Senate President Vicente Sotto III called for a caucus of majority senators before the plenary session in the afternoon to finalize the legislative agenda of the chamber before the 17th Congress closes on June 7.
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Congress resumes session, to rush anti-terror, endo bills
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Congress will resume session today with the Senate and the House of Representatives expected to rush the passage of key bills before the two chambers finally adjourn in three weeks.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III called for a caucus of majority senators before the plenary session in the afternoon to finalize the legislative agenda of the chamber before the 17th Congress closes on June 7.

Sotto said one of the priorities is to pass the amendments to the Human Security Act, including changing its title to “Anti-Terrorism Act” and strengthening what its authors warned were its weak provisions that do not deter terror groups.

The measure was sponsored on the floor by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, in February.

Also set for final approval is Senate Bill 1754 or the proposed Public Services Act, which is currently pending on second reading.

“You have seen the problems that we have encountered not only with telcos, with the airlines, most especially water. All these fall under the category of the Public Services Act,” Sotto told reporters last week.

The bill seeks to amend Commonwealth Act No. of 1936 to address the confusion in the definition of a public utility and public services, which will result in more choices, better services and lower prices for the Filipino consumer.

The proposed amendments to the Public Services Act would address the issues on water, air transportation and power, according to its authors.

Sotto also expressed hope that the Medical Scholarship Act, which he authored, will be given equal priority in the last three weeks.

The measure is currently pending in the Senate committee on health and demography, chaired by Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito.

“We have very few doctors in the country that go to the barrios and the reason is that its (education) is expensive. Now, if we made medical education – both in private and public medical schools – in the country free, we’ll have more doctors,” Sotto said.

The proposed Medical Scholarship Act measure seeks to address both issues of scarcity and maldistribution of physicians in the country through the granting of scholarships to deserving medical students provided that they would serve the country for five years.

Other measures expected to be tackled include the proposed Budget Reform Act; Rightsizing the National Government Act; Salary Standardization Law; and Reformation of Children in Conflict with the Law, which are all up for second reading. – Delon Porcalla

ANTI-TERROR ENDO BILLS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
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