A Senate-House of Representatives leaders’ meeting held today has identified a short list of priorities for the next five weeks, bannered by the proposed 2016 P3-trillion plus national budget and the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. revealed.
“During our meeting with our Senate counterparts, we have identified a short list of priorities which we intend to focus on in the next few weeks,” Speaker Belmonte revealed.
The proposed 2016 General Appropriations Act is now undergoing scrutiny by the House Committee on Appropriations and expected to be reported out for plenary debate as soon as practicable, while the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law is undergoing plenary debate.
Aside from the GAA and the BBL, Speaker Belmonte said that the list includes: 1) the proposed Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform bill; 2) the proposed creation of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT); 3) the proposed Tax Incentive Management and Transparency Act; 4) theproposed amendments to the Public-Private Partnership/BOT law; and 5) the proposed Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
“The choice of priorities were determined based on their advanced stage in the legislative process, therefore making their passage more achievable,” Belmonte said, “This also veers away from traditionally giving full focus to the GAA passage alone. Congress feels there are other equally urgent measures that can benefit our people.”
The Speaker also said the leaders of both chambers of Congress will continue to meet as needed to ensure the passage of our common legislative priorities.
“Until our next meeting after the brief recess, this short list will be our focus,” the Speaker said.