House appropriations panel chair vows to back priority bills | Inquirer News

House appropriations panel chair vows to back priority bills

/ 11:52 PM July 25, 2023

House appropriations panel chair vows to back priority bills

Ako Bicol Rep. Elizaldy Co (Photo from his Facebook account)

MANILA, Philippines — Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co vows to support the priority bills House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez will push for passage by the end of the year.

Co, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations, said on Tuesday that the bills — particularly the proposed amendments to the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act and Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) law — were aligned with his advocacies.


“Agriculture has always been the backbone of the Philippines, and measures must be taken to protect and promote the interests of our hardworking farmers and fisherfolk,” Co said.


“The proposed amendments to the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act are crucial in safeguarding our local agricultural industries from unfair competition and ensuring the prosperity of our rural communities.”

One of the bills marked by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) is the amendment of the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Law — which Romualdez said the House would prioritize.

The call for amendments came after the House Committee on Agriculture and Food conducted an investigation into the alleged hoarding of agricultural products, particularly onions.

Several lawmakers blamed smuggling as the cause of high prices of food products during the latter part of 2022 — particularly onions, which at one point sold for P500 to P700 per kilogram.

According to Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo — senior vice chairperson of the Committee on Appropriations — cartels are able to manipulate onion prices by creating a fake shortage of cold storage facilities needed.

Cartels connive with cold storage facilities to falsely claim that slots are already filled up, forcing farmers to sell their produce at lower farm gate prices rather than allowing the onions to spoil.


With regards to the BOT law, Co said that amendments would be needed to attract more investments into the country.

“Public-Private Partnerships play a vital role in driving infrastructure development and economic progress in the country. I recognize the importance of enhancing the BOT Law to streamline PPP processes and attract more private investments, ultimately benefitting the Filipino populace through improved infrastructure and services,” Co said.

There are other several bills that Romualdez vowed to pass within the year, including those that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. mention during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday.

Of the 17 bills mentioned, Romualdez said that seven had been approved by the House, leaving the following 10 bills:

  • Anti-Agricultural Smuggling
  • Amendments to the Cooperative Code
  • Tatak Pinoy
  • Blue Economy
  • Motor Vehicle User’s Charge
  • Military and Uniformed Personnel (MUP) Pension
  • Revised Procurement Law
  • New Government Auditing Code
  • Rationalization of Mining Fiscal Regime
  • National Water Act

Romualdez said the House could pass the first four bills plus the proposed 2024 national budget before the session break in October, while the last six could be approved by December or before the year ends.

“I firmly believe in the potential of these priority bills to drive our nation forward and uplift the lives of our fellow Filipinos. As a public servant, I am dedicated to collaborating with my esteemed colleagues to ensure the passage of these vital measures that will shape a brighter future for our country,” Co said.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“I am fully committed to working hand-in-hand with my fellow lawmakers and stakeholders to ensure the timely passage of the priority legislation by the end of the year. Recognizing the urgency and significance of these bills, I pledge to actively participate in legislative discussions, build consensus, and advocate for the adoption of these crucial measures.”


House can pass 10 bills noted in Sona before 2023 ends – Romualdez

Romualdez vows swift House action on new set of Ledac priority bills

TAGS: 2023 State of the Nation Address, Elizaldy Co, Ferdinnd Marcos Jr., Marcos priority bills, Martin Romualdez, Sona

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.