The proposed basic law for the Bangsamoro region and the P3-trillion appropriations measure for 2016 are in the shortlist of common legislative priorities for the next five weeks as drawn up by the two houses of the Congress, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said.
Besides the 2016 national budget and the Bangsamoro law, the priority list includes: 1) the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform bill; 2) the creation of the Department of Information and Communications Technology; 3) the Tax Incentive Management and Transparency Act; 4) amendments to the Public-Private Partnership/BOT law; and 5) the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
The proposed 2016 appropriations act is now in the period of deliberations at the House Committee on Appropriations while the Bangsamoro law is the subject of ongoing plenary debates.
A meeting between the leaders of the Senate and the House was held last week to come up with the shortlist.
"The choice of priorities were determined based on their advanced stage in the legislative process, therefore making their passage more achievable," said Belmonte, an honorary chairperson of the National Unity Party (NUP).
"This also veers away from traditionally giving full focus to the GAA passage alone. Congress feels there are other equally urgent measures that can benefit our people," he added.
The Speaker also said the leaders of both chambers of Congress will continue to meet as needed to ensure the passage of their common legislative priorities.