Press Release
July 23, 2023

Senate gears up for opening of 2nd Regular Session

The Senate is ready to hit the ground running on priority bills and other key pieces of legislation as it opens the Second Regular Session of the 19th Congress on Monday, July 24, 2023.

"We made a commitment that, on the part of the Senate, we will pass 20 priority bills by December, 2023," Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" F. Zubiri said.

"We need to hit the ground running," he added.

The Senate chief said the 24-member chamber, in resuming plenary sessions under the 19th Congress, aims to pass the proposed Public-Private Partnership Act, which will amend Republic Act No. 6957 or the "Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT)" Law; the creation of a National Disease Prevention Management Authority; the proposed Internet Transactions Act; the establishment of the Medical Reserve Corps and the Virology Institute of the Philippines; the reinstatement of the mandatory Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Program; and the bill revitalizing the Philippines' salt industry.

Senators are also set to work on the approval of measures aimed at improving and streamlining government transactions and services, specifically: the proposed Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act; the proposed E-Governance and E-Government Act; Ease of Paying Taxes Act; the National Government Rightsizing Act; Automatic Income Classification of Local Government Units; and the bills providing for a Unified System for Separation, Retirement and Pension of Military and Uniformed Services; and a New Philippine Passport Law.

The chamber also sees the passage of the proposed Waste-to-Energy Act; Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers; the proposed "Trabaho Para Sa Bayan" Act; as well as the Anti-Financial Scamming Act, and proposed amendments to the Bank Secrecy Law, Zubiri said.

Apart from the priority bills, Zubiri said the Senate is resolute in its commitment to help uplift the lives of Filipinos by pushing for an increase in the wages of workers through a legislated nationwide wage hike.

The Senate President also pushes the third reading passage of the Philippine Defense Industry Development Act (PDIDA), Cybersecurity Act, and proposed amendments to the procurement provisions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Act.

The Upper Chamber, Zubiri added, also continues to uphold and stand for the Philippines' sovereign rights over the West Philippines Sea. A Senate resolution would be adopted to support calls for the government to bring China's incursions in Philippine waters before the United Nations General Assembly.

"The Senate is the last bastion of democracy. It is important to maintain independence," Zubiri stressed.

After the plenary session in the morning, the senators will proceed to the House of Representatives for a joint session of Congress to witness the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

News Latest News Feed