Senate approves six bills on third and final reading
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate approved six bills on their third and final reading during Monday’s plenary session — two of them education-related.
The bills include Senate Bill No. 2441, which proposes to allow private higher education institutions to waive college entrance examination fees and other charges of students qualified to apply for college admission.
Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, sponsor of the measure and chairperson of the Committee on Higher, Technical, and Vocational Education, the bill — the proposed Free College Entrance Act — will enable thousands of poor yet deserving young Filipinos the opportunity to get a college degree and have a brighter future.
Another education-related measure — SBN 1470 – also sponsored by Escudero, seeks to strengthen the mechanism for land use development and infrastructure planning and budgeting for state universities and colleges (SUCs).
“Under the bill, SUCs shall be required to prepare and implement a land development and infrastructure plan (LUPID) designed to improve and optimize their resources. All land use and priority infrastructure projects to be implemented by the SUCs within five years shall be included in their LUDIP,” Escudero said.
“Once the bill is enacted into law, the government would appropriate P25 billion for the next five years for the implementation of the land use and infrastructure projects included in the comprehensive LUDIP,” he added.
Meanwhile, Senate Bill. No. 2432 — the proposed Anti-Agricultural Economic Sabotage Act — which was earlier identified by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as urgent, seeks to repeal the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016. It also aims to impose tougher penalties for smuggling, hoarding, profiteering, and maintaining a cartel of agricultural and fishery products.
Penalties for these crimes include life imprisonment and a fine thrice the value of the agricultural and fishery products involved.
The other bills approved on their third and final reading during the session are as follows:
- Senate Bill No. 2455, which seeks to revitalize and strengthen a self-reliant defense posture program and promote the development of a national defense industry
- House Bill No. 4844, which seek to create Barangay Guinhalinan in the municipality of Barobo in Surigao del Sur
- House Bill No. 5819, an act dividing Barangay 176, also known as Barangay Bagong Silang in the City of Caloocan, into six separate and independent barangays to be known as Barangay 176-A, Barangay 176-B, Barangay 176-C, Barangay 176-D, Barangay 176-E, and Barangay 176-F