The Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) is urging Congress to update the half-a-century-old Philippine commercial law, recodification of the nation’s penal and civil laws, and creating code commissions for the purpose.
JFC wrote Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas of the Sixth District of Pangasinan, who is the chairman of the Revision of Laws Committee, on February 4, to express support for House Bills 377, 378, 380, 1433 and 3572.
“The codifications proposed in the bills are long overdue. Many of these laws are antiquated and need to be updated to be more effective and relevant. The amendments are scattered in several laws that are not accessible,” the joint chambers said in a statement.
“Arangkada Philippines 2010,” which was published by the Joint Foreign Chambers, contains 471 recommendations from Filipino and foreign businessmen and women for building a more competitive economy, reform-by-reform, that will lead to high growth and millions of new jobs.
One of its recommendations is the development of a Comprehensive Legal Code and Code of Regulations, to create an inventory of laws and regulations.
In October last year, lawmakers filed bills creating two separate commissions tasked with the recodification of the outdated civil and penal codes.
Reps. Christopher Co and Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol Party-list authored House Bills 377 and 378 creating the penal and civil code commissions, which “will perform the daunting task of the codification of all existing laws, in line with the President’s platform of good government.”
Co said that the civil and penal code commissions shall complete work not later than one year from date of enactment of the proposed statutes, and shall submit to the President a report of the work undertaken together with the corresponding drafts of the codes for submission to Congress.
Co said that the late President Manuel Roxas issued Executive Order (EO) 48, creating the Code Commission in 1947 which paved the way for the passing of the Civil Code in 1952.
Co said that EO 48 was created to revise all existing substantive laws of the Philippines, and of codifying them in conformity with the customs, traditions and idiosyncrasies of the Filipino people, and with modern trends in legislation and the progressive principles of law.
“More than half a century has passed, as well as thousands of laws, and again we see the necessity of executing the heed of President Roxas when he issued his 1947 executive order,” Co said.
“The words of President Roxas 63 years ago are as relevant today as they were then,” he said.
Co added that President Benigno Aquino 3rd wants Congress to begin a recodification of the laws to ensure harmony in legislation and eliminate contradictions, “keeping in mind the outdated and repeated provisions of some of the codes that resulted from the creation of succeeding laws.”