ROTC revival among Velasco’s priority bills eligible for swift approval
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives under Speaker Lord Allan Velasco is prioritizing the enactment of several bills calling for the revival of the mandatory Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program that may no longer need much discussion in the committee level to expedite its passage.
House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said that the Mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is among seven of Velasco’s priority measures that are eligible for the House’ swift approval.
In December 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte himself renewed calls for Congress to pass the Mandatory ROTC Program in public and private senior high schools nationwide, amid criticisms of possible abuses.
According to Romualdez, the House Rules states that committees are authorized to dispose of priority measures already filed and approved on third reading in the immediately preceding Congress.
Specifically, Section 48 states that: “In case of bills or resolutions that are identified as priority measures of the House, which were previously filed in the immediately preceding Congress and have already been approved on third reading, the same may be disposed of as matters already reported upon the approval of majority of the members of the committee present, there being a quorum.”
Other priority measures of Velasco pending in various stages of deliberation in the committee level are eligible under this rule are as follows:
*Coconut Levy Fund
*National Land Use Act
*Rightsizing the National Government
*Right to Adequate Food
*Anti-Ethnic, Racial and Religious Discrimination Act
*On-Site, In-City Near City Local Government Resettlement Program
“The concerned committees for these measures may meet for just one hearing and immediately refer the committee reports for plenary deliberation by invoking Section 48 of the House rules,” Romualdez said in a statement.
Aside from these bills, Romualdez said Velasco is also eyeing the immediate approval of the following measures:
*Ordaining the Development of the Downstream Natural Gas Industry
*Internet Transaction Act
*Military Uniformed Personnel (MUP) Pension Fund
*Magna Carta for Barangays
*Amendments to the Revised Penal Code
*Amendments to the Government Procurement Reform Act
*Marinduque Special Economic Zone Act
*Marinduque Sports Academy and Training Center Act
*Bisekleta Para sa Kinabukasan Act
There are also several anti-corruption and economic measures in the list of bills prioritized for floor and committee deliberations seeking to jumpstart the economy and cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, said Romualdez.
He added that ten of these measures had already passed the House but remain pending in the Senate such as the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Bill; the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Bill; Converting the Insurance Commission into a Collegial Body; and the Financial Consumer Protection Bill, among others.
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