Press Release
July 5, 2023

Senate pushes for inclusion of nine additional key measures in LEDAC's Common Legislative Agenda

Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri, in today's Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council meeting, proposed to add nine bills for inclusion in the Common Legislative Agenda (CLA), on top of the 42 bills already listed in the agenda.

"It was a productive meeting, and President Marcos was very participative, with his questions on the problems and bottlenecks in some of the bills," said Zubiri.

Among the nine proposed bills for inclusion are the Philippine Defense Industry Development Act (PDIDA), the Cybersecurity Law, and amendments to the procurement provisions of the AFP Modernization Act— which were all discussed during Zubiri's working visit to Washington, DC, in June.

"These bills will be vital in strengthening our AFP, and to our overall efforts to build a truly self-reliant defense strategy," he said.

"Kaya talagang gusto nating ituloy itong PDIDA, in particular, para may capability tayo na mag-manufacture ng sarili nating equipment. As we do that, we will be creating jobs, and courting foreign companies to invest here as well."

The amendments to the procurement provisions of the AFP Modernization Act, meanwhile, will allow for the purchase of non-new equipment—"so we can acquire highly advanced, good-as-new equipment, at a lower price point. We want to buy smart, and not just buy what is new."

The Cybersecurity Law, meanwhile, seeks to develop a legal framework that would enhance cybersecurity and protection and establish protocols in their use among government agencies and vital institutions.

Two education bills—the Academic Recovery and Accessible Learning (ARAL) Program Act and the Batang Magaling Act—were also proposed for inclusion, as well as the Safe Pathways Act, the Open Access in Data Transmission Act, the Tatak Pinoy Act, and the Blue Economy Act.

On the part of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber proposed 15 additional bills on agriculture, industry and services, infrastructure, digital regulatory frameworks, transport, good governance, energy, environment, and domestic resources. These include the Excise Tax on Single-Use Plastic, the Sustainable Urban Mobility Act, and the act rationalizing Motor Vehicle User's Charge.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas also proposed two more bills, namely the Bank Deposits Secrecy Bill and the Anti-Financial Account Scamming Act.

Outside of these proposed inclusions, Zubiri also gave the executive and the House of Representatives an update on the remaining CLA measures in the Senate, led by the National Employment Action Plan, which has already been approved on third reading.

"Of the remaining 35 measures in the Common Legislative Agenda, nine are pending on Second Reading in the Senate and all nine have been approved on Third Reading in the House," Zubiri reported.

These nine are the National Disease Prevention Management Authority or the Center for Disease Control Act, the Mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps and NSTP Act, the Internet Transactions Act, the Amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer Law or the Public-Private Partnership Act, the act Revitalizing the Salt Industry, the Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers, the New Philippine Passport Act, the LGU Income Classification Act, and the Ease of Paying Taxes Act.

All of these measures have been identified as priority measures that must be passed by December, along with the Medical Reserve Corps Act, The Virology Institute Act, the Valuation Reform Act, the National Government Rightsizing Act, the Unified System of Separation, Retirement, and Pension of MUPs, the Waste-to-Energy Act, the amendments to the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, the Bank Deposits Secrecy Bill, and the Anti-Financial Account Scamming Act.

Zubiri said the rest of the twenty-six bills are pending at the committee level in the Senate, and are "ready to be reported out in the plenary once we resume session".

"Once we resume session, we will hit the ground running on these measures, especially on the measures that we are targeting to pass by the end of the year."

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