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Senate to prioritize endo, amendments to procurement law

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Senate to prioritize endo, amendments to procurement law
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the priority measures will be discussed along with the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget that Congress failed to pass in December.
Geremy Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — Senators will have their hands full once session resumes on Jan. 14 as they target to pass several priority measures to improve public services, including the controversial proposal on security of tenure and end of contract (endo) system.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the priority measures will be discussed along with the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget that Congress failed to pass in December.

“(The Senate needs) to prioritize endo, amendments to the Procurement Law, Local Government Code, Omnibus Election Code… plus upgrading penalties to illegal gambling activities,” said Sotto in an interview over dwIZ.

Based on records, there are seven versions of the proposed measure seeking to strengthen the security of tenure for workers filed by Senators Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Grace Poe, Loren Legarda and Joel Villanueva and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.

In amending the Procurement Law, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said the measure cannot be a one-size-fits-all policy as it should take into consideration the fact that different government agencies have distinct and unique needs depending on their mandate and function. 

“One procurement process or method that works for one government agency may not necessarily work for other agencies,” Pimentel said.

On Dec. 4, the Senate also started plenary deliberations on the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 but failed to approve it for lack of time, forcing the government to operate on a reenacted budget for January.

But Zubiri said Congress must pass a new budget as he and other senators met with Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, who discussed with them the repercussions of a reenacted budget in 2019.

Among other effects of a reenacted budget is that funds for already completed programs and projects may become prone to corruption.

The House of Representatives passed the proposed budget on final reading last Nov. 20.?Zubiri said there are issues that must be addressed before passing the 2019 budget, including lump sum allocations and supposed insertions made by some leaders and members of the House.

VICENTE SOTTO III

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