The country’s senators have started filing their pet bills on Monday (July 1) as they begin their regular office work in preparation for the official opening of the 18th Congress on July 22 for President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Every senator will file their first 10 priority bills.
The first who filed his bills is Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
His proposals include the following:
Presidential Drug Enforcement Agency
Anti Drug Penal Institution
Medical Scholarship Act
Amendments to Human Security Act
Hybrid Elections Act
14th Month Pay Law
Anti Fake News Act
Increasing Penalty of Perjury
Sim Card Registration Act
Dangerous Drugs Court
Meanwhile, Senator Sonny Angara also filed his pet bills, as follows:
Upgrading Salary Grade Level of Teachers from 11 to 19
Under Privileged Students’ Discount Act
Increasing the Monthly Pension of Senior Citizens
Dialysis Center Act
Resolution on Dialysis Fraud
Senator Bong Revilla Jr also filed his priority bills for the 18th Congress, which include:
P125 Daily Across-the-Board increase in the Salary Rates of Employees in Private Sector
Lowering the Mandatory & Optional Retirement Age of Government employees
Senator Francis Pangilinan, meanwhile, filed the following:
Coco Levy Act
National Land Use Act of 2019
Proposed Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources
Proposed Department of Disaster & Emergency Management
Rainwater Management Bill
Single-Use Plastic Regulation & Management Act
Basic Education Teachers Pay Increase Act
Senators Risa Hontiveros and Ralph Recto, on the other hand, will once again file the bills entitled Sogie Equality Bill or the Anti-Discrimation Bill and the One Town, One Doctor Bill, respectively.
Meanwhile, Senator Joel Villanueva said he will propose measures regarding the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers.
“Gustong gusto natin yung Bagong Bayani Filipino hospital for our OFW and then yung OFW insurance act,” said Villanueva.
Senator Lito Lapid, on the other hand, signified his desire to strengthen the free legal assistance and will propose a measure to resolve the water shortage, according to his son, Mark Lapid.
“Siyempre gusto niyang magsubmit ng paano natin (sosolusyunan) ang water crisis,” Lapid said.
Meanwhile, the offices of the newly elected senators are currently under renovation.
These include the offices of Senators Pia Cayetano, Bong Revilla, Ronald Bato dela Rosa who personally visited his office, Bong Go, and Lito Lapid.
The equipment and furniture of the outgoing senators are now pulled out of their former offices. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate of the Philippines will be under “total lockdown” on Tuesday, March 16, to give way to sanitation and disinfection of premises after a staff tested positive for COVID-19.
A personnel from the Legislative Bills and Index Service was confirmed positive for coronavirus on Monday, March 15.
“The entire Bills and Index (Service) is now quarantined. And so with that, we cannot make any amendments, any other bills to take up until the full sanitation is done,” said Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
Sotto assured that none of the senators were exposed to the infected employee.
He added that only virtual hearings will be allowed on Tuesday while on-site sessions will resume on Wednesday (March 17).
Senator Richard Gordon offered the services of the Philippine Red Cross in case the Senate agrees to conduct a saliva-based COVID-19 testing.
Three employees of the Senate’s in-house catering service had also recently tested positive for COVID-19.
It prompted the Senate president to cut short the session time to until 6:00 p.m. as they could not compromise the schedule of deliberations given the load of proposed measures that they have to address.
The 18th Congress is set to suspend sessions for the 2nd regular session from March 27 to May 16. MNP (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Allan Velasco maintained that calls to revive the franchise of media giant ABS-CBN will have to wait until the next Congress.
In a statement on Thursday (February 11), Velasco said the 18th Congress only has a year until the 2022 elections.
Thus, he said, “The House of Representatives is bent on finishing the remaining priority measures of this Administration to ensure that President Rodrigo Duterte fulfills his campaign promise to the Filipino people.”
On top of these priority legislation, Velasco said, Congress is working double time to accomplish priority legislation such as the passage of the Bayanihan to Arise as One Act or the Bayanihan 3, as well as other economic bills geared toward rebuilding the Philippine economy following the impact of the global pandemic.
Several lawmakers have moved to revive the media giant’s franchise application by filing proposed measures to the same Congress that denied it in July 2020.
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (July 27) fulfilled one of his most important tasks as head of the country despite the risks of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
He opted to deliver his SONA personally at the Batasang Pambansa despite heavy rain and several reports of COVID-19 positive test results among some of the event’s supposed attendees.
The ceremony was obviously a deviation from the Congress’ decade-long tradition: no prior meet-up with the Senate and House leaders, no fancy welcoming rites, no live performers and no handshakes.
The President went straight to the plenary upon his arrival and after the opening numbers, he went on to deliver his report to the nation.
His speech lasted for about an hour and 40 minutes.
During his SONA, President Duterte asked the Congress to pass significant legislation that he believes are necessary in helping his administration propel the country even amidst the ongoing challenges.
One of which is the revival of death penalty for drug-related crimes.
“I reiterate the swift passage of reviving the death penalty by lethal injection for crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Acts of 2002,” he said in his speech stressing the dangers illegal drugs cause to an individual and families.
Likewise, he asked Congress to immediately enact the Bayanihan Two so that assistance to sectors most affected by the pandemic will be delivered right away and funds will be made available for the procurement of additional medical equipment that will augment the country’s healthcare system.
“I hope that we can get some or the same treatment of clarity, purpose and the fastness to support the passage of the Bayanihan [to Recover as One Act], which will supplement funds for recovery and response against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Aside from these two priority bills, the President enumerated several legislation which he wants Congress to deliberate and pass soon.
These include the passage of the:
Corporate Recovery And Tax Incentives For Enterprises (Create) Act
Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer Or Fist Act
Establishment of the Department Of Overseas Filipinos
National Land Use Act
Coconut Farmers and Industry Fund
Advanced Nursing Education Act
After his SONA, the President immediately left the Batasang Complex and went back to Malacañang. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
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