Bicam OKs joint powers for Bangsamoro, DOE on energy sources

MANILA, Philippines – The bicameral conference committee on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) gave the green light for the Bangsamoro and the Department of Energy (DOE) to jointly explore, develop, and utilize fossil fuels and uranium in the new region.

This was announced by bicam chairperson and Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri on Thursday, July 12. 

“What we agreed upon was the Senate version wherein the Bangsamoro government and the DOE jointly explore and utlize these resources. Because there was a proposal that it’s only national government,” he said. 

Section 10, Article 8 of the Senate version of the BBL mandates the DOE and the Bangsamoro – the new and more powerful region that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao – to have joint powers on the exploration, development, and utilization of energy resources in the area.

The use of fossil fuels to provide electricity, however, shall be reduced “to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and promote low carbon sustainable energy generation policies.” 

Zubiri also said in the same interview the bicam has already approved the provisions covering the Bangsamoro justice system, which includes the creation of the Shari’ah High Court.

The Bangsamoro’s jurisdiction over the Sulu Sea and Moro Gulf, however, remains a contentious issue the bicam has yet to resolve. (READ: BBL's hot issue: Who gets to control rich Sulu Sea, Moro Gulf?

Still, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission is so far satisfied with the BBL draft being tackled by the bicam. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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