2 priority measures up for House OK
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives is expected to approve on Monday two priority measures — one extending the life of the 2019 budget and the other postponing the 2020 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections — as Congress resumes session.
The 300-strong chamber also intends to speed up approval of a pending joint resolution that authorizes the use of rice subsidies for the purchase of palay or unhusked rice from farmers to mitigate their losses from rice import liberalization, Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said on Sunday.
“We aim to hit the ground running on the first day of work,” Romualdez said.
The first priority measure is House Joint Resolution No. 19, which extends the availability of the 2019 budget until December 2020 to give the government enough time to release funds for infrastructure and operating expenses.
The joint resolution was approved on second reading in September.
The second priority measure is House Bill No. 4933, which seeks to postpone the 2020 barangay and SK polls to December 2022.
The bill was passed on second reading last month.
18 measures approved
To date, the House has approved 18 measures on third reading since the start of the 18th Congress, including the 2020 national budget, key tax bills and amendments to the Foreign Investment Act of 1991.
The tax reform bills were among the priority measures identified by President Duterte.
Other legislative priorities include the Magna Carta for Barangays; the National Land Use Bill; the creation of departments for overseas Filipino workers, disaster resilience and water resources; the fire protection modernization program; the new Salary Standardization Law; the new version of the measure outlining the disposal of the coconut levy funds; and the mandatory implementation of Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program in senior high school.
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