THE Senate crafted new laws that aim to improve the lives of Filipinos during the past five years of the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd but Senate President Franklin Drilon admitted that more needs be done to induce economic growth.
In his speech during the opening of the third and last regular session of the 16th Congress, Drilon noted that Congress came up with laws that will promote good governance, help improve the economy, provide good health care programs, generate employment and make education affordable.
For good governance, the legislature passed the GOCC Governance Act and made state owned enterprises instruments of national progress instead of being milking cows; the Sandiganbayan law to enable the speedy disposition of graft cases and the Anti-Money Laundering Act amendment expanding the list of entities required to report covered and suspicious transactions to the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
To make the country more competitive, Congress passed the Philippine Competition Act; the Cabotage Law; Full Entry of Foreign Banks; Foreign Carriers Act and the Revised Insurance Code.
It was also able to pass two controversial measures — the Sin Tax Reform Law that generated additional revenues that will expand the beneficiaries of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) and the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health law which provides universal access to safe, effective, legal, affordable, and quality reproductive health services.
Congress also introduced laws that enable those who have less in life to have more access to good education like the Ladderized Education Act, the Open Learning and Distance Education Act, and the Open High School System Act and Enhanced Basic Education Act or the K-to-12 program.
Drilon emphasized that these reforms “rake in huge dividends in improving the life of Juan dela Cruz, strengthening the economy, creating a stable political system, and providing social protection to our citizens.”
“Since the beginning of the Aquino administration, we have worked hard to institute reforms needed to improve the economy, create a stable political environment and improve our social infrastructure. But let us walk a mile more,” the Senate president said.
Drilon said the Senate will make use of its remaining time to pass more laws that will uplift the lives of Filipinos and improve governance.