Arroyo to Sotto: Fast-track Cha-cha, 11 other Duterte priority bills
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has urged Senate President Vicente Sotto III to fast-track the legislation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s priority bills, including the lower chamber’s draft federal charter.
In a letter sent to Sotto Tuesday, a copy of which was given to media Wednesday, Arroyo enumerated Duterte’s 12 priority bills passed by the House but pending at the Senate and said the House “await(s) the action” on these in the remaining three weeks of the 17th Congress.
“As for the eleven (11) pending bills in the President’s priority legislative agenda, we await the action of the Senate and stand ready to adopt the Senate version in the interest of speedy legislation,” the Pampanga congresswoman said.
The priority bills mentioned in the President’s third State of the Nation Address are as follows:
1. Security of Tenure Act
2. An Act Creating the Coconut Industry Fund Act
3. National Land Use Act
4. Department of Disaster Resilience Act
5. Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities
6. An Act Establishing the Fiscal Regime for the Mining Industry
7. An Act Amending the Excise Tax on Alcohol Products
8. An Act Increasing the Excise Tax Rate on Tobacco Products
9. An Act Instituting Reforms in Real Property Valuation and Assessment in the Philippines
10. Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act of 2016
11. Resolution Proposing the Revision of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines
The lawmaker said Duterte verbally and personally requested Congress last January to also prioritize the bill lowering the age of criminal responsibility or An Act Expanding the Scope of the Reformation and Rehabilitation of Children in Conflict with the Law and Strengthening the Social Reintegration Programs.
Arroyo also said the House re-introduced a bill on the creation of the Coconut Industry Trust Fund which she hopes would “conform more to the policy direction of the Executive and thus constitutes our main priority for our last three weeks’ work in the House of Representatives.” The said bill was vetoed by the President. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)