Senate of the Philippines ( File photo - Source:

Hanoi (VNA) - The Senate of the Philippines on May 31 approved the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), under which the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will be replaced by a new Bangsamoro region in the south.

Twenty-two senators voted in favor of the Senate’s bill, two others were absent.

Earlier on the day, the country’s House of Representatives also approved a bill of this kind drafted by it. President Rodrigo Duterte said this is an urgent issue.

The bicameral Congress of the Philippines will then conduct a meeting to examine the draft laws of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The final draft of the bill will be returned to both for approval before being forwarded to Duterte for signing the issuance.

Filipino lawmakers hoped to approve the final draft on July 23 in the opening session of the third meeting of the 17th Congress.

BBL was drafted by negotiators of the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forces after signing a peaceful agreement in 2014 with the hope to end separatist activities, which lasted in Minadao for dozens of years. -VNA