These 8 priority measures from SONA can be approved swiftly, says Romualdez

House Speaker Martin Romualdez has identified the eight measures out of the 19 enumerated by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. that can be swiftly approved via a special rule in the lower chamber.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez (2nd from left) looks at President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (rightmost, standing) (Lakas-CMD Media)

“We have the internal mechanism for an expeditious approval process that is enshrined in Rule 10, Section 48 of the House rules of procedure,” Romualdez, Leyte's 1st district congressman, said in a statement.

Under Rule 10, Section 48, House committees can dispose of priority measures already filed and approved on third reading in the immediately preceding congress. This means that the bills can be endorsed directly for plenary approval in the current 19th Congress.

“We are in full support of the President’s entire legislative agenda, including the key priority proposals for legislation he has asked Congress to consider. We will act on these with dispatch,” Romualdez said.

The priority measures laid out by President Marcos in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) were the Valuation Reform Bill; Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA); E-Governance Act; Internet Transaction Act; Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE) Bill; Medical Reserve Corps Bill; National Disease Prevention Management Authority Bill; Virology Institute of the Philippines Bill; Unified System of Separation, Retirement and Pension Bill; Department of Water Resources Bill; E-Governance Act; National Land Use Act; Mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and National Service Training Program; Budget Modernization Bill; National Government Rightsizing Program; National Defense Act; Enactment of an Enabling Law for the Natural Gas Industry; Amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act; and Amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer Law.

The eight measures whose passage could be hastened via Rule 10, Section 48 are Valuation Reform Bill, PIFITA, E-Governance Act,Internet Transaction Act, GUIDE, Medical Reserve Corps, National Disease Prevention Management Authority, and Virology Institute of the Philippines.

Of the eight measures, five are covered by bills authored by Romualdez.These are GUIDE (House Bill No.1), Medical Reserve Corps (HB No.2), Internet Transaction Act (HB No.4), National Disease Prevention Management Authority (HB No.9), and Virology Institute of the Philippines (HB No.10).

Of the 19 priority measures of Marcos, the speaker has filed 12 counterpart bills, which among the first 25 legislative proposals he has submitted to the House.

The 12 are GUIDE (HB No.1), Medical Reserve Corps (HB No.2), E-Governance Act (HB No.3), Internet Transaction Act (HB No.4), unified pension system (HB No.7), National Disease Prevention Management Authority (HB No.9), Virology Institute of the Philippines (HB No.10), National Defense Act (HB No.11), National Government Rightsizing Program (HB No.12), Enabling Law for the Natural Gas Industry (HB No.17), bill on budget modernization (HB No.19), and Department of Water Resources (HB No.21).

“We will give these and all the other SONA measures utmost priority,” Romualdez said, adding that the Chief Executive “clearly spelled out a roadmap of governance in his six years of office” during the latter's speech Monday.