Suspension up: Jinggoy Estrada files 5 bills in return to work
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada has buckled down to work, filing at least five bills immediately after the Senate lifted the 90-day suspension order against him last Saturday.
Estrada and two other senators—Juan Ponce-Enrile and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.—were ordered suspended by the Sandiganbayan after they were charged with plunder in connection with the pork barrel scam. They are currently detained at Camp Crame, in Quezon City.
Last Monday, December 1, 2014, Estrada submitted for consideration of the chamber five bills, including Senate Bill 2479 that seeks to regulate tattooing and body piercing and prohibition of such acts on minors.
The senator also filed Senate Bill 2476 or the establishment of Address Confidentiality Program for the victims of violence against women (VAW) and children.
In filing the measure, Estrada noted that over a ten-year period, the number of reported VAW cases has steadily increased – from 218 documented cases in 2004 to more than 9,000 in 2010, and to 16,517 in 2013.
He then proposes the adoption of the US government program of address confidentiality for the victims, providing them substitute address for public records which will be helpful for them to start and lead normal lives, safe and far from their abusers.
Estrada is also pushing for a definition of the prevalent crime of identity theft through Senate Bill 2477. The proposed bill further provides stiff penalties for offenders (imprisonment of up to 20 years and/or a fine of up to 5 million pesos) and directs the National Statistics Office and the Department of Justice to assist victims of identity theft and to correct their false records.
In another legislation, Senate Bill 2478, the senator seeks to lay down guidelines and minimum requirements for the operations of dormitories and boarding houses. Estrada said he wants to ensure that all dormitories and boarding houses, which serve as temporary shelters for many students in the metropolis, be safe, clean and conducive to living and learning.
The bill mandates that such spaces offer decent living conditions with adequate lighting, proper ventilation, enough room for mobility, fire protection facilities, study room, first aid equipment, garbage disposal systems, and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. Local government intervention is also espoused in specific matters including issuance of licenses, prescription of minimum rentals, and imposition of annual fees.
Estrada also proposes Senate Bill 2480 that would require every private and government institutions to set up functional and sanitary separate comfort rooms for men, ladies and persons with special needs and disabilities.
All five bills were filed during the 15th Congress but were not enacted into law, the statement said.
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