Press Release
April 13, 2009

Enrile: Senate to prioritize socio-economic bills

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile today said the Senate will prioritize the enactment of socio-economic bills to stimulate the economy and provide safety nets for Filipinos in the face of the global financial slowdown when Congress resumes its sessions tomorrow, April 13, Monday.

Enrile said the Senate was ready to buckle down to work and tackle pending bills needed to address the current economic difficulties of the country.

"As I have said before, what we have is a Senate that will live up to its tradition of hard work and pro-active legislation while upholding its independence and integrity," Enrile said. 'This Senate will perform its task of pro-people legislation unencumbered by any political ambition or personal interests."

"When the Senate opens tomorrow, petty politics will take the back seat and we will prioritize the discussions of socio-economic bills needed to address the current problems of the country," Enrile said.

In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said among the socio-economic measures on the deck were the proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001.

Zubiri said the Senate will also prioritize bills such as those seeking the condonation of delinquent contributions to Social Security System (SSS), the Simplified Net Income System, the proposed mechanization of the agricultural sector and the Paglaum Fund bill for the rehabilitation of Panay Island due to the devastation caused by Typhoon Frank last year. The bills are pending on the Senate committee level.

The Senate is awaiting the bicameral reports on measures related to the Pag-IBIG Charter amendments, the Real Estate Investment Companies Act, and the bills involving the Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Cristobal protected areas, Zubiri added.

Meanwhile, bills scheduled for plenary deliberation include Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, the Picture - based Warnings on Tobacco Products, the proposed Philippine Disaster Risk Management Act, the proposed Magna Carta for Homeowners, the proposed legitimization of children born to parents who are below marrying age, and the proposed Climate Change Commission bill, Zubiri further said. Moreover, he added, the Senate was also awaiting the final committee report on the so-called Fertilizer fund scam.

Meanwhile, Enrile said the Senate was proud of its record of having passed a total of 415 bills since the start of the First session of the 14th Congress.

Among these measures were the Filipino WW II Veterans Act that allows Filipino World War II veterans to continue receiving Philippine government pensions and benefits even when similar pensions and benefits are provided by the US government; the updating of the University of the Philippines Charter that strengthens UP as national university; the proposed Magna Carta for Small and Medium Enterprises that promotes entrepreneurship by strengthening development and assistance programs to micro, small and medium scale enterprises; the Cheaper Medicines bill that provides cheaper and quality medicines for the Filipino people; the Personal Equity and Retirement Account bill that establishes a provident personal savings plan, known as the Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA), to government employees; and the proposed Low Cost Housing Loan program that establishes low-cost housing loan programs.

Also passed by the Senate were the proposed Credit Information System Act that establishes a Central Credit Information Corporation (CCIC) which will compile data from financial institutions to facilitate creditworthiness checks; the proposed Environmental Awareness Act that promotes environmental awareness through environmental education; the proposed Renewable Energy Act that promotes and enhances the development, utilization and commercialization of renewable energy resources; the proposed updating of the National Fire Code that ensures public safety and promotes economic development through the prevention and suppression of all kinds of destructive fires; the proposed National Book Development Act that provides authors from all regions of the country a reasonable amount to complete their manuscripts for publication; and the proposed Archipelagic Baselines law that vests in the Philippines the right to invoke the provisions of international law in delineating the boundaries of Philippine territory.

News Latest News Feed