Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri has pledged to ensure the passage of 20 priority bills of national significance by December 2023. As the second regular session of the 19th Congress commences on Monday, July 24, the Senate is fully prepared to address key measures from both the legislative and executive branches.

Zubiri emphasized the need for prompt action, stating, “We need to hit the ground running. We made a commitment that, on the part of the Senate, we will pass 20 priority bills by December 2023,” as he conveyed in a recent statement.

Among the crucial bills, the Senate aims to advocate for a legislated wage hike to uplift the lives of Filipino workers. Additionally, the proposed Public-Private Partnership Act will seek to amend Republic Act (RA) 6957, commonly known as the “Build-Operate-Transfer” Law. The Senate will also focus on the establishment of the National Disease Prevention Management Authority, the proposed Internet Transactions Act, and the creation of the Medical Reserve Corps and the Virology Institute of the Philippines.

Furthermore, the Senate plans to reinstate the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Program and work on revitalizing the Philippines’ salt industry. Streamlining government transactions and services will also be a priority for the Senate, involving proposed measures such as the Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act, the E-Governance and E-Government Act, and the Ease of Paying Taxes Act. Additionally, the National Government Rightsizing Act, Automatic Income Classification of Local Government Units, and bills providing for a Unified System for Separation, Retirement, and Pension of Military and Uniformed Services will be considered.

Moreover, the Senate envisions the enactment of the Waste-to-Energy Act, the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers, and the proposed “Trabaho Para Sa Bayan” Act, along with measures addressing Anti-Financial Scamming and proposed amendments to the Bank Secrecy Law.

Several proposed bills are set for the third and final reading, including the Philippine Defense Industry Development Act, the Cybersecurity Act, and amendments to the procurement provisions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Act. As the Senate prepares to take on these important matters, Zubiri expressed the commitment to effectively address the nation’s priorities during this legislative period.