Remembering previous SONA: What priority legislations have been enacted into law since?
MANILA, Philippines — Days before President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his penultimate State of the Nation Address (SONA), what has happened to the priority bills he mentioned in his previous addresses?
According to House Legislative Operations Department Deputy Secretary-General Dave Amorin, five of these priority measures have been enacted into law during the first regular session of the 18th Congress.
These are as follows:
• Postponing the May 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Election
• Law for Malasakit Centers
• Salary Standardization Law of 2009 – to include Teachers and Nurses
• Increasing and Restructuring the Excise Tax Rates on Alcohol, Heated Tobacco, and Vapor Products
• Creation of National Academy of Sports
Amorin said that the House of Representatives has also transmitted to the Senate several bills that the lower chamber has approved on final reading such as the Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA), the Trabaho Bill or the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA), the Public Service Act, and the Creation of Department of Filipinos Overseas and Foreign Employment.
Further, Amorin said that the bill creating the Department of Disaster Resilience is currently in the period of interpellation in the lower chamber while the committee report for the Fire Protection Modernization Program is currently being prepared.
Meanwhile, the bill creating the Department of Water Resources and Services and the Water Regulatory Commission, as well as the bill providing additional benefits for solo parents, are awaiting comments from the House committee on appropriations and committee on ways and means.
Several other bills are under deliberation in their respective House committees, said Amorin.
This includes the controversial measures seeking the restoration of the death penalty for plunder and other heinous crimes related to drugs, among others.
Amarin said that 18 bills filed were enacted into law during the first regular session of the 18th Congress. Of these measures, 12 were national measures while the remaining six were local.
The House official said this is 29 percent higher than what was enacted into law during the first regular session of the 16th Congress and 260 percent higher than the data from the 17th Congress during the same time period.
The number of bills approved on second and third reading in the first regular session of the 18th Congress is also higher compared to that of the 16th and 17th Congress, said Amarin. [ac]
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