Press Release
November 21, 2015

Drilon: BBL still remains a priority

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today reaffirmed the Senate's commitment towards the establishment of peace in Mindanao through the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), allaying fears that the Mindanao peace measure is now in limbo.

"We have enough time and political will to ensure that this bill so crucial to forging peace in Muslim Mindanao will be passed and see the light of the day," Drilon said.

Drilon said that while the 2016 national budget will consume most of the Senate's legislative calendar as it resumes session on Monday, after a weeklong holiday due to the Asia Pacific Economic Council Cooperation meetings, the enactment of BBL into law is still a "top priority."

"From this week to the first week of December, we expect to be busy tackling the 2016 national budget, which we also need to pass before the year ends. After that, we will devote the rest of our sessions to passing the BBL," Drilon said.

He said there remain four weeks of plenary sessions still left in the 16th Congress' calendar for the year.

Drilon said that he is coordinating with the bill's sponsor, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., to ensure that the bill's passage is still doable before the year ends.

He thus renewed his calls to his colleagues especially those running for next year's elections, to be present in the plenary hearings and actively participate in deliberations.

"I call on my colleagues not to abandon this piece of legislation so crucial to the establishment of peace and development in Mindanao. We can make the most of out our remaining session days by passing this bill, along with other important legislation such as the 2016 national budget," Drilon said.

Drilon also said that the Senate leadership is working closely with their counterparts at the House of Representatives led by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to closely monitor and guide the BBL's progress in both houses of Congress.

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