House eyes swift passage of 12 economic bills

House eyes swift passage of 12 economic bills

MANILA – The leadership of the House of Representatives has included 12 economic measures in the list of priority bills to help the Duterte administration jumpstart the economy and cushion the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic on the livelihood of ordinary Filipinos.

In a statement on Tuesday, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said these 12 bills were endorsed by Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez as part of the legislative priorities of the Department of Finance.

“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,” Romualdez said.

Romualdez said five of the 12 economic measures remain under the period of interpellations in plenary, which include House Bill (HB) 7749 or the Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE); HB 7425 or the Digital Transactions Value Added Tax; HB 7406 or Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Modernization Program; HB 6135 or Fiscal Mining Regime; and HB 7425 or Internet Transactions Act/E-Commerce Law.

Meanwhile, seven are in various stages of deliberation in the committee level, namely: the Military and Uniformed Personnel (MUP) Services Separation, Retirement, and Pension Bill; Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Bill; Coconut Farmers Trust Fund Bill; Department of Water Resources and Water Regulatory Commission Bill; Warehouse Receipts Bill; National Disease Prevention and Management Authority Bill; and the National Land Use Bill.

Romualdez said the chamber would be able to pass these priority bills before the “onset of the election fever next year”.

“We are committed in helping our economic managers set in place the bold reforms that the Duterte administration has started to keep the economy strong and resilient,” Romualdez said.

He thanked his colleagues for working closely with the House leadership in passing the priority measures of President Rodrigo Duterte, particularly those geared to get the economy back on its positive growth trajectory.

“I give full credit to the work ethic of our colleagues in the 18th Congress. They had been relentless in working, from committee to plenary deliberations, even at the height of the coronavirus scare in the first quarter of the year,” he added.

Other priority economic measures that were already approved by the House include HB 4157 or Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Bill; HB 6816 or Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Bill; HB 300 or Foreign Investment Act Amendments; HB 78 or Public Service Act Amendments; HB 59 or Retail Trade Liberalization; and HB 6927 or E-Government Act.

“Once these measures were approved by the Senate and enacted into laws, we expect the Philippines to keep its status as one of the emerging economies in the world in terms of financial strength and economic resilience,” Romualdez said. (PNA)

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