House Committee on Bangsamoro goes to island provinces  

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 09 Nov) — The 75-member House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (AHCBBL) will conduct public hearings in the island provinces of Mindanao this week and next.

The Committee, headed by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, held the first phase of their Mindanao public hearings in Upi, Maguindanao on October 22, Cotabato City on October 23 and in Tacurong, Koronadal and General Santos cities on October 24.

Rodriguez was accompanied by 10 other members of the Committee.

On Thursday, November 13, the Committee will be in Bongao, Tawi-tawi and in Zamboanga City on Nov. 14.

Next week, the Committee go to Jolo, Sulu on Nov. 19, Isabela City in Basilan on Nov. 20 and Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay on Nov. 21.

On Nov. 27, the Committee will be in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur and on the 28th will hold hearings simultaneously in Tubod, Lanao del Norte and in Iligan City. The next day, Nov. 29, the hearing will be held in Cagayan de Oro City.

In December, five more public hearings will be held in Davao City on Dec. 11, in Kidapawan and Midsayap North Cotabato on the 12th. Butuan City on the 13th and Manila on the 15th and 16th.

Manila is the venue for 12 hearings with eight already finished since September 24.

Rodriguez told MindaNews on September 14 that the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law, now House Bill 4994 (and Senate Bill 2408) was targeted for passing by December 17 this year so the plebiscite could be held “February or March” next year.

But passing it December 17 may not be possible given that the last hearing is on the 16th.

Congress is on recess until November 16. It will resume sessions on November 17 until December 19 and will go on break from December 20 to January 18, 2015.

Once passed by both houses, a plebiscite will be held in the proposed Bangsamoro territory to determine which areas would from part of the Bangsamoro government.

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the autonomous political entity that will form the core territory of the future Bangsamoro, will be disbanded and the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) would then take over to prepare for the establishment of the regular Bangsamoro government that is being targeted to be set up by June 30, 2016, the same day President Aquino steps down from the Presidency. (MindaNews)