Palace, Cabinet clusters list priority bills to be tackled in LEDAC next month

Published August 21, 2019, 4:57 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling 

The proposed salary hike for state workers, amendments to the Human Security Act, freedom of information bill, and coconut level fund measure are among the priority bills President Duterte hopes will be passed during the first regular session of the 18th Congress.

According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the President is expected to convene the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting next month to rally support for the approval of several legislative proposals.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles

“It looks like it (LEDAC) will be pushed to September because the President is reportedly leaving for China next week,” he said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum in Manila.

The LEDAC assembly was originally planned on the last week of August, but the President is set to travel to China from August 28 to September 2.

At the media forum, Nograles bared some priority legislations that include the measures endorsed by President Duterte in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) as well as those identified by Cabinet clusters.

“We have a matrix. What we did is we have a level of priority, high level of urgency, in advance legislative stage, high political acceptance, ease of passage and presence of a consensus bill or administration version. We have a scorecard. We have a scientific ranking of the bills,” he said.

He said the Cabinet cluster on security has pushed for the passage of measures on amendments to the Human Security Act, revival of the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, archipelagic sea lanes, Philippine maritime zones, National Defense Act, and Pension Reform Act.

Among the priority bills identified by the Cabinet cluster on participatory governance were the budget reform measure, salary standardization law 5, and freedom of information bill.

The bills seeking the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience, as well as Department of Water Resources and Water Regulatory Commission, National Land Use Act, measure strengthening the crop insurance service, were among the bills endorsed by the Cabinet cluster on climate change adaptation.

The Cabinet cluster on human development and poverty reduction also backed the approval of the coconut levy fund, anti-elder abuse, Department of Health hospital bed rationalization, health facilities and services regulation act, Philippine Commission on Children, creation of Department of Culture.

Among the priority bills of the economic development cluster were the TRABAHO (Tax Reform for Attracting Better and Higher Quality Opportunities) bill, amendments to the Foreign Investment Act, Open access in data transmission act,  amendments to the Public Service amendments to the Retail Trade liberation act, excise tax on alcohol, and Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso Act (P3), amendments to secrecy in bank deposits law.

Nograles also confirmed that the security of tenure bill, revival of the death penalty, and the proposed shift to federalism were also part of the list of the administration priority bills.