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The House of Representatives has already approved on the third and final reading 23 of 31 bills listed by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) as priority under the Marcos administration, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Wednesday, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

This, as Congress takes a Holy Week break from March 25 to May 8.

Romualdez said 31 LEDAC priority measures, collectively called the Common Legislative Agenda (CLA) of Malacañang, Senate and the House of Representatives, were drawn up from dozens of legislative measures filed in Congress since the start of the 19th Congress in July last year.


The priority bills, he said, aim to further stimulate economic activities, create job opportunities, reduce poverty and provide better health care services for Filipinos.

Romualdez said out of the 23 measures approved by the House, two had been signed into law by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. while the remaining eight bills in the LEDAC priority list are under advanced stages of deliberation.

“We have done our share in passing important pieces of legislation that will help the country recover from the crippling impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and external shocks that adversely affect the economy and the nation,” he said. “That was our commitment during the series of meetings at LEDAC. That is our continuing commitment to the Filipino people.”

The LEDAC’s priority measures were also among those enumerated by Marcos in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July last year, Romualdez said.

“We have responded positively to the President’s call for legislation that would hasten the country’s recovery from the pandemic, sustain our economic growth, and implement his Agenda for Prosperity,” he said.

The two bills already signed into law are the mobile phone SIM (subscriber information module) Registration Act and the measure postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to October this year.

Romualdez said the 20 LEDAC-endorsed bills approved on third and final reading were already transmitted to the Senate.

These are: Magna Carta of Seafarers; E-Governance Act / E-Government Act; Negros Island Region; Virology Institute of the Philippines; Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation (PIFITA) Act; National Disease Prevention Management Authority or Center for Disease Control and Prevention; Medical Reserve Corps; Philippine Passport Act; Internet Transaction Act /E-Commerce Law; and Waste-to-Energy Bill.

Also included are the Free Legal Assistance for Police and Soldiers; Apprenticeship Act; Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law; Magna Carta of Barangay Health Workers; Valuation Reform; Eastern Visayas Development Authority; Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone; Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery; National Citizens Service Training Program; and Rightsizing the National Government.

He said another LEDAC priority measure, the Agrarian Reform Debts Condonation Bill, is now for bicameral conference committee approval.

The remaining eight out of 31 priority bills remains pending in the House. These are Regional Specialty Hospitals (for second reading approval); Enabling Law for the Natural Gas Industry (under technical working group or TWG deliberation); National Land Use Act (TWG); Department of Water Resources and Services and Creation of Water Regulatory Commission (TWG); Electric Power Industry Reform Act (for committee deliberation); Budget Modernization (for committee deliberation); National Defense Act (for committee deliberation); and Unified System of Separation, Retirement and Pension for Uniformed Personnel (also for committee deliberation).

Aside from the 31 measures in the LEDAC list, Romualdez said House committee chairpersons and committee members have identified 21 measures that they wanted to be given priority.

“We are working double time to pass the remaining eight LEDAC measures and our own priority bills. We are confident of approving them on third and final reading before the sine die break,” Romualdez said.

The 21 House priority measures include 10 for LEDAC endorsement, four of which -- the Maharlika Investment Fund bill, Ease of Paying Taxes Act, LGU Income Classification and Amendment to Universal Health Care Act -- have been approved on third and final reading.

The House priority list includes Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6, which calls for a constitutional convention to amend “restrictive” economic provisions of the Charter, which would enable the country to attract more foreign investments, and its implementing measure, HB 7352. Both have been approved on the third and final reading on March 14.

Romualdez said two of the more promising initiatives of the House are the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) proposal, and the efforts to amend the economic provisions of our existing Constitution through a constitutional convention.

The other House priorities that have been approved on third and final reading were the: On-Site, In-City Near City Local Government Resettlement Program; Open Access in Data Transmission; Online Registration of Voters; Amendments to the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation Charter; and Mandatory Establishment of Evacuation Centers in Every City, Province, Municipality/Permanent Evacuation Centers; and Local Government Income Classification.

The House is also scheduled to ratify Wednesday the bicameral conference committee report on the AFP Fixed Term Law, which is also a House priority.

The other priority measures of the House are the Government Procurement Act (TWG); the Department of Resilience (committee level); and the Livestock Development and Competitiveness Bill (committee level).

Several other measures - Revitalizing Salt Industry; Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System; Bureau of Immigration Modernization; National Employment Action Plan; Amendment to the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act; and Infrastructure Development Plan/Build Build Build Program - are for LEDAC inclusion and undergoing committee deliberations.

Committee hearings to continue

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives will continue working on the remaining priority legislation even during the congressional break.

This developed after the House authorized Wednesday night all its committees to hold hearings, if needed, during the Lenten break to process important bills pending in various panels of the chamber.

In a formal motion raised before the plenary, House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose "Mannix" M. Dalipe moved to allow all standing and special committees of the House to pursue the performance of their mandate of passing vital pieces of legislation during the recess.

“Mr. Speaker, in accordance with our rules, I move that we authorize all committees to conduct meetings and/or public hearings, if deemed necessary, during the House recess from March 23, 2023 to May 7, 2023,” Dalipe said.

After hearing no objection, Romualdez, who presided over the session, granted the motion.

“We authorized our committees to continue working during the recess consistent with the firm commitment of the House of Representatives to approve priority measures agreed upon in the LEDAC meetings that would give flesh to the 8-Point Socio-Economic Agenda of the national government,” Romualdez said.

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