12 bills set for Congress approval
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 1, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - At least 12 bills are set for approval in both houses of Congress before session adjourns later this month, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said.

Belmonte and other House leaders recently met with their Senate counterparts to identify proposed measures which could be approved within the remaining session days, which ends on June 13.

Belmonte, Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales, Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora and Rep. Romero Quimbo met with Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senators Vicente Sotto III and Alan Peter Cayetano to come up with a common agenda.

“We have to prioritize and synchronize our actions in the House with that of the Senate to maximize output for the remaining first regular session of the 16th Congress,” the speaker told reporters. “There are various legislative measures which really need to be given appropriate action, but we have to prioritize what could be listed as common concerns within a limited time frame.”

Among the bills set for approval are extending the corporate life of the Philippine National Railways, mandating telecommunications service providers to send free mobile alerts in the event of natural and man-made disasters and calamities, amendments to the Sandiganbayan Law, Sangguniang Kabataan reform, ladderized education program and providing for an open high school system for out-of-school youth.

The Open Learning through Distance Education in Post Secondary and Tertiary Levels Act, national student loan program, special education center, iskolar ng bayan, providing for mandatory PhilHealth coverage for all senior citizens, picture-based health warning Law in tobacco products, strengthening the Anti-Illegal Drugs Law and Fisheries Code amendment were also set for approval.

Last month, the House of Representatives also approved on third and final reading 11 bills, including institutionalizing strategic volunteerism-based multi-sectoral public-private partnership framework in all local government units and congressional districts, institutionalizing industry cluster-based programs and projects through inter-local cooperation and people’s participation, strengthening the rules on the proper use and display of national symbols and the rendition of the National Anthem, and strengthening consumer protection in the purchase of brand new motor vehicles.

The House also approved the bills declaring Nov. 17 of every year as National Students’ Day, increasing penalties for election-related offenses, housing development program, promoting entrepreneurship skills among government employees, reducing the retirement age of race horse jockeys from 55, declaring Nov. 23 of every year as Philippine Press Freedom Day and declaring the Tuesday immediately after the conduct of national and local elections and every three years thereafter a non-working holiday.

ALAN PETER CAYETANO BELMONTE DISTANCE EDUCATION DRUGS LAW AND FISHERIES CODE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MAJORITY LEADER NEPTALI GONZALES MINORITY LEADER RONALDO ZAMORA AND REP NATIONAL ANTHEM NATIONAL STUDENTS OPEN LEARNING PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS
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