THE House of Representatives on Tuesday, July 24 ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the proposed Bangsamoro Oganic Law, a bill which seeks the abolition of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The Senate ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the BOL on Monday. This means the final bill now only awaits the signing of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The said bill was expected to be signed into law by the President before his State of the Nation Address on Monday.
The House, however, failed to ratify it in time due to the premature adjournment of its session on Monday morning.
The Bicameral Conference Committee approved the final version of the proposed BOL on July 18.
The Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao provides that a plebiscite will be held within three to five months after the bill is enacted to determine which areas in Mindanao will be part of the Bangsamoro government.
This plebiscite will determine if the 39 barangays in the province of North Cotabato, six municipalities in Lanao del Norte, Cotabato and Isabela would want to be included in the Bangsamoro region.
Also included in the plebiscite are the areas which are presently included in the ARMM such as Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.
Duterte earlier certified the bill as urgent prompting both houses of the Congress to fast track its passage.
Moro rebels, namely the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front, have been waging an insurgency since the 1970s, demanding the government to give them autonomy and independence over their homeland.
The MILF signed a peace deal with the government in 2014 but the then proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law which would seal the pact did not get through the Congress. (SunStar Philippines)