14 tagged as urgent, 10 in advanced stages of legislation
Twenty-eight priority bills — 14 of which have been tagged as urgent — have been identified by the Legislative Executive Advisory Council (LEDAC), the government announced on Wednesday.
The LEDAC, which is chaired by the President and includes representatives from the private sector, met on Tuesday to discuss measures that will be endorsed to the Senate and House of Representatives for approval.
Of the 28, the LEDAC Executive Committee identified the following as needing to be passed before the year ends:
• Unified National Identification System Act;
• Security of Tenure Bill;
• Utilization of the Coconut Levy Fund;
• Comprehensive Tax Reform;
• National Transport Act;
• Budget Reform Act;
• National Land User Act;
• Rightsizing of the National Government;
• Amendments to the Anti-Cybercrime Act;
• Amendments to the Agricultural Tariffication Act;
• Amendments to the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) Charter;
• Amendments to the Public Service Act;
• Ease of Doing Business Act; and
• Amendments to the Government Procurement Reform Act.
The tax reform, land use, rightsizing, NIA charter, and ease of doing business measures were said to be in advanced stages of legislation along with the following priority bills:
• National Mental Health Care Delivery System;
• Occupational Safety and Health Hazards Compliance;
• Strengthening the Balik-Scientist Program;
• Philippine Qualifications Framework; and
• Amendments to the Social Security Act.
Rounding out the list of 28 measures are:
• People’s Broadcasting Corporation Charter Bill;
• Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill
• Amendments to the Build-Operate-And-Transfer law;
• Land Administration Reform Act;
• Delineation of the Specific Forest Limits;
• Free Higher Education Act;
• Enhanced Universal Health Care Act; and
• Allowable/Recoverable System Loss Act.
The Free Higher Education Act, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) noted, had been signed into law last August 2.
“We are pleased that the approved CLA responds to what the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 has laid out. In fact, 21 out of the 28 measures are identified as priority legislations in the PDP,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a statement.
Pernia also said that the LEDAC based its list from the common legislative priorities of the House and the Senate – consisting of 39 measures – and the President Rodrigo Duterte’s legislative agenda of 55 proposed laws.
Aside from Duterte, Pernia and other Cabinet officials, also present during the meeting were Senate President Aquilino Pimental 3rd, House Speake Pantaleon Alvarez and House Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas.
Notably absent was Vice-President Leni Robredo, who by law is a member of the LEDAC. A report quoted Pernia as saying that while the NEDA had prepared the meeting’s agenda, it was Malacanang’s responsibility to send out the invitations.
The LEDAC was created in 1992 by then-President Fidel Ramos to serve as a consultative and advisory body.
Composed of 20 members, it is headed by the President with the Vice-President, Senate President, House Speaker, seven Cabinet members, three senators, six congressmen, and one representative each from local government units and the youth and private sectors as members.
The law calls for LEDAC meetings at least once every quarter although this has not been strictly followed. The LEDAC first convened under the Duterte administration last January.