House to pursue approval of vital economic, reform bills

Published by rudy Date posted on July 24, 2011

Manila, Philippines – The House of Representatives will pursue with greater vigor the approval of vital socio-economic and reform bills during the second regular session of Congress, to improve governance and uplift the lives of Filipinos, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said yesterday.

“We shall proceed with our work, guaranteeing democratic space for all opposing views on any measure, but never losing sight of our obligation to act on legislation crucial to the fate of our nation,” he said. “We will hit the ground prepared.”

The second regular session of Congress opens tomorrow.

Belmonte said House members will “remain sensitive to the people’s aspirations” who seek better lives for their families.

The Speaker earlier bared an additional list of 23 priority measures, covering the areas of good governance, agriculture, human rights, cultural communities, land administration and ecology, education, and anti-terror policies.

He said the additional list of proposed policy reforms, many of which are in their advanced stages, is separate from the original 23 bills identified by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) as President Aquino’s priority measures.

“The House will not lose sight of the remaining LEDAC bills and the President’s priorities mentioned during the first SONA. In fact, many of them would soon be calendared for plenary consideration,” Belmonte said.

Of the 23 LEDAC measures, the President has signed four into law. Of the 84 original House priorities, 15 were approved on third reading.

The additional priority measures are: the Terrorist Financing Suppression Act of 2010; amendments to the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002; reorganizing the Philippine Statistical System; strengthening the animal industry and veterinary quarantine services; providing for the modernization of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA); providing for a Maritime Code of the Philippines; the Eliminating Gender Bias on Adultery and Concubinage Act; amending Republic Act 7877, the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995; the Women’s Higher Education Act; providing for a Nationwide Scholarship Program for Indigenous Peoples; expanding the coverage of the Science and Technology Scholarship Program; Extending the life of the Land Bank of the Philippines; Land Management Bureau survey of cadastral lots in the entire country; providing for the delineation of the specific forest limits of the public domain; banning asbestos and asbestos-containing products; establishing number portability for mobile telephone service; regulating the placement of billboards; the Telecommunications Accessibility Act; the Anti-Prostitution Act 2011; prohibiting the use of the words “Muslim” and “Christian” in mass media; debts-for-MDGs swap; creating a Center for Studies on Indigenous Cultural Communities; and the Filipino Volunteerism in National-Building Act. –Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star)

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