As session adjourns for Holy Week recess, Speaker Martin Romualdez bared that the House of Representatives succeeded in approving on third and final reading 23 of 31 bills identified by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) as priority measures of the Marcos administration.
These measures were already transmitted to the Senate.
The 31 LEDAC priority measures, collectively called the Common Legislative Agenda (CLA) of Malacañang, Senate, and the House of Representatives, were drawn up from dozens of legislative measures that were filed in Congress to further stimulate economic activities, create job opportunities, reduce poverty, and provide better health
care services for Filipinos.
Romualdez said out of the 23 measures approved by the House, two had been signed into law by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. while the remaining eight bills in the LEDAC priority list are under advanced stages of deliberation.
“We have done our share in passing important pieces of legislation that will help the country recover from the crippling impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and external shocks that adversely affect the economy and the nation,” the veteran legislator said.
“That was our commitment during the series of meetings at LEDAC. That is our continuing commitment to the Filipino people,” the seasoned lawmaker added.
Aside from having been identified by the LEDAC as priority measures, the approved bills were also among those enumerated by Marcos in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July last year, he said.
“We have responded positively to the President’s call for legislation that would hasten the country’s recovery from the pandemic, sustain our economic growth, and implement his Agenda for Prosperity.”
“We have responded positively to the President’s call for legislation that would hasten the country’s recovery from the pandemic, sustain our economic growth, and implement his Agenda for Prosperity,” the Speaker added.
The two bills the President has signed into law are the mobile phone SIM (subscriber information module) Registration Act, which is now under implementation, and the measure postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to October this year.
The 20 other LEDAC-endorsed bills approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives are: Magna Carta of Seafarers, E-Governance Act / E-Government Act, Negros Island Region, Virology Institute of the Philippines, Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act, National Disease Prevention Management
Authority or Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Medical Reserve Corps, Philippine Passport Act; Internet Transaction Act / E-Commerce Law, Waste-to-Energy Bill, Free Legal Assistance for Police and Soldiers, Apprenticeship Act, Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law, Magna Carta of Barangay Health Workers, Valuation Reform, Eastern Visayas Development Authority, Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone,Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery, National Citizens Service Training Program, and Rightsizing the National Government.
Another LEDAC bill, the Agrarian Reform Debts Condonation is now for bicameral conference committee approval.
The eight other LEDAC bills pending in the House are the: Regional Specialty Hospitals (for second reading approval), Enabling Law for the Natural Gas Industry (under technical working group or TWG deliberation), National Land Use Act (TWG); Department of Water Resources and Services and Creation of Water Regulatory Commission (TWG), Electric Power Industry Reform Act (for committee
deliberation), Budget Modernization (for committee deliberation), National Defense Act (for committee deliberation), and Unified System of Separation, Retirement and Pension for Uniformed Personnel (also for committee deliberation).
“We are working double time to pass the remaining eight LEDAC measures and our own priority bills.”
“We are working double time to pass the remaining eight LEDAC measures and our own priority bills. We are confident of approving them on third and final reading before the sine die break,” Romualdez said.
Aside from the 31 measures in the LEDAC list, he said the House committee chairmen and members have identified 21 measures that they wanted to be given priority.
Romualdez said the 21 include 10 for LEDAC endorsement, four of which – the Maharlika Investment Fund bill, Ease of Paying Taxes Act, LGU Income Classification, and Amendment to Universal Health Care Act – were approved on third and final reading.
He added that the House priority list includes Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6, which calls for a constitutional convention to amend “restrictive” economic provisions of the Charter, which would enable the country to attract more foreign investments, and its
implementing measure, HB No. 7352.
The House voted 301 against six with one abstention to overwhelmingly approve RBH No. 6 on third and final reading. HB No. 7352 has also hurdled third reading with 301 against seven voting.
“Two of our more promising initiatives is the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) proposal and the efforts to amend the economic provisions of our existing Constitution through a Constitutional Convention.
These measures, we at the House of Representatives believe, will help create a more vibrant economy not only for the Philippines but also for the countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, by reducing, if not, totally eliminating economic barriers to investments. Indeed, there are so much more to look forward to,” Romualdez said.
The other House priorities that have been approved on third and final reading are the following: On-Site, In-City Near City Local Government Resettlement Program, Open Access in Data Transmission, Online Registration of Voters, Amendments to the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation Charter, and Mandatory Establishment of Evacuation Centers in Every City, Province, Municipality/Permanent Evacuation Centers, and Local Government Income Classification.
The House is scheduled to ratify the bicameral conference committee report on the AFP Fixed Term Law, which is also a House priority.
Under other priority measures are Government Procurement Act (TWG), Department of Resilience (committee level), and Livestock Development and Competitiveness Bill (committee level).
Several other measures — Revitalizing Salt Industry, Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System, Bureau of Immigration Modernization, National Employment Action Plan, Amendment to the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, , and Infrastructure Development Plan/Build Build Build Program— are for LEDAC inclusion and undergoing committee deliberation.