Press Release
July 19, 2018

Drilon says BBL lacks measures to promote good governance

The landmark Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) may succeed in bringing peace and stability in Mindanao but when it comes to the basic issue of good governance, there is little chance for success, according to Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Thursday.

Drilon lauded the bicameral conference committee's approval of the BBL but expressed concern at the bill's lack of effective measures to address governance issues hounding soon to be replaced Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) for decades.

"I am not optimistic that the BBL will result in good governance. The failure of governance in the ARMM, not only the decades-long conflict, is also to be blame for the high incidence of poverty in the region," Drilon said.

On Wednesday, the bicam panel adopted a consolidated version of the measure that seeks to create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to be known as Bangsamoro Autonomous Region replacing the current ARMM.

"The BBL is pro-peace peace and stability but it lacks teeth to reform the prevailing politics and governance in ARMM that resulted in its provinces being one of the poorest in the country," Drilon said.

He lamented that his proposed anti-dynasty provision, similar to that found in the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Law, should have been incorporated in the BBL. The provision was struck down.

Drilon said that absence of this very powerful provision could put to naught other measures that Congress has put in place to promote good governance in the Bangsamoro region.

Among them are the provisions that promote accountability by maintaining Commission of Audit as the exclusive auditor and tighten the qualification of Sharia'h courts justices. The Bangsamoro government is also given the power to create government corporations but they should comply with the provisions of the GOCC Governance Act. It may also enact its own civil service rules that should be compliant with existing rules.

"Unfortunately, the future of the Bangsamoro region will be in the hands of a very few families again, because of our failure to prevent political dynasty," Drilon said. Unless political dynasty is addressed, there are always threats of failure of governance in the ARMM, Drilon noted.

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