House OKs bill giving Duterte anti-red tape powers on second reading | Inquirer News

House OKs bill giving Duterte anti-red tape powers on second reading

/ 10:59 AM October 16, 2020

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The House of Representatives (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE)

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives approved on second reading early Friday morning the bill authorizing President Rodrigo Duterte to expedite the processing and issuance of national and local permits, licenses and certifications in times of national emergency.

House Bill No. 7884, which would grant Duterte anti-red tape powers, was aproved  around 2 a.m during  a marathon special session of the  lower chamber.


Before the  approval of  the measure on second reading, the House had to first convene into a Committee of the Whole to consider and approve the measure on the committee level.


A bill has to be approved on the committee level before it could be approved on second and third reading.

Deputy Speaker Michael Romero presided over the Committee of the Whole, with Pampanga 4th District Rep. Juan Pablo Bondoc as the majority floor leader.

According to the rules of the House, when the chamber constitutes itself into a Committee of the Whole, “it functions as one committee acting upon a bill or resolution, and conducting its proceedings like a regular committee with its membership composed of all the Members of the House.”

Bondoc moved that House Bill No. 7884, which was filed by House leaders including newly-installed Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, be consolidated with other bills related to the anti-red tape powers.

Under House Bill No. 7884, the President is granted the authority to accelerate and streamline regulatory processes and procedures for new and pending applications and renewals of permits, licenses, clearances, certifications or authorizations.

The President is also given the power to suspend or waive the requirements in securing such permits, licenses, clearances, certifications or authorization.


The bill covers all agencies of the executive branch, including departments, bureaus, offices, commissions, boards, councils; government instrumentalities, government owned and controlled


The bill, however, states that the authority given to the President “shall not be used to undermine the existing procedures and processes, under applicable laws, rules and regulations, meant to protect the environment, especially those that aim to safeguard protected areas and its buffer zones, and environmentally critical areas.”

The bill further states that the President has the power to suspend or remove, any government official or employee performing acts contrary to the measure.

“The economic landscape of the country has drastically changed by reason of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its impact to the different sectors is beyond measure and the government’s role is to lessen the burden to its people,” the bill states.

“One of the strategic measures is to reduce transaction costs in all government agencies and provide an efficient delivery of its services while maintaining integrity and accountability in government service and the promotion of transparency in the transactions of the government with the public, encompassing a program for the adoption of simplified requirements and procedures,” it adds.

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The Senate has already approved on third and final reading its version of the measure shortly after Duterte certified its passage as urgent.

TAGS: Rodrigo Duterte

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