Lack of Ledac meetings delays priority bills

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

MANILA -- A ranking leader of the House of Representatives on Tuesday admitted that the lack of Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) meetings under the Aquino administration has delayed the enactment of priority bills in Congress.

"It's true that the Office of the President is in close contact with the House leadership but it wouldn't hurt if the Ledac is convened to speed up the approval of priority measures," House Majority Leader Neptali "Boyet" Gonzales II said in a press conference.

"Admittedly, medyo mabagal ang paggawa," Gonzales said.

In the present 16th Congress, the House of Representatives has so far only acted on three vital bills; namely the measure postponing the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, the General Appropriations Bill, and the joint resolution extending financial assistance to victims of typhoon Yolanda. The 16th Congress convened July of this year.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Ledac meetings since President Benigno Aquino III assumed office in 2010 was only held thrice. Gonzales said he can only recall attending two meetings.

Gonzales likened Ledac meetings with the bicameral conference committees (bicam) created by Congress for House and the Senate to reconcile conflicting provisions of the versions of their respective bills.

"It's an advanced bicam because in that meeting, you already agreed with the Senate which version of the bill will be supported by the Executive," he said.

The House leader added that bills which are tagged as House priorities does not necessarily mean that it has counterpart measures in the Senate. Both chambers of Congress must agree, if not come up with their respective versions, on bills which will be submitted to MalacaƱang for the President's signature.

The Ledac created through Republic Act 7640 by former President Fidel Ramos determines socio-economic development goals, and provides policy advice to the President, among others. (Sunnex)

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