Government peace panel head hopes for BBL passage
Jose Rodel Clapano (The Philippine Star) - September 29, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Government peace panel chairman Miriam Coronel-Ferrer expressed disappointment over the decision of the Senate and the House of Representatives to move the deadline for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to Dec. 16.

Ferrer, however, said she remained hopeful that the BBL would be passed into law.

She called on the Filipino people to stay the course of peace despite this development.

“It’s disappointing, but we still hope (it will soon become a law),” Ferrer said.

Ferrer said the public must also speak up for peace to ensure that the process will be successful.

“There are many ways and means that we can still see this through. But we need to get our voices heard. We need that push coming from everyone,” she said.

The House of Representatives earlier announced the BBL would be put to a vote and can be passed on third and final reading by end of September, before Congress adjourns on Oct. 9.

However, both the Senate and the House set the new deadline at Dec. 16 for the passage of the proposed measure, citing the urgency to pass the 2016 General Appropriations Act.

Ferrer said the members of the government peace panel are not giving up.

She said there is still enough time and that adjustments may be made in the proposed measure to mitigate the possible adverse effects that delays in passage would cause in terms of the transition from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to the envisioned Bangsamoro region.

“We should not give up. We have to just keep on pushing,” Ferrer said.

“There’s still time and there are many flexibilities. We can adjust, say, the transitory provisions in the draft law. There can be room for adjustments there, how exactly the transition will play out given the delay in the passage of the law,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) will hold today the “I am for Peace Concert” at the SM Megamall fashion hall event center.

The concert, which starts at 6 p.m., is a culminating event in celebration of National Peace Consciousness Month. 

The performers include Jim Paredes, Noel Cabangon, Ebe Dancel, Reynan Dal-Anay, The Company, Anj Segovia and the Mandaluyong Children’s Choir.

A fashion show celebrating peace in Mindanao featuring Arnold Galang’s Peace Collection will also be held.

The concert, hosted by Epy Quizon, is open to the public.

ACIRC ANJ SEGOVIA AND THE MANDALUYONG CHILDREN ARNOLD GALANG AUTONOMOUS REGION BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW EBE DANCEL EPY QUIZON GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES JIM PAREDES PEACE
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