House OKs 15 bills before Lenten break

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said they passed bills despite the impeachment

MANILA, Philippines – On March 21, last session day before the break, the House approved on 3rd reading 15 national bills, including the proposed Compensation to victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime, and the Whistleblowers Act.

These bills will be transmitted to the Senate.

“We go into the Lenten break confident that despite the attention given to the impeachment case, the primary function of lawmaking didn’t take a backseat. We are very happy about that,” said Speaker Feliciano Belmonte.

“We had 2 thrusts. Our normal job to receive, discuss and enact laws. And the other one, the impeachment case,” he added.

Four of the 29 LEDAC priorities have been enacted into law:

  • GOCC Governance Act of 2011
  • Rationalizing Nightwork Prohibition on Women
  • Resetting the ARMM Elections
  • Amendments to/Review the Implementation of EPIRA

Nine of the remaining LEDAC bills have been approved on 3rd reading.

RH in June

The House has been criticized for its failure to put the controversial “RH Bill” to a vote. Concerns are raised because the campaign season is expected to kick off soon, which will definitely distract the lawmakers.

But Belmonte gave assurances they will put the RH bill to a vote.

“We have reached the point na basta mapagbotohan lang, particularly at this point where nobody can really say he has majority here. It behooves us to try to bring it to a vote one way or the other,” Belmonte said.

Gonzales said that when session resumes, they will try to determine if they can already terminate the debate and proceed to the period of amendments.

But he conceded that the debate will be more intense during that period. –