Palace renews call for passage of 2016 national budget, BBL as Congress resumes session on Tuesday

MANILA, Nov. 1 (PNA) – Malacanang renewed on Sunday the call for early passage of the 2016 national budget and the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as the Senate and the House of Representatives resume session on Tuesday.

In an interview with Radyo ng Bayan, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Aquino administration has five successful enactments of the budget since 2011.

”We have no reenacted (budget). So we hope that the (2016) budget will be passed on time before the yearend so that we can immediately implement the budget for the next year,” Lacierda said.

The House of Representatives has already started its plenary deliberations on the proposed PhP3.002 trillion national budget for 2016 while the Senate Finance Committee is now tackling it.

On the other hand, the Senate is already debating on the BBL’s substitute bill, the Basic Law on the Bangsamoro Administrative Region (BLBAR) which, if passed into law, would replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

”Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker (Feliciano) Belmonte are one with us in pushing this BBL. This is really a bill that will secure the lasting peace and development (in Mindanao). There will be no development without peace; there will be no peace without development,” Lacierda said.

”So this BBL is important in pushing peace and development for Muslim Mindanao. So, again, we also hope that both the House and the Senate will discuss and debate on the BBL and enact this bill into law. That’s our aspiration to help the Muslims and Christians in Mindanao,” Lacierda said.

Recently, Drilon called on his colleagues seeking for either higher office or reelection in the 2016 elections to finish first the priority bills before embarking on election campaign.

Among the senators running for higher office are Senator Grace Poe for president and Senators Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero, Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV and Gregorio ‘Gringo’ Honasan II for vice president.

The reelectionist senators are Drilon and Senators Ralph Recto, Serge Osmena and Teofisto ‘TG’ Guingona III. (PNA)

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