Senate to prioritize economic bills when it resumes session Monday
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - The Senate of the Philippines will resume its third regular session of the 15th Congress tomorrow, July 23, and will continue working for the passage of several economic and other measures, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said.
“The improvement of the economy is the government’s vital concern. We wish to generate an economic climate that encourages the creation of goods and services in a playing field that is intentionally made fair for all,” Enrile said in a statement isued Sunday.
During the opening, Enrile will deliver his opening speech in the morning before leading senators to the House of Representatives in the afternoon for a joint session of Congress to hear the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Enrile also said senators will hold a caucus on Tuesday to discuss priority bills, including local bills which need “urgent” attention.
“We will hold a caucus on Tuesday because there are urgent bills that must be done. Some of the local bills involve the splitting of provinces and the creation of districts. The filing of certificate of candidacies is fast approaching for the 2013 elections so we have to tackle those bills,” Enrile said.
“We have bills that need to be passed on third reading including Senate Bill 3071 which aims to promote competitive Filipino design and the promotion of a national design policy; SB 2842 which seeks to upgrade the copyright section of the Department and Industry into a servicing bureau under the Intellectual Property Office, and SB 2746 which seeks to eliminate botcha or the sale of dead meat in the market by providing label or origin for meal and meat products,” he added.
The Senate, he said, is slated to approve on third reading SB 3199 which will create the Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD) to address the housing backlog in the country.
In the pipeline
In addition, Enrile said, the Senate will prioritize Senate Bill 3098 or the Anti-Trust Law which seeks to prohibit or discourage the formation of anti-competitive mergers and anti-competitive conduct; SB 3208 or the People’s Ownership over Government Information (POGI); SB 2865 or the Reproductive Health Bill; SB 2978 or the coconut levy fund; SB 3093 or the filing of false complaints against public officers as an aggravating circumstance of perjury;
SB 2857 or institutionalizing the participation of civil society organizations in the preparation of the annual national budget; SB 107 which will require public officials and employees to submit a written permission of waiver in favor of the Ombudsman to look into bank deposits; SB 3114 or the strengthening of the political party system; and SB 3123 which seeks the amendment of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
“We also anticipate the submission of the proposed 2013 national budget by the Executive Department of Congress in the next few weeks. In the same way that Congress passed the General Appropriations Act in the previous regular sessions in an expeditious manner, I am confident that the Senate Committee on Finance will likewise work hardfor the timely passage of the 2013 budget,” Enrile said.
Despite a delay in legislative work due to the 44-day Impeachment Trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, approved a total of 47 bills and has acted upon 283 other measures filed since July 2010.
Seventeen bills were enacted into law, namely: RA 10147 (General Appropriations Act of 2011), RA 10148 (Grant of Philippine Citizenship to Marcus Eugene Douthit), RA 10149 (GOCC Governance Act), RA 10150 (Extending the Lifeline Rate to Marginalized End-Users of Power), RA 10151 (An Allowing the Employment of Night Workers), RA 10152 (Mandatory Basic Immunization Services for Infants and Children);
RA 10153 (Synchronization of the ARMM Elections with the National and Local Elections), RA 10154 (Early Release of Retirement Pay of Government Employees), RA 10155 (General Appropriations Act of 2012), RA 10156 (Conferment of Civil Service Eligibility to Members of the Sangguniang Bayan), RA 10157 (Kindergarten Education Act), RA 10158 (Act Decriminalizing Vagrancy), RA 10159 (Amending the Revised Penal Code provision on Subsidiary Imprisonment), RA 10160 (Bacoor City Charter), RA 10161 (Imus City Charter), RA 10162 (Sta. Rosa City Charter), and RA 10164 (Mabalacat City Charter).
Two other bills are pending in the conference committee: one creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology and one on Ethnic Discrimination.
Nine bills were sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence – SB 789 or Additional Benefits and Protection for Househelpers, SB 429 or the Discrimination Against Women, SB480 or Replacing the Term “Spouse of Age” with “Either Spouse,” SB 1052 amending the Family Code (Divorced Obtained Abroad), SB 2796 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2011, SB 2811 or the People’s Survival Fund (Climate Change), SB 2817 or the Involuntary Disappearance Act, SB 2875 or the Security of Tenure of Casual/Contractual Employees of the Government, and SB 2965 or the Data Privacy Act.