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BBL funding scheme can become national template

House Deputy Speaker, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya said discussions on the Bangsamoro Basic Law “have generated excitement among local governments as the powers to be devolved under the bill could be the template other regions can aspire for.”
“It is one of the reasons why many people are supporting the BBL. It can be the trailblazer for greater local autonomy,” he said.
“Many see the BBL as the opening for increased powers for the grassroots. There are those who believe that in the spirit of equality, the powers to be enjoyed by Bangsamoro should be enjoyed by the Bisaya, the Bulakenyo, or by the Bicolano,” Andaya said.
“After the BBL has been passed, there will be similar clamors by LGUs for more powers. And when that time comes, how can we deny, for example, Central Luzon’s request for Bangsamoro-like powers?”
“What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,” Andaya said.
He said the idea, fueled by the BBL talks and the advocacy for federalism that regions can retain what they earn, “is getting traction, in all regions.”
Andaya said the administration stalwarts should not fear a “BBL-inspired ‘me too’ movement” for greater autonomy because after all, “we have been busy preaching the gospel of federalism.”
Those proposing to grant more fiscal powers and perks to the proposed Bangsamoro government should “be prepared to extend it to all, to apply it nationally. It should become the national standard,” Andaya said.
He said a tax-retention scheme in favor of local governments must become “the rule” once the said provision is incorporated into the BBL.
“We cannot be generous with one region, and be stingy with others,” he said. 

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