MANILA – House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Sunday vowed for the swift passage of 11 additional legislations, bringing to 42 the total number of priority administration measures.
Romualdez said the bills include Amending the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) Fixed Term Bill, which was transmitted to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.; Ease of Paying Taxes; Maharlika Investment Fund; Local Government Unit Income Classification; Amendment to Universal Health Care Act, which were already sent to the Senate; Bureau of Immigration Modernization; Infrastructure Development Plan/Build Build Build Program, which is now for committee report preparation; Philippine Salt Industry Development Act; Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS); National Employment Action Plan; and Amendment to the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, which is under committee/technical working group (TWG) meeting.
“President Marcos Jr. approved 11 bills designed to address key issues on public health, job creation, and further stimulate economic growth as part of his administration’s priority legislation. These measures will be the focus of our legislative efforts when Congress resumes session this Monday,” he said in a statement.
Romualdez accompanied Marcos during his five-day official visit to the United States and Saturday’s coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla in Great Britain.
Romualdez said the leadership aims to approve the remaining eight Legislative-Executive Development Council (LEDAC) priority measures from the original 31 bills before the sine die adjournment of Congress on June 2.
“It will be on a best-effort basis. We will try to pass the remaining eight bills from the original priority list. If we could do that, we would have approved all the urgent measures identified by President Marcos in less than a year,” he said.
Romualdez said the proposed pieces of legislation support the President’s Agenda for Prosperity and his eight-point socio-economic roadmap.
“They are intended to sustain our economic growth, hasten the country’s digital transformation and speed up the delivery of public services to our people, among other objectives,” he added.
The original eight remaining State of the Nation Address (SONA) – LEDAC priority measures the House is aiming to approve in the homestretch of the first regular session of the 19th Congress are the bills establishing regional specialty hospitals; enabling law for the natural gas industry; National Land Use Act; Department of Water Resources and Services and creation of Water Regulatory Commission; Budget Modernization Act; National Defense Act; amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act; and the bill on a unified system of separation, retirement, and pension for uniformed personnel.
A total of 31 proposed laws have been originally listed by the President in his first SONA in July last year and later adopted by the LEDAC.
Two bills of the 31 are now laws — the SIM (subscriber identity module) Registration Act and the postponement of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections from Dec. 2022 to Oct. 30 this year.
Another bill, the proposed Agrarian Reform Debts Condonation of unpaid loans, interest, and penalties of thousands of agrarian reform beneficiaries, may soon become law.
Congress had ratified the conference committee report containing the condonation bill before the Holy Week adjournment in March.
The House had approved 20 LEDAC-SONA bills on final reading from the 31 original LEDAC bills.