Rep. Ruby Sahali (lone district, Tawi-Tawi), chairperson of the special committee on peace, reconciliation and unity, said the island province has been suffering from negative publicity due to peace and order issues.
“Tawi-Tawi has a lot of assets in terms of tourism, fishery and minerals. The BBL will bring progress as this will address the stigma brought about by negative perceptions on peace and order,” Sahali said.
Tawi-Tawi is known for its tourism spots such as the scenic Bud Bongao Peak and diving spots. This is on top of the island province being one of the country’s major producers of fresh seafood and seaweed, which is mainly being used for food and beauty products.
“The BBL will bring a climate of stability,” said Sahali, who led the public hearings on Thursday and in Zamboanga City on Friday.
“Not only Tawi-Tawi will greatly benefit from the windfall of investment and development but the entire territories under the BBL, she said.
Sahali also emphasized provisions of the BBL will strengthen Tawi-Tawi since they project the island as the gateway for the ASEAN economic initiative.
Tawi-Tawi is one of the three of the five provinces of the present ARMM adjacent to the ASEAN member-nations of Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei–sharing with them close cultural and Muslim-religious affinity.
Both houses of Congress are set to enact the BBL later in March.
The BBL is the legal document that operationalizes the peace agreements between the government and the Moro fronts in Mindanao.