Press Release
June 2, 2015

Taxpayers to shoulder cost of proposed BBL - Recto

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph G. Recto today said that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is just adding another layer of bureaucracy with the entire Filipinos footing the bill.

In today's Senate hearing on BBL, Recto said the establishment of the new Bangsamoro government will make it more expensive for the Filipino taxpayers who will be the ones paying for its creation.

"If you create a regional government, it's an additional cost, not to the Bangsamoro people, but to people outside of Bangsamoro, because they are the ones paying for it," Recto said.

"This is another layer of bureaucracy na hindi malinaw ang tungkulin, pero malinaw na ang buong bayan ang gagastos para dito."

Given that all taxpayers will be shouldering the cost of BBL, "shouldn't we hold a national plebiscite and let the majority of Filipinos decide its fate?" Recto asked.

Recto said a lot of money had already been wasted when we created the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

"We created an inefficient bureaucracy in ARMM at nawala ang pera. Ngayon eto na naman, enhanced ARMM which we are renaming BBL, at popondohan na naman ng malaking pera mula sa bulsa ng taongbayan," the senator said.

Recto said it's possible that when the BBL is passed by Congress and it gathered majority support in a plebiscite in ARMM, another armed group will come out and declare that they do not recognize the newly created regional government.

Recto asked, "Anong guarantee na magkakaroon tayo ng kapayapaan sa Mindanao matapos naging gastusan ito ng bilyon-bilyong piso?"

To which government negotiating panel member Senen Bacani replied, "no guarantee."

Bacani said establishing the Bangsamoro is costly, but it will result in lesser expenditures for armed conflict, to which Recto replied, "War is expensive, but in this case, the peace is more costly."

Recto requested the committee to ask for the financial statements of ARMM.

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