THE proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is facing rough sailing at the House of Representatives not only because of poor attendance but also by long interpellations.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. admitted that passing the measure is not getting any easier as the June 11 deadline nears.
The House had to suspend hearings last week because there were not enough lawmakers present to constitute a quorum.
“I expect to have a quorum during this last week, but the problem is there are so many who want to interpellate. We can’t avoid amendments. We may run out of time,” Belmonte said in a text message.
However, he stressed that he is not giving up the fight for the bill’s passage by June 11. The Bangsamoro Transition Authority and the Commission on Elections would need the window between June 11 and the May elections to hold a plebiscite for the coverage of the Bangsamoro region.
“Those (lack of attendance and many interpellators) are challenges that we have to face. One can only try. But we’re still hopeful,” the House leader said.
There are at least 30 interpellators lined up to question provisions under the draft law. Belmonte and House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora said an “incisive” interpellation can last as long as one hour.
But Belmonte said the House leadership will not allow lawmakers to repeat questions already raised to shorten interpellatons.
The measure seeks to create a Bangsamoro region that will enjoy fiscal autonomy and governed by the Bangsamoro parliament.