House vows to 'pick up pace' in legislative work

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

MANILA (Updated) -- As 2013 comes to a close, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. vowed that the House of Representatives will "pick up its pace and move forward in legislative work" when session resumes in January 20 of next year.

Before the Christmas break, Speaker Belmonte said the House worked on vital measures, including the passage of the General Appropriations Act, the national budget for 2014.

The House also approved a supplemental budget bill which provides that the unused priority development assistance fund (PDAF) for 2013 will be allocated to victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

"No region or area in the country must be left out of the umbrella of inclusive growth," Belmonte said of the approved bills.

Last month, members of Congress bid their pork barrel or PDAF goodbye following a Supreme Court (SC) ruling declaring the discretionary fund unconstitutional.

Belmonte vowed that the House of Representatives will restore its integrity after its public trust and approval ratings were pulled down by the controversial PDAF scam.

"We will never lose sight of opportunities open to us to reform our system. We will face these problems squarely and take concrete actions to correct the system and rebuild the integrity of our institutions, promoting good governance through full transparency and accountability in public office," Belmonte said.

As of December 10, 2013, the House Secretariat was in receipt of over 3,539 House bills – 2,484 of which is of national significance, while 1,055 were of local application. Of the said House bills, 3,501 have been referred to appropriate standing and special committees for proper consideration.

Several committees have started acting on proposed laws, including the Anti-Dynasty bill, Freedom of Information Act, the Land Administration reform measure, the Political party reform bill, and the bill updating the antiquated Immigration Law. (Sunnex)

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