Speaker vows enactment of compensation bill this Congress-A A +A
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
MANILA -- House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Wednesday expressed confidence that the bill providing compensation to victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime will be enacted into law in the present 15th Congress.
“I would like to think that even with the very limited time left, the prospects for the enactment of vital measures already in their advanced stages in the legislative process look promising,” Belmonte said.
The compensation bill, which has been pending in Congress for 14 years, is already with the bicameral conference committee.
Earlier, House Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tanada III said they will insist on the House version because the approved counterpart bill in the Senate -- the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2012 -- was watered down.
The Philippine government needs to pass the compensation bill before the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses found in Swiss banks are distributed to Martial Law victims.
Belmonte said the compensation bill is among the vital social and human rights bills that would reach the President’s desk in time before the adjournment of the third regular session.
Congress will be on a four-month break from February 9 to June 2 to give way for the campaign period for the 2013 midterm elections. When it resumes session January 21, it will only have nine days to tackle pending bills and resolutions.
Bills being fine-tuned in the bicam are measures expanding the prohibited acts of discrimination against women on account of sex, and providing for the early voting to qualified members of media.
“Those bills have been pending since the 9th and 14th, respectively,” the Speaker noted. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)