MANILA - The proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law is already up for President Rodrigo Duterte's signature.
This, after the House of Representatives ratified the bill Tuesday in time for the President's new self-imposed deadline of signing it into law by Wednesday.
"Give me 48 hours to sign it and ratify the law. Babasahin ko muna bago ko pipirmahan, baka may isiningit kayo diyan," Duterte said in jest during his third State of the Nation Address on Monday.
(Give me 48 hours to sign it and ratify the law. I will read it first before signing it because you may have inserted something in it.)
No lawmakers opposed the ratification of the measure.
The Bangsamoro will be composed of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, six municipalities in Lanao del Norte, 39 barangays in North Cotabato, Cotabato City, and Isabela City.
The region will also get a bigger share at 75% of the taxes collected by the national government, compared with the 70% the ARMM currently gets. The rest goes to the national government.
The bill, which is envisioned to grant wider self-rule to the Muslim minority in the south, was supposed to be signed by Duterte during his third SONA.
This, however, did not happen, to Malacañang's dismay as the House failed to approve the bill under the leadership of ousted Speaker Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
The Senate was able to ratify the reconciled version of the proposed measure ahead of the President's SONA.
The Bangsamoro Law is one of the requirements under a 2014 peace agreement between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country's largest Muslim rebel group.
Duterte, the first president from Mindanao, had certified the measure as urgent.
Senators and congressmen last week reconciled their versions of the measure in bicameral meetings.
Duterte's predecessor, former President Benigno Aquino III, forged the peace agreement with the MILF but failed to get Congress to pass a self-rule law before he stepped down in 2016.
Congress halted debates due to public outrage over the deaths of 44 police commandos in a botched anti-terrorism raid in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in January 2015.
The House's approval of the bill on Tuesday is the first legislative agenda of new House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who was sworn into power Monday following a power struggle with Alvarez.