House of Representatives: At least 96 bills enacted into law in 17th Congress
The House of Representatives has acted on a total of 2,929 proposed measures from the opening of the 17th Congress in July 25, 2016 until the sine die adjournment last June 2, the lower chamber’s performance report released on Wednesday showed.
The House said it has an average of 16 measures processed per session, with a total of 183 session days for the entire period. Session days are from Monday to Wednesday.
Of the 2,929 measures processed, a total of 96 measures were enacted into law – 30 of which were of national significance while 60 were of local significance, and two were Joint Resolutions of Congress.
More bills, however, may still be enacted into law in the coming days since 18 other measures have already been transmitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for his approval and signature.
Meanwhile, a total of 9,826 House measures were filed since the start of the 17th Congress, consisting of 7,826 House Bills and 2,000 House Resolutions. In addition, 770 committee reports were filed.
A total of 164 resolutions were adopted, broken down as follows: 131 regular resolutions; 10 resolutions on inquiries, in aid of legislation; 15 concurrent resolutions; four Resolutions of Both Houses; one report on motu proprio inquiry; two resolutions on impeachment; and one resolution of the Committee of the Whole.
Among the key laws passed by Congress were the following:
- Republic Act (RA) No. 10931 entitled “Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act”, which provides free tuition and miscellaneous fees in state universities and colleges, as well as in local colleges and in government run technical-vocational school;
- RA 10969 also known as the “Free Irrigation Act,” which has lifted from the country’s small farmers the additional burden of paying irrigation fees.
- RA 10932 or ““An Act Strengthening The Anti-Hospital Deposit Law” which increasedthe penalties against hospitals or clinics that refuse to treat patients in emergency or serious cases unless they could provide a certain amount as deposit.
- RA 10928, or “An Act Extending The Validity Of Philippine Passports”, which extended the validity of passports for up to 10 years;
- RA 10930, “Extending the Validity Period of Drivers’ Licenses”, which extended the validity of drivers’ license from three years to five years; and
- RA 11032 or the “Ease of Doing Business” law, which prescribes a uniform guideline for the processing of business documents.
In two separate joint resolutions, the House and the Senate also worked together to “ease the plight of the poor and the lowly-paid public servants” with the enactment last May 9 of House Joint Resolution 15 and its counterpart Senate Joint Resolution 8, as Joint Resolution No. 2.
With this joint resolution, housing units intended for the uniformed services that remained unused were made available to qualified poor beneficiaries.
On the other hand, Joint Resolution No. 1 allowed the increase in the base pay of members of the military, police, and others in uniformed services of government.
Apart from these, the House also acted on the various reports of the bicameral conference committee during the second regular session, ratifying a total of 12 bicameral conference committee reports, consisting of 11 national bills and one local bill.
These bicameral conference committee reports include the following measures: National Mental Health Policy, Anti-Hazing Act, Electric cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund, National School Feeding Program, Occupational Safety and Health Standards, the Filipino Identification System, and Preservation and Management of Protected Areas.
In the Pipeline
The House has also approved on third and final reading various proposed measures that are now awaiting action by the bicameral conference committee.
Among these was the historic House Bill 6475, also known as the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which the House approved with an overwhelming majority vote of 227-11 with two abstentions last March 31.
Other bills pending at the bicameral include: HB 7436 or “ An Act Abolishing The Road Board”; HB 5777 entitled “Strengthening The National And Local Health And Nutrition Programs For Pregnant And Lactating Women, Adolescent Girls Of Reproductive Age And Teen-Age Mothers, Infants And Young Children”; and HB 5745 or “An Act Establishing The Coconut Farmers And Industry Development Trust Fund”.
In terms of plenary approval, the House approved on third and final reading a total of 429 bills, and 29 bills on second reading before the sine die adjournment of the second regular session.
Approved on third reading were 160 national bills, 268 local bills and one joint resolution.
Among the bills the House approved on third and final reading were:
- HB 7525 entitled “An Act Increasing The Monthly Pension Of Senior Veterans”
- HB 7449, or “An Act Appropriating P1,161,710,000 As Supplemental Appropriations to Dengvaxia Vaccinees”
- HB 7303 entitled “An Act Instituting Absolute Divorce And Dissolution Of Marriage”
- HB 7302 or the “Budget Reform Act”
- HB 3988 or the “Conjugal Partnership Of Gains”
- HB 7185 or “An Act Recognizing The Foreign Decree Of Termination Of Marriage”
- HB 7163 entitled “An Act Penalizing The Act Of Throwing Hard Objects At Motor Vehicles”
- HB 7193 entitled “An Act Providing A Framework For The Right To Adequate Food”; and
- HB 7233 entitled “An Act Requiring The Registration Of All Users Of Subscriber Identity Module Cards.” /kga
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