LEYTE Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez yesterday welcomed the approval on second reading of the “malasakit” (compassionate) “Alternative Learning System Act” that will boost accessibility to education of underserved sectors of the country such as out-of-school youths and persons with disabilities (PWDs).SPEAKER Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez said yesterday the House of Representatives will hold this afternoon an all members caucus to strategize and guarantee the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and other priority bills before the end of the month.
House Majority Floor Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas said that lawmakers will meet at 1 p.m. today to ensure productive sessions before Congress goes on sine die adjournment on June 1.
Last Tuesday, the House joint committees on local government, Muslim affairs and special panel on peace, reconciliation and unity unanimously approved the proposed BBL where proponents pushed for the retention of the central government’s power and control over defense and external security.
Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte said the final version of the BBL should ensure that the autonomous region arising from it would be financially stable enough to undertake economic activities designed to lift its people out of poverty.
“A vibrant economy is essential to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao. Building peace also requires building prosperity that will benefit people in the island’s conflict-afflicted communities,” said Villafuerte.
Villafuerte backed calls to fast-track its approval of a viable BBL that would clear the way to President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s vision for the long-elusive peace in Mindanao and rapid economic development, especially in the island’s poorest provinces.
He reiterated his suggestion that his fellow lawmakers in both the Senate and the House of Representatives hold marathon sessions on the BBL bill.
If necessary, he proposed that both chambers hold sessions on the BBL bill even on Thursdays and Fridays.
“We need to speed up the approval of the BBL but this does not mean that we should do it in a haphazard manner, which is why we need to work overtime so we can go over its provisions and ensure that the law becomes an effective tool in bringing genuine autonomy to our Muslim brothers,” said Villafuerte.
“We can hold sessions even on Thursdays and Fridays until late at night to speed up the bill’s approval,” Villafuerte added.