Senate, House to tackle anti-trust, housing board bills
Posted on Jul 24 2012 by admin

This is a re-posted article.

MANILA, Philippines - The Senate will continue working for the passage of several priority bills, including the Anti-trust Bill and the creation of a housing board, with the resumption of the 15th Congress today, according to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Enrile will deliver his opening speech in the morning before leading senators to the House of Representatives in the afternoon as Congress convenes for President Aquino‘s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Enrile said senators will hold a caucus tomorrow to discuss bills that need “urgent” attention.

“Some of the local bills involve the splitting of provinces and the creation of districts. The filing of certificate of candidacies is fast approaching for the 2013 elections so we have to tackle those bills,” he said.

He particularly mentioned SB 3071, now on third reading, which aims to promote competitive Filipino design and the promotion of a national design policy. Other priority bills are SB 2842, which seeks to upgrade the copyright section of the Department and Trade and Industry into a servicing bureau under the Intellectual Property Office and SB 2746 aimed at eliminating “botcha” or the sale of hot meat in the market.

Enrile said the improvement of the economy is the government’s vital concern.

“We wish to generate an economic climate that encourages the creation of goods and services in a playing field that is intentionally made fair for all,” he stressed.

The Senate is slated to pass on third reading SB 3199, which will create the Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD) to address the housing backlog in the country.

According to Enrile, other bills of utmost importance are SB 3098 or the Anti-Trust Law, which seeks to prohibit the formation of anti-competitive mergers and anti-competitive conduct; SB 3208 or the People’s Ownership over Government Information (POGI); SB 2865 or the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, SB 2978 or the Coconut levy fund; SB 3093 or the filing of false complaints against public officers as an aggravating circumstance of perjury; SB 2857 or institutionalizing the participation of civil society organizations in the preparation of the annual national budget; SB 107 which will require public officials and employees to submit a written permission of waiver in favor of the Ombudsman to look into bank deposits; SB 3114 or the strengthening of the political party system and SB 3123 which seeks to amend the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

“We also anticipate the submission of the proposed 2013 national budget by the executive department of Congress in the next few weeks. In the same way that Congress passed the General Appropriations Act in the previous regular sessions in an expeditious manner, I am confident that the Senate committee on finance will likewise work hard for the timely passage of the 2013 budget,” Enrile said.

Despite the delay in legislative work due to the impeachment trial of former chief justice Renato Corona, the Senate had approved a total of 47 bills and acted upon 283 other measures filed since July 2010.

SB set to call for caucus

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. is set to call for an all-member caucus in the House to firm up the chamber’s legislative agenda in third and final session of the 15th Congress and speed up the passage of pending bills, Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali Gonzales II said yesterday.

Gonzales said the caucus is necessary owing to the heavier workload and the shorter time Congress has before it adjourns next year to give way to the 2013 senatorial and local elections.

The House will be tackling the P2-trillion proposed national budget for 2013 from August to October to include the final voting on the money measure, Gonzales said.

Among the key points to be discussed in the caucus is when to schedule the termination of debates and voting of the controversial RH bill and even proposals to amend the Constitution.

Gonzales said among those set for final approval on the floor in the next few weeks are the Anti-Trust Bill, the Magna Carta for the Poor, and bill creating the Department of Housing.

For his part, Belmonte said winning the trust of the people was a great achievement for the House.

“Our people’s growing trust in government is the most important ingredient in our quest to mold effective policies vital to national development,” Belmonte said.

He expressed his gratitude to his colleagues for their hard work and dedication as well as to the people for giving the House the highest public satisfaction and trust ratings ever garnered by the chamber in over two decades.


Source: Christina Mendez and Paolo Romero, The Philippine Star (23 July 2012)

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