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MANILA, Philippines - A total of 27 measures have been enacted into law and a number of bills are lined up for passage since the 15th Congress started in June 2010, proof that the legislative chamber was a "bastion of reform and outstanding performance."
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. issued the statement ahead of the State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III on July 23 that will lay down his administration's accomplishments and plans in his next four years in office.
Before the President's speech on Monday afternoon, both the Senate and the House of Representatives will convene separately at 10 a.m. and open the third regular session.
Belmonte said winning the trust of the people is a key achievement of the House of Representatives.
“Our people’s growing trust in government is the most important ingredient in our quest to mold effective policies vital to national development,” Belmonte said.
“To sustain that requires a continued commitment towards competent and accountable governance," he added.
The chamber currently has 285 members.
The latest Social Weather Station survey gave the House a "good" net satisfaction at +30 (50 percent satisfied, 21 percent satisfied). It was 10 points lower from its record high satisfaction rating of +40 last March.
“The positive ratings only mean we are on the right track and should raise the bar for legislative performance even higher, including exerting even greater efforts toward meaningful service to our people.” Belmonte said.
The House leader said his colleagues continued to perform their job, despite the five-month impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona.
He said the trial was a "painful and difficult but necessary step" to institute reforms in the judiciary and restore accountability and public trust in the system.
“Even as the impeachment process was a five-month deviation from our regular legislative work, our collective commitment as representatives of the people was never sacrificed,” he added.
Other accomplishments of the Lower House
Aside from the 27 new laws that were enacted since June 2010, three bicameral reports were also ratified by both chambers, 776 measures were approved on third reading and transmitted to the Senate for its appropriate action.
Until adjournment of the 2nd regular session in June, a span of only 128 session days, some 3,398 measures have been processed out of some 8,884 bills and resolutions filed or some 27 measures processed each session day during the first and second regular sessions.
The House also adopted 11 concurrent resolutions, 268 regular resolutions and 1,180 resolutions authorizing the conduct of inquiries in aid of legislation.
Some 12 bills were passed on second reading before June 6 and are expected to be passed on final reading in the early part of the coming 3rd regular session.
Key bills, however, such as the Reproductive Health bill and the Freedom of Information bill, have remained pending in the House.
Most recently, the President signed into law the following: RA 10167 – amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act; RA 10168 – the Terrorism Financing and Suppression Act of 2012; RA 10165 – the Act strengthening and Propagating Foster Care for Abandoned and Neglected
Children; RA 10166 – an Act regulating the Practice of Geology, among others.
Awaiting transmittal to the President for action are the ratified bills: the Data Privacy Act (HB 4115); the People’s Survival Fund Act (HB 6235); the Arbor Day Revival Act (HB4330); the Anti-Cybercrime Act (HB 5808); and the Act authorizing the City or Municipal Civil Registrar or Consul General to correct clerical errors in the Date of Birth or Sex of a person appearing in the Civil Registrar without need of a Judicial Order (HB4530).