Romualdez commends House for timely passage of 2 priority bills
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez lauded his colleagues for passing priority legislation set by the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) three months before the agreed deadline.
In his message to the House, before Congress took a break, Romualdez said the House had accomplished its mission to approve on the third and final reading all 20 Ledac-priority bills.
When the 19th Congress started its second regular session, it had two Ledac-priority bills left — House Bill (HB) No. 8969, or the proposed Military and Uniformed Personnel Pension (MUP) System Act, and HB No. 9284 or consolidated version of the proposed Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act.
The bills were approved on the third reading on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
“Today, as we adjourn, and as a result of the synergistic interaction of all the members, I am proud to report that the 19th Congress of the House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading all the twenty priority measures. These 20 priority measures are targeted for approval on the third reading by the end of this year, and ladies and gentlemen, we are three (3) months ahead of the target set during the Ledac meeting,” Romualdez said on Wednesday night.
“Salamat sa tulong ninyong lahat, mission accomplished po tayo — tatlong buwan bago matapos ang deadline na napagkasunduan na ng Senado, House of Representatives, at Executive Department,” he added.
(Thank you for your help; it’s mission accomplished for all of us — three months before the deadline the Senate, House, and the Executive Department agreed upon.)
Romualdez also thanked the minority for helping them scrutinize bills.
“I would also like to acknowledge the contribution of the members of the Minority Bloc, without which we would not have been able to evaluate, scrutinize, and dissect the national budget and disentangle a number of legislative intricacies that challenge this august chamber every session day. What the Minority Bloc puts forth unto the process of lawmaking is truly essential and valued,” he said.
With the achievements, the Speaker expressed confidence that the chamber can do more in the coming session days.
The Congressional session technically adjourns by September 30 and resumes by November 6.
“Ladies and gentlemen of this august body, we have been diligent in our parliamentary duties not only because it is expected of us but also because we continue to be a faithful and dependable partner of the Executive Department in bringing about policies that enhance the well-being of our fellow Filipinos and strengthen the capacities of both the national and local governments,” Romualdez said.
“I am confident that with our steady and stable pace, driven by our eagerness to fulfill our duties, the rest of our targets are achievable. Let us do our best and prove that through our solid efforts, the nation is in good hands,” he added.
Aside from the MUP Pension System bill and the proposed amendments to the Agricultural Smuggling Act, two of the bills that the House approved — HB No. 7006 or the Automatic Income Classification Act for Local Government Units and HB No. 8278 or the Philippine Salt Industry Development Act — may be signed by the President soon.
The Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act, meanwhile, was signed on Wednesday by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., while the House adopted Senate Bill No. 1846 as an amendment to HB No. 4 or the Internet Transactions Act.
Then, HB No. 6527, or the Public-Private Partnership Act, and HB No. 4125, or the Ease of Paying Taxes, have been ratified.
The 14 other bills passed on third reading by the House are the following:
- HB 6522 – Philippine Centers for Disease Prevention and Control Act
- HB 6518 – Health Auxiliary Reinforcement Team Act
- HB 6452 – Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines Act
- HB 6687 – Instituting a National Citizens Service Program
- HB 6558 – Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act
- HB 7327 – E-Governance/E-Government Act
- HB 6444 – Waste Treatment Technology Act
- HB 6510 – New Philippine Passport Act
- HB 7325 – Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers
- HB 7240 – National Government Rightsizing Act
- HB 7393 – Anti-Financial Account Scamming Act
- HB 7446 – Amending the Bank Secrecy Law
- HB 8969 – Military and Other Uniformed Personnel Pension Act
- HB 9284 – Anti Agri-fishery Commodities and Tobacco Economic Sabotage Act of 2023
Romualdez also said that 10 of the 17 measures mentioned by the President in his State of the Nation Address have been passed on the final reading.
“The rest are already in advanced stages and are scheduled to be reported out when Congress resumes session in November, and targeted for approval on third reading by December 2023,” Romualdez noted.