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Sen. Bam Aquino lauds cross-party support for BBL

Senator Bam Aquino said teamwork can alleviate Filipinos from the rise in prices, citing how lawmakers approved the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on third and final reading last week.
Aquino lauded colleagues for crossing party lines to approve the BBL, which seeks to establish a new autonomous political entity known as the Autonomous Region of the Bangsamoro that would replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
“We are happy to see wide support for the BBL. We are hopeful that it will help usher in peace and development to the Bangsamoro region,” said Aquino, who co-sponsored and co-authored the measure.
“The bicam members will work to improve the BBL to make sure it will help in the development of Mindanao,” he added in Filipino, referring to some contentious provisions of the Senate version, which he hopes can be ironed out during the bicameral conference committee.
“With the BBL and even with the free college law, we’ve proven that we can work beyond political lines to pass reforms that will benefit the people. We should do the same to alleviate Filipinos from the rising prices,” the senator said, referring to his proposal to suspend the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
Aquino filed Senate Bill No. 1798 which seeks to roll back TRAIN’s excise tax on fuel when average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.
Under the new law, diesel is taxed P2.50 this year, P4.50 in 2019 and P6 in 2020. Liquefied petroleum gas is imposed an excise tax of P1 per kilogram (kg) for 2018, P2 in 2019 and P3 in 2020. Regular, unleaded and premium gasoline are taxed P7, P9 and P10 for 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Aquino said he hopes to strengthen safeguards in the law through his proposal as Filipinos bear the brunt of higher prices.