By Charissa Luci-Atienza
After seven laws were recently signed by President Duterte, the House leadership assured the public on Sunday, February 2, that it would keep the legislative mill grinding and would be passing more “quality” measures, including the bills creating three new departments and other economic legislation.
House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez disclosed that seven bills of national significance have already been signed into law by President Duterte.
“We are busy with our work, and we intend to keep it that way. We all have roles to play, and we are just glad to be given the opportunity to serve,” the chairman of the powerful House Committee on Rules said in his speech before the officials and members of the Rotary Club of Manila at the Manila Polo Club in Makati City on Thursday, January 30.
“Our focus right now is to work hard in legislation and pass all the measures needed to improve the living condition of our people. That is the marching order from the President,” Romualdez said.
He said the bills creating the Departments of Filipinos Overseas (DFO) and Disaster Resilience (DDR) will soon be put to vote for second reading approval, while the bill proposing the creation of the Department of Water Resources (DWR) will be endorsed soon for plenary passage.
He said aside from the measures creating the new agencies, the House is also set to pass on second reading House Bill (HB) No. 78 or Defining Public Utilities, further amending the Public Service Act, and HB No. 59 or Setting the Minimum Paid-up Capital and Locally Produced Stock Inventory Requirements for Foreign Retail Business Enterprises.
Romualdez said that, aside from the proposed DWR, also set to be endorsed for plenary approval are the proposed Assignment of Health Workers in all Barangays; Fire Protection Modernization Program; and National Academy of Sports for High School Students.
“Time to roll up our sleeves once again and work double time in passing vital legislative measures,” he said.
The House leader noted that from July 22, 2019 to January 22, 2020, the House of Representatives has processed a total of 940 measures, or an average of 27 measures per day, in its first 35 session days.
He said the Lower Chamber received total of 7,449 measures and 201 committee reports.
Of these, 6,748 are bills and 701 are resolutions, he noted.
Among the measures signed into law by President Duterte were Republic Act (RA) No. 11462 or Postponing the May 2020 Barangay and Sangguaniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) and resetting these twin polls to December 5, 2022; RA No. 11463 or Establishing Malasakit Centers in all Department of Health (DoH) Hospitals; RA No. 11464 or Extending the Availability of the 2019 Appropriations to December 31, 2020; RA No. 11465 or the P4.1-trillion national budget; RA No. 11466 or the Salary Standardization Law 5 that will benefit about 1.4 million state workers; RA No. 114667 or the Sin Tax law which imposes additional excise taxes on alcohol, heated tobacco products
(HTPs) and vape products and; RA No. 114668 or Designating the Third Sunday of November Every year as the National Day for Road Crash Victims, Survivors and their Families.
Romualdez noted that the House Joint Resolution (HJR) No. 22 or the Joint Resolution that seeks to authorize the use of the rice subsidy for the purchase of palay from local farmers is now pending in the bicameral conference committee.
He said the House already passed measures seeking to promote the country as a viable investment destination.These include House Bill (HB) No. 300 or amendment to the Foreign Investment Act of 1991, HB No. 304 or the Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA), and HB No. 4157 or the Corporate Income Tax and Incentive Rationalization Act (CITIRA).