Senate to prioritize passage of economic measures, creation of OFW department

Bella Perez-Rubio - Philstar.com
Senate to prioritize passage of economic measures, creation of OFW department
Senate President Vicente Sotto III delivers a speech during the opening of the 3rd Regular Session of the 18th Congress Monday, July 26, 2021.
Voltaire Domingo / Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate of the 18th Congress on Monday opened its third regular session with 14 of its members physically present and another eight attending through video conference. 

Senate President Vicente Sotto III delivered a speech emphasizing the Senate's commitment to funding the government's pandemic response, assisting families, industries, and sectors hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis, overseas Filipino workers, and disaster preparedness. 

Later in the afternoon, Sotto will lead senators to the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City where President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his final State of the Nation Address. 

Sotto previously outlined the following priority measures to be tackled by the Senate upon resumption of session: 

  • amendments to the Foreign Investment Acts (FIA)
  • amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA)
  • amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act of 2000 
  • Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE)
  • Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act
  • Package 4 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) or the Passive Income Tax and Financial Intermediary Tax Act (PIFITA)
  • Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP)
  • Rural Agricultural and Fisheries Development Financing System Act (Agri-Agra)
  • Package 3 of the CTRP or the Valuation Reform Bill

Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier said the Senate would work on passing the following measures as well, according to a Sunday press release from the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau: 

  • modernization of the Bureau of Fire Protection
  • increasing the Statutory Rape Age Act
  • Military and Uniformed Personnel Insurance Fund Act
  • Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Act
  • the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Extension Law
  • "possibly" the Bayanihan 3 

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