Lionel Messi

House ready to work overtime for ‘Sin Tax’ bill

'There are a lot of bills. The most important is the Sin Tax,' Belmonte says

OVERTIME. After taking a break, Congress returns July 23, for the Sona.

MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr said the House of Representatives is ready to hold extra session days this week to pass key measures such as the controversial “Sin Tax” bill.

“We’re supposed to adjourn on Wednesday (June 6), but the law permits us to adjourn one day or two days before or after. We will avail of that opition. Our target is to finish everything on Wednesday but if we are unable to do that, we will ask the senators to concur if we hold session until Friday,” Belmonte told reporters on Monday, June 4.

Congress–the Senate and the House of Representatives—only holds sessions from Mondays to Wednesdays. Congress takes another long break, after which, they will return on July 23, for President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA). The Constitution provides that the SONA should be held every 4th Monday of July.

“There are a number of bills that are already on 3rd reading, we want to dispose of them. There are bills on 2nd reading we want to tackle, as many of them as possible, so when we convene on July 23, there will be a body of bills passed on 2nd stage, which we can already tackle on 3rd reading,” Belmonte said.

“There are a lot of bills. The most important is the sin tax,” he added.

The sin tax measure seeks to increase taxes of alcohol and cigarette products to raise additional revenues to fund health and social services.

The measure is presently undergoing interpellation and debates. –


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