By Charissa Luci-Atienza
True to its commitment to deliver President Duterte’s legislative agenda, the House of Representatives has processed a total of 220 measures, or an average of 11 measures a day, in 20 session days, House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez said Monday.
He disclosed that, from July 22 to October 8, the Lower Chamber received a total of 5,566 measures, 5, 121 of which were bills and 445 were resolutions. Aside from the 5,566 measures, the House also got 70 committee reports.
During the 22 session days, the House was able to approve 18 bills on third and final reading; and 38 bills on second reading and adopted 14 resolutions, the House leader said.
Of the 14 adopted resolutions, three were concurrent resolutions, while the remaining 11 were regular resolutions, he noted.
“The House, as an institution, performed its tasks commendably and with distinction to deliver the legislative agenda of the President. We answered the challenges and demands of our duties and responsibilities,” Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), said in a statement.
“Through the collective hard work and determination of House members under the leadership of Speaker Cayetano, we are always focused and committed to pass quality legislation at all times to make better the life of Filipinos,” he said.
Romualdez said the legislative mill will keep grinding, following the impressive 64-percent approval and 62-percent trust ratings of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano as shown in the September 2019 Ulat ng Bayan Survey of Pulse Asia.
He attributed the approval of significant measures to his colleagues’ “tough work ethic in doing their jobs creditably.”
Congress went on a month-long break on October 2.
Among the measures approved on third and final reading were House Bill (HB) No. 4228 or proposed 2020 P4.1 trillion national budget, HB No. 1026 or a measure imposing additional excise taxes on alcohol, tobacco and vape products, HB No. 300 or amendment to the Foreign Investment Act of 1991, HB No. 304 or the Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA), and HB No. 4157 or the Corporate Income Tax and Incentive Rationalization Act (CITIRA), the House leader said.
“We also immediately passed on third and final reading bills under the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) to help reach the A credit rating goal of the Duterte administration. We are notch away from ‘A’ territory rating after a vote of confidence by Standard & Poor’s (S&P), upgrading the country’s credit rating from ‘BBB’ to ‘BBB+’ with a stable outlook because of the robust economic growth,” Romualdez, a former bank executive, said.
He said among the measures approved on second reading were HB No. 4933, as amended or the proposed law seeking to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections (BSKE) from May 11, 2020 to December 5, 2022; and HB No. 4696 or An Act Mandating the Integration of the National Building Code of the Philippines as a major subject in BS engineering courses and inclusion as a topic in professional licensure examinations.
Romualdez also cited the Lower Chamber’s adoption of House Joint Resolution (HJR) No. 19, which seeks to extend the validity of the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) and Capital Outlays (CO) of the 2019 national budget to December 31, 2020