be a function of the Bangsamoro government? How about the construction of classrooms or the responsibility of providing health services to its constituents - will those still be the function of the national government, local government or the regional government?" asked the senator.

Upon questioning by Recto, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares testified that in 2014, the ARMM collected P2.49 billion which all went to the national coffers. But based on the proposed law, 100% of this P2.4 B will be retained by the Bangsamoro government. This figure will be part of the estimated P75 B subsidy it will receive on the first year alone of the Bangsamoro establishment.

"I don't mind assisting the region, but intindihin din natin that we spent hundreds of billions (in the ARMM) with nothing to show for. We threw away billions of money in the past decades because the responsibility of ARMM was not clear," Recto said.

"Ang konsepto nyo ng fiscal autonomy ay mag-ambag-ambag ang buong bansa, isyuhan kayo ng blangkong cheke at bahala na kayo kung paano nyo gastusin ito," he said.

"Kailangan ayusin natin. How do you envision this Bangsamoro to work? What are its responsibilities? Because what we are pinpointing here are responsibilities especially that you are talking of certain national government functions that are to be devolved with the creation of a BBL," Recto added.

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