COVID-19

House to prioritize 12 economic bills for PH recovery

Mara Cepeda
House to prioritize 12 economic bills for PH recovery

IN SESSION. Lawmakers hold their plenary session on October 13, 2020.

File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

The House is targetting to pass the measures 'before the onset of election fever next year,' says Majority Leader Martin Romualdez

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco wants the House to expedite the passage of 12 bills to boost the economy country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Tuesday, November 10, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said the Speaker has given “explicit instructions” to prioritize the following measures: 

  • House Bill No. 7749 or the Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (Guide) Act
  • HB 7425 or the Imposing Value-added Tax on Digital Transactions Act
  • HB 7406 or Bureau of Fire Protection Modernization Act
  • HB 6135 or Establishing the Fiscal Regime for the Mining Industry Act
  • HB 7805 or the Internet Transactions Act 
  • Bill on the unified system for separation, retirement, and pension of uniformed personnel
  • Bill modernizing the Armed Forces of the Philippines
  • Bill creating the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Trust Fund 
  • Bill creating the Department of Water Resources and Water Regulatory Commission
  • Bill strengthening the warehouse receipts law
  • Bill creating the National Disease Management and Prevention Authority
  • National Land Use Act

In his statement, Romualdez said the 12 bills are among the measures that Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III endorsed to the 18th Congress. 

“These legislative imperatives, according to Secretary Dominguez, are needed to help ensure that the economy recovers quickly from the corona-induced crisis in a strong, sustainable, and resilient manner,” the Leyte 1st District congressman said.

The first 5 bills in the list have already hurdled the committee level and are set to be debated by lawmakers during the plenary session once the House reconvenes on Monday, November 16. 

Committee deliberations are still ongoing for the rest of the economic bills.

Though he did not give a specific deadline for the House, Romualdez said they are targeting to pass all 12 economic bills “before the onset of the election fever next year.”

The filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2022 national elections is expected to be scheduled in October 2021. 

As the Philippines continues to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, its economy slumped to 11.5% in the 3rd quarter of 2020.

The House earlier passed a P1.3-trillion economic stimulus package designed to help small businesses get back on their feet during the pandemic.

Lawmakers also approved a P1.5-trillion stimulus package that would fund infrastructure projects in rural areas for the next 3 years. It is designed to provide jobs to Filipinos left unemployed by lockdowns and other community quarantine measures imposed in parts of the country.

As of Monday, November 9, COVID-19 has infected over 398,000 people in the country, with 7,647 deaths and 361,784 recoveries. – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.