Press Release
February 5, 2018


Efficient tax collection and proper disbursement of people's money to finance government projects will empower communities and bring to life the autonomy that Bangsamoro people have been fighting for, Sen. Sonny Angara said today.

Angara underscored the need for these two objectives to go hand in hand during the sidelights of the Senate sub-committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) hearing that was chaired by Sen. Migz Zubiri.

The Senate panel, which Angara formed for Zubiri to lead, is holding public hearings among the stakeholders in order to improve and strengthen the draft BBL, which aims to give self-rule to Mindanao.

"But there is the time-old saying about taxes being the sinews of the state--the very fibers that hold a state together and enable it to operate.

"They ensure that our roads are paved, that our policemen are well-equipped, that our teachers have chalk and blackboards, that our country is able to run and move towards prosperity," the chair of the Senate committee on local government said.

The most important function of taxes, he explained, is to help local communities realize their dreams and aspirations.

"In other words, taxes make democracy possible. And in this case, they will be instrumental to bringing life into the autonomy the Bangsamoro people have been fighting for, and to helping us finally achieve long-lasting peace across Mindanao," Angara said.

Among the crucial points that need to be threshed out in the discussion of the BBL draft are revenue sharing and the financial grant block grants from the national government.

"Several serious issues need to be addressed here, including the fiscal math that will operationalize the relationship between the proposed Bangsamoro region and the rest of the Philippines," he said.

"We will need to go deep into the details and make sure the fiscal autonomy and revenue sharing stipulations in the BBL are clear. I am hopeful that we will achieve just that," Angara added.

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