Bangsamoro law provides for plebiscite funds
MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr said on Thursday, September 11, that the budget for the Bangsamoro plebiscite will be allocated in the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which is eyed for passage next year.
Comelec had requested P679 million ($15.46 million*) for the Bangsamoro plebiscite in their 2015 budget proposal, but the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) disapproved the request. (READ: No funds for cha-cha, Bangsamoro in Comelec's 2015 budget)
"During discussions with the DBM, they said that they would just incorporate [the funds for the plebiscite] when they submit the Bangsamoro Basic Law proposal," said Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr in an interview on ANC on Thursday.
Brillantes said that he has yet to see a copy of the draft law but he assumes that there would be a budget for the plebiscite there. "Otherwise, we would not be able to conduct the plebiscite," he added.
Article XV of the draft BBL provides for a plebiscite for the law's ratification and the inclusion of provinces, cities, and geographical areas in the Bangsamoro political entity. Under Section 10, a "sufficient amount" will be appropriated for the plebiscite, including monitoring, information campaign, and voter's registration.
President Benigno Aquino III submitted the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law to Congress on Wednesday, September 10.
The Bangsamoro bill provides a legal framework for the final peace accord between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed in March, after 17 years of negotiations aimed at ending 4 decades of war in Mindanao. – Rappler.com
*$1 = P43.9