A CEBUANO lawmaker believes there is still enough time to pass the Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act (Fria) of 2009 even with only three weeks to go before Congress goes on recess.

Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI (Cebu, 5th district) said the bill is scheduled for second reading next week and for third the week after that.

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On the third week, a bicameral meeting will be pushed to deliberate and consider the billm considering that the Senate version authored by Sen. Edgardo Angara was already passed, he said.

The House version is a consolidation of similar bills filed by lawmakers Juan Edgardo Angara (Aurora), Ma. Amelita Calimbas-Villarosa (Occidental Mindoro), Jaime Lopez (Manila, 2nd district), Eduardo Nonato Joson (Nueva Ecija, 1st district), Roman Romulo (Pasig City) and Durano.

The bill covers the rehabilitation and liquidation of companies and individuals in financial distress.

However, not all companies are covered by the bill, Durano said.

He said banks, insurance and pre-need companies, local government units and some government owned corporations are excluded because they are already covered by other existing institutions that deal with insolvency cases.

Among the salient points of the bill is allowing creditors to “collectively and realistically resolve and adjust competing claims and property rights,” Durano said.

He said Fria stipulates a fixed period for an appointed trial court to hear petitions for insolvency or liquidation and likewise for the liquidation of assets.

The court will determine if the case is for insolvency or for liquidation and will appoint a receiver.

“This will allow the receiver to protect and maximize the assets of the debtor,” Durano said, adding that secured creditors will be given the priority on claims.

The court, if it sees fit, may also decide for the rehabilitation of the business,

The Supreme Court will identify or designate a court that will hear and resolve cases brought under the Fria Act.