Alvarez pushes for legislative franchises, gov’t reorganization
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Monday called on the House of Representatives to push for bills that would require casino operators, mining companies, and public transportation companies to secure legislative franchises to operate.
In his speech opening the second regular session of the 17th Congress, Alvarez said the lower house should add this “safeguard mechanism” to make sure that “public interest would always be protected.”
“We should require operations of casinos, public transportation, as well as mining companies to secure a legislative franchise from Congress prior to their operations. This will make certain that their applications are scrutinized deeply. Only the deserving will be allowed to operate,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez also pushed for the reorganization of the government public transportation agencies manning the country’s land transportation, railways, airports and seaports.
He urged Congress to merge the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) into a single “Land Transportation Authority.”
He also called on Congress to create a new body, the “Philippine Railways Authority,” to “set uniform standards and fares for all railways operating here in the Philippines,” as well as to create the Philippine Airports Authority to supervise the country’s airports.
Alvarez also called on his colleagues to push for a bill that would clip the powers of the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) in issuing licenses, to reduce the state-run gaming firm to a regulatory body.
“The regulatory framework is chaotic, full of overlaps, conflicts of interests and, at times, there is no clear central regulatory body. Let’s start off with Pagcor. It does not make sense for it to regulate and operate. An entity that has this power runs the risk of dealing itself a favorable hand while undercutting others,” Alvarez said. IDL/rga
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