Senators file pet bills for 18th Congress

Maris Federez   •   July 1, 2019   •   2127

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:

  1. Presidential Drug Enforcement Agency
  2. Anti Drug Penal  Institution
  3. Medical Scholarship Act
  4. Amendments to Human Security Act
  5. Hybrid Elections Act
  6. 14th Month Pay Law
  7. Anti Fake News Act
  8. Increasing Penalty of Perjury
  9. Sim Card Registration Act
  10. Dangerous Drugs Court

Meanwhile, Senator Sonny Angara also filed his pet bills, as follows:

  1. Upgrading Salary Grade Level of Teachers from 11 to 19
  2. Under Privileged Students’ Discount Act
  3. Increasing the Monthly Pension of Senior Citizens
  4. Dialysis Center Act
  5. Resolution on Dialysis Fraud

Senator Bong Revilla Jr also filed his priority bills for the 18th Congress, which include:

  1. P125 Daily Across-the-Board increase in the Salary Rates of Employees in Private Sector
  2. Lowering the Mandatory & Optional Retirement Age of Government employees

Senator Francis Pangilinan, meanwhile, filed the following:

  1. Coco Levy Act
  2. National Land Use Act of 2019
  3. Proposed Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources
  4. Proposed Department of Disaster & Emergency Management
  5. Rainwater Management Bill
  6. Single-Use Plastic Regulation & Management Act
  7. 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

Lacson, Sotto test negative for illegal drugs

Maris Federez   •   November 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson and running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday (November 22) underwent voluntary drug testing at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) office in Diliman, Quezon City, and tested negative for drug use, a statement from the Partido Reporma said.

Earlier in the day, Sotto said: “Magkaalaman na kung sino matatapang”.

The Lacson-Sotto tandem said their move was to show that they are drug-free and fit to run in the 2022 national and local elections.

Sotto earlier said that ordinary drug tests only determine “shabu” or  “marijuana” use.

However, the PDEA test that they took, he said, is a ‘’multi-drug one-step immunometric assay for the detection of drugs of abuse in urine.’’

In the statement, Lacson said he and Sotto took a multi-drug screening procedure, which is capable of detecting all types of illegal substances in a human body. They both tested negative for illegal drugs.

The tandem went through all the protocols from the signing up of forms to the submission of their urine samples where an attending physician monitored them closely to ensure the authenticity of the tests.

Last Friday, Lacson suggested Friday conducting a random drug test to candidates following President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement on an unnamed presidential candidate who was into cocaine.

“I have never been addicted to drugs all my life, so I have no problem with that. In fact, we should all undergo random testing to make it more credible,” he said.

Meanwhile, in an ambush interview in General Santos City, Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go who is also running for president, reiterated that, although it is not mandatory, he is willing to undergo drug testing any time of the day.

“Ako naman po willing magpa-drug test anytime of the day. Anytime po kung kakailanganin,” Go said.

“Though hindi mandatory, pero just to prove lang po sa Pilipino kung sino yung fit na mamuno sa ating bansa ay willing po akong magpa-drug test, any time of the day po,” he added. —/mbmf

Lacson, Sotto officially launch tandem for presidential, VP posts

Maris Federez   •   September 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, on Wednesday, officially launched their tandem on their bid for the presidential and vice-presidential posts in the 2022 National Elections.

The pre-taped campaign launch was attended by few family members, friends, former co-workers, and supporters who were tested for the coronavirus before the event. Other supporters joined the tandem via teleconference and taped testimonies.

Sotto took the stage first to signify his intention to be the country’s second in command.

“Ang inyo pong lingkod ay naririto para harapin ang hamon sa tamang panahon na maging kandidato ninyo sa pagka-pangalawang pangulo ng Republika ng Pilipinas,” Sotto said.

After raising national issues, such as poor economy, rising COVID-19 cases, corruption, and poverty, Sotto said the Filipinos have had enough.

“Tama na! Kailangan na nating tumugon! Kailangan na nating umaksyon! Kailangan na natin magsanib pwersa upang mapigilan at maitama ang mali. Ito na ang simula,” he said.

In his own speech, Lacson mentioned how President Rodrigo Duterte admitted in his final State of the Nation Address “that he was wrong to think that leading the country is simple and easy as leading Davao City.”

“Walang debate sa katotohanan. Hindi natin dapat payagan ang maling akala para sa kinabukasan ng ating bansa,” Lacson said.

Lacson stressed that the challenges that await the next administration are no joking matter and that they should be addressed with honest, dedicated, and competent public service.

“Mayroon kaming sapat na kakayahan, katapatan, at katapangan upang pamunuan ang ating bansa at upang muling bumangon sa ating pagkakalugmok,” he said.

Lacson and Sotto said they are gunning for “leadership by example.”

“Hindi sa salita kundi sa gawa. No leader can succeed if he cannot practice what he preaches,” Lacson said.

Lacson said they are in the process of crafting their platform of government that they want to present to the people.

“As we speak, we are in the process of drawing up a roadmap or a master plan that will serve as our platform of government that we intend to present to our people. After all, sa takdang panahon, kayo ang magdedesisyon kung karapat-dapat ba kaming pagkatiwalaan na mamuno sa ating bayan,” he said. —/mbmf

Senate opens third regular session of 18th Congress

Robie de Guzman   •   July 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Monday opened the third and last regular session of the 18th Congress ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) later in the day.

Thirteen senators personally attended the opening of the session while nine were virtually present.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III presided over the opening of the session.

In its third regular session, the Senate said it will work for the passage of 10 priority measures.

These include the Amendments to the Foreign Investment Acts (FIA), Amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA), Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE), Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act.

The upper chamber will also prioritize the passage of Package 4 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) or the Passive Income Tax and Financial Intermediary Tax Act (PIFITA), Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP), Rural Agricultural and Fisheries Development Financing System Act (Agri-Agra) and Package 3 of the CTRP or the Valuation Reform Bill.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier said the Senate will work on the passage of the following measures: Modernization of the Bureau of Fire Protection, Increasing the Statutory Rape Age Act, Military and Uniformed Personnel Insurance Fund Act, Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Act, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Extension Law and possibly the Bayanihan 3.

Just like last year, visitors and guests will not be allowed inside the Senate premises due to stringent health protocols and regulations.

Family members of senators, former senators, government officials, and media personalities will also not be allowed inside the gallery hall. Only selected Senate employees will be allowed inside to assist during the session.

After the morning session, Sotto will lead some senators to the House of Representatives for a joint session of Congress to hear Duterte’s SONA.

Sotto earlier said only eight senators will physically witness Duterte deliver his SONA due to restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.