2015 was another milestone for Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the 16th Congress as he played a key role in the passage of measures that empowered the youth, put the spotlight on the plight of barangay officials, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), Muslim-Filipinos in Mindanao, and policemen killed in the line of duty.
Marcos was instrumental in the passage of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform Law as chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government.
He authored and sponsored a bill that provides retirement benefits to barangay officials and workers including day care personnel.
Known as Senate Bill No. 12, the bill entitled “An Act Providing Barangay Officials, Including Barangay Tanods, Members of the Lupon ng Tagapamayapa, Barangay Health Workers and Day Care Workers Retirement Benefits” sought to give Punong Barangays P100,000 in retirement benefits, P80,000 for Sangguniang Barangay members, Barangay Treasurer and Secretary, Barangay Tanod, members of the Lupon ng Tagapamayapa, barangay health workers. Barangay day care workers will get P50,000.
The bill has been approved on third and final reading.
Last year, Marcos also showed his mettle and independence when he rejected the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) submitted by Malacañang. He crafted instead a substitute bill entitled “Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region” or Senate Bill No. 2894.
In the Senate investigation of the Mamasapano massacre, Marcos took the cudgels for the 44 Special Action Force policemen who were killed by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and other private armed groups in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015.
He zeroed in on the breach of the chain of command and called on President Benigno Aquino 3rd to apologize as Commander-in-Chief.
Marcos also quizzed Customs officials on their plan to open the balikbayan boxes of Overseas Filipino Workers. As a result, Customs Chief Alberto Lina was pressured to make a public apology to OFWs and stop the implementation of the plan.
On the tanim-bala scam, the senator reprimanded airport officials for the extortion racket at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport by corrupt airport personnel.
Six months before the 16th Congress ended, Marcos has compiled 66 bills – 57 of which he authored and nine that he co-authored. He also filed 64 resolutions. Eleven of these bills were enacted into laws while 43 of the resolutions were adopted.