PNoy won't give up on BBL as plenary vote faces delays

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 10 2015 04:16 PM

MANILA – Fifteen more lawmakers stand in the way of a plenary vote on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) at the House of Representatives.

House Speaker Sonny Belmonte said the 15 lawmakers are not expected to give short interpellations.

"Fifteen pa ang may gusto. Not everyone is short-winded. We cannot just raise hands and say no. We're still doing our best. We want this to have space,'' Belmonte said.

Belmonte said President Aquino has never failed to remind him of the BBL every time they talk.

''Every time we talk to him, he mentions it. Hindi nawawalan ng interest si PNoy. He can't understand kung bakit hindi magawa. This is one of those things where certain people want to make sure we have a quorum. We have to pass through the eye of the needle,'' he said.

House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II said there are only 13 session days left until the Christmas vacation. When Congress resumes sessions in January, it only has nine session days until it goes on another break for the election campaign.

Gonzales has yet to name the fifteen lawmakers. The Lower House has been hounded by quorum woes as not enough congressmen show up and stay for plenary sessions to debate the BBL.

The House has already approved the proposed 2016 budget as well as the amendments to the customs and tariff code, the acquisition of right of way, the coconut industry trust fund, as well as the amendments to the SSS law.

The House ways and means committee today approved the proposed law strengthening the public private partnership scheme for big-ticket infrastructure projects.