House passes 31 of 42 priority bills
REINA C. TOLENTINO
The Manila Times
THE House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading 31 of the administration’s 42 priority measures. “We are proud of our collective accomplishment — 31 out of 42 and counting. As of today, we have achieved a significant part of our goal in less than a year of session,” Speaker Martin Romualdez said. The latest to be approved by the House on third and final reading were the 30-year national infrastructure program bill and the proposed national land use law. Three of the measures have been signed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. into law — the Subscriber Identity Module Registration Act, the one that moved the barangay (village) and youth council elections to Oct. 2023, and the amendment of the law on the fixed term of the military chief and other high-ranking officers. The bill seeking to condone unpaid loans of agrarian reform beneficiaries has been sent to Malacañang. Also fully approved by the House were the proposed Magna Carta for seafarers, e-governance bill, creation of the Negros Island Region, creation of a virology institute, proposed fourth package under the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program, creation of centers for disease prevention and control, proposed Health Emergency Auxiliary Reinforcement Team Act, proposed new Philippine passport law, proposed Internet Transactions Act, proposed Waste Treatment Technology Act, the bill on free legal aid for military and uniformed personnel, proposed Revised National Apprenticeship Program Act, proposed PublicPrivate Partnership Act, proposed Magna Carta for barangay health workers, proposed Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act, creation of the Eastern Visayas Development Authority, proposed Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone Act, proposed Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery Act, establishment of the National Citizens Service Training Program, proposed law on national government rightsizing, the Maharlika fund bill, Ease of Paying Taxes, amendment of the Universal Health Care Act, Local Government Unit Income Classification, and proposed Department of Health Specialty Centers Act. “I thank our colleagues for their hard work, as well as the various political parties in the House which have committed to support the passage of priority measures determined by the President and the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council and the House itself,” Romualdez said. Romualdez said the measures “aim to support the President’s vision of keeping the economy on the high growth path and generating more jobs and income opportunities for our people.” The Bureau of Immigration modernization bill and the bill seeking to revitalize the country’s salt industry are scheduled for House approval on third and final reading. For approval on second reading are the following: natural gas industry enabling law, National Employment Action Plan, and the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System bill.