Senate, House approve Marcos admin’s priority bills before month-long break

File photo
File photo

THE Senate approved a total of 18 proposed measures including five which were included in President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s list of priority bills during the regular plenary session of the 19th Congress, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said Thursday, September 28, 2023.

THE Senate approved a total of 18 proposed measures, including five that were part of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s list of priority bills, during the regular plenary session of the 19th Congress, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said on Thursday, September 28, 2023.

Zubiri said that before the legislature goes in a month-long break starting September 30, among the approved bills were Senate Bill No. 2224 or the Ease of Paying Taxes Act and Senate Bill No. 2233 or the Public Private Partnership Act, which were both ratified and are already for submission to Marcos.

He also noted the passage of Senate Bill No. 2221, or the proposed Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers, which was earlier certified as urgent by Marcos.

Also passed on the third and final reading were Senate Bill No. 2001, the New Philippine Passport Act; Senate Bill No. 1846, the Internet Transactions Act; and Senate Bill No. 2028, which recognizes octogenarians, nonagenarians and centenarians and provides cash incentives of P10,000, P20,000, and P100,000 for senior citizens reaching 80, 90, and 100 years old, respectively.

Zubiri said Senate Bill No. 2218 or the Tatak Pinoy Act was also passed on second reading. It is set to be approved on third reading upon the resumption of session on November 6.

Senate Bill No. 2224, 2233, 2221, 1846 and 2001 were all among the 20 priority legislative measures of the administration.

Zubiri said 12 other local bills on state colleges and universities in various parts of the country were also passed by the Senate.

"Once signed into law, these measures will help shore up the Marcos administration's initiatives to make the Philippines a prime investment destination," Zubiri said.

"These pieces of legislation will blast open new avenues for foreign trade and investments, which are crucial in making us a truly competitive economic player," he added.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Martin Romualdez said the House of Representatives approved all the 20 measures marked by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council as priority.

He said it includes House Bill (HB) 7006 or Automatic Income Classification Act for Local Government Units, and HB 8278 or the Philippine Salt Industry Development Act which is expected to be signed into law by Marcos soon.

The 14 other measures passed on third and final reading are:

*HB 6522 - Philippine Centers for Disease Prevention and Control Act

*HB 6518 - Health Auxiliary Reinforcement Team Act

*HB 6452 - Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines Act

*HB 6687 - Instituting a National Citizens Service Program

*HB 6558 - Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act

*HB 7327 - E-Governance/E-Government Act

*HB 6444 - Waste Treatment Technology Act

*HB 6510 - New Philippine Passport Act

*HB 7325 - Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers

*HB 7240 - National Government Rightsizing Act

*HB 7393 - Anti-Financial Account Scamming Act

*HB 7446 - Amending the Bank Secrecy Law

*HB 8969 - Military and Other Uniformed Personnel Pension Act

*HB 9284 - Anti Agri-fishery Commodities and Tobacco Economic Sabotage Act of 2023

The House also adopted Senate Bill 1846 as an amendment to HB 0004, the Internet Transactions or E-Commerce Law, while HB 6527, the Public-Private Partnership Act, and HB 4125, the Ease of Paying Taxes Act, were ratified by the conference committee reports.

Romualdez said that since Congress convened for its second regular session in July, eight bills have been signed into law, including RA 11962, the Trabaho Para Sa Bayan Act; RA 11956, which extends the tax amnesty availment period; RA 11958, which increases the disability pension of veterans; RA 11959, the Regional Specialty Centers Act; RA 11960, the One Town, One Product (Otop) Philippines Act; and RA 11961, which amends the National Cultural Heritage Act.

Before the start of the second regular session, the President signed RA 11953, or New Agrarian Emancipation Act, and RA 11954 of Maharlika Investment Fund Act of 2023.

Romualdez said they also approved on third reading several local bills on marine hatcheries, fish ports, national high schools, hospitals, skills and development, eco-parks and national shrines, environment, roads and highways, and tourism.

He ensured that even while on break they will continue to work.

"I am confident that with our steady and stable pace, driven by our eagerness to fulfill our duties, the rest of our targets are achievable. Let us do our best and prove that through our solid efforts, the nation is in good hands…Let us continue working to fulfill our obligation and tackle the lawmaking process with greater fervor,” Romualdez said. (SunStar Philippines)

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