Romualdez lauds House for passing 23 of 31 key bills in first session
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has heaped praise on lower chamber lawmakers of the 19th Congress for passing in less than year 23 of the 31 bills labeled by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) as priority legislation.
“Our body of accomplishments during the past months proves that our ambitions and aspirations for a better nation are attainable. Mindful of the nation’s most pressing needs, the House leadership ushered in the approval on third and final reading several priority measures listed in our common legislative agenda that provide vital services and protect our general safety,” Romualdez said in a speech he delivered before the session adjourned on Wednesday for the Holy Week break
The 31 priority bills were aimed at stimulating economic activities, creating job opportunities, reducing poverty, and providing better health care services, he said.
Romualdez also noted that of the 23 priority measures approached, two have been signed into law by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and eight were in the advanced stages of deliberations.
Following are the 23 bills that were approved:
- SIM Registration Act
- postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections
- Magna Carta of Seafarers
- E-Governance Act / E-Government Act
- Negros Island Region
- Virology Institute of the Philippines
- Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act
- National Disease Prevention Management Authority or Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Medical Reserve Corps
- Philippine Passport Act
- Internet Transaction Act / E-Commerce Law
- Waste-to-Energy Bill
- Free Legal Assistance for Police and Soldiers
- Apprenticeship Act
- Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law
- Magna Carta of Barangay Health Workers
- Valuation Reform
- Eastern Visayas Development Authority
- Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone
- Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery
- National Citizens Service Training Program
- Rightsizing the National Government
- Agrarian Reform Debts Condonation
Only the following priority bills have not been approved:
- Regional Specialty Hospitals (for second reading approval)
- Enabling Law for the Natural Gas Industry (under technical working group deliberation)
- National Land Use Act (under technical working group deliberation)
- Department of Water Resources and Services and Creation of Water Regulatory Commission (under technical working group deliberation)
- Electric Power Industry Reform Act (for committee deliberation)
- Budget Modernization (for committee deliberation)
- National Defense Act (for committee deliberation)
- Unified System of Separation, Retirement and Pension for Uniformed Personnel (for committee deliberation)
Romualdez also noted that the House approved proposals regarding the Maharlika Investment Fund and the call for a constitutional convention — both controversial measures that have stirred discussions within Congress and outside of it.
He also mentioned the investigations being done by the House, like the sudden spike in the prices of onions in 2022.
“For the longest time, these reforms have taken a backseat due to the misconceptions and perceived controversies. This time around, we will ensure a transparent and trustworthy process where the sovereign mandate of the people is kept safe,” Romualdez said.
“The chamber gave careful attention to the public outcry against the exorbitant prices of onion and through House Resolution (HR) No. 681, conducted an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the anti-competitive prices and cartel in the onion industry.”