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Angara calls for inclusion of fiscal expert in Cha-cha body



Senator Sonny Angara on Tuesday urged Malacañang to include an expert on fiscal policy in the Charter change (Cha-cha) consultative committee that will review the 1987 Constitution to address the question of resource sharing and taxing jurisdictions under the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, said the inclusion of an expert on the subject matter in the consultative body will ensure that the contentious issues on fiscal autonomy are reconciled.

President Rodrigo Duterte created the consultative committee in December 2016 through Executive Order Number 10.

On Jan. 23, Duterte appointed 19 of the 25 members of the consultative committee, with former Chief Justice Reynato Puno as chairperson.

"We have to make sure that our fiscal policies are aligned. As it is, there are fiscal provisions in the proposed BBL that need to be clarified vis-à-vis the functions and powers of the national government," Angara said.

The senator added that removing the uncertainties on jurisdiction will lend an appeal to Mindanao as an investment destination and augur well for a smooth transition.

"Hopefully, with the inclusion of an expert on wealth-sharing and fiscal policy in the consultative committee, we can resolve major issues and come up with a BBL that is acceptable to the people, veto-proof and TRO-proof," Angara said.

The lawmaker, along with some members of the Senate, visited last week the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga as part of the committee's "listening tour" to get the inputs of stakeholders in crafting the final version of the BBL.

"We will need to go deep into the details and make sure the fiscal autonomy and revenue sharing stipulations in the BBL are clear," Angara said.

Jose Cielito Reganit / PNA