Palace seeks passage of bills that will boost economy, social services

By , on January 4, 2015

(Malacanang stock photo)
(Malacanang stock photo)

MANILA – Malacanang will continue to cooperate with Congress for the passage of proposed laws aimed at stabilizing further the economy and improving the social services of the government, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said on Sunday.

”This year, the Executive department will continue to cooperate with Congress to finally enact programs and projects which aim to stabilize the economy, improve social protection and services like housing, security and peace and order,” Coloma said in a statement over Radyo ng Bayan.

Coloma said the government is hoping that 18 of the 29 priority legislative agenda of President Benigno S. Aquino III that have been filed last year will be passed in the Senate and the House of Representatives in 2015.

”One of these bills is the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law that will give way for the creation of the Bangsamoro Transitional Assembly before the election of officials of the Bangsamoro Political Entity in 2015,” Coloma said.

The regular session of both the Senate and the House will resume on Jan. 19.

Coloma said that according to Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) Secretary Manuel Mamba, the important proposed economic measures are the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) and Road Right-of-Way for infrastructure projects and the Cabotage Law for shipping industry.

The PCOO chief said the government also eyes the passage of the Rationalization of Fiscal Incentives, Rationalization of the Mining Fiscal Regime, Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act, Antitrust Act, National Land Use Act, and the Strategic Trade Management Act.

”Also included in the priority bills are the Customs Modernization Act to continue the programs under the fiscal reform package and the PLLO said some issues are already being scrutinized at the inter-agency level,” Coloma said.

To further improve the national security and maritime zone, Coloma said the government is also pushing for the passage of the designation of the Philippine maritime zone, designation of archipelagic sea lanes, and delineation of specific forest limits of public domain.

”The government also wants to strengthen the justice system through the passage of the Whistleblowers Protection Act and the Witness Protection Program,” Coloma said.

Also included in the priority list, he said, are the Act Protecting the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Freedom of Information Act, and a proposed proclamation to make alienable and disposable some parts of the Bantayan Island in Cebu province.

”It will be used as resettlement site for housing projects for the victims of the super typhoon ‘Yolanda’,” Coloma said.

“Yolanda,” with international name “Haiyan” and the strongest typhoon to make landfall in the Visayas on Nov. 8, 2013, had left over a million of families homeless and over 6,000 people dead.