Senate passes 197 bills before two-week break-A A +A
Friday, September 21, 2012
SOME 197 measures were passed by the Senate two months after the opening of the third regular session of the 15th Congress in late July.
Of the bills passed until Thursday's adjournment, six have been signed into law, according to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
These are the Data Privacy Act, People's Survival Fund, An Act Authorizing Clerical or Typographical Errors in Birthdate or Sex of a Person Without Need for Judicial Order, An Act Reviving the Observance of Arbor Day, The Act Reapportioning the Province of Cotabato into Three Legislative Districts, and the controversial Anti-Cybercrime Act.
Recently, various media groups and members of the online community raised concerns on the inclusion of online libel as one of the punishable acts because it allegedly violated the constitutional right to freedom of expression.
The provision was supposedly inserted during the bicameral conference for the bill.
The Kabataan Partylist had said it may file a petition for prohibition against Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act to the Supreme Court before the law takes effect on the first week of October.
Pending consolidation by Congress are the Househelper's Additional Benefits and Protection Act and the Involuntary and Disappearance Act while the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program is currently for signature by President Benigno Aquino III.
Approved on third reading are 86 measures, among which are the Meat Labeling Act, The Philippine Interior Design Act, The Department of Housing and Urban Development Act, Strengthening the Career Executive Service as well as The Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Height Equality Act .
These bills await the concurrence of the House of Representatives.
Enrile said the Senate passed on third reading 102 measures that have been submitted for approval of the President. Those measures are for the creation of additional trial courts, elementary and national high schools.
The Senate will resume its sessions on October 8 after giving way to the filing of certificate of candidacy for those seeking elective positions in May 2013. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)