The Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) identified 10 more bills as priority legislation, including the measures seeking to rationalize the fiscal regime for the mining industry and to amend the public procurement system.
In a statement after LEDAC’s third meeting presided by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., the Palace said the bill amending the Government Procurement Reform Act and the proposed rationalization of the mining fiscal regime were among the 10 bills added to the common legislative agenda.
The new priority bills also include a measure imposing excise tax on single-use plastics and the proposed amendments to the Cooperative Code and Fisheries Code, the Palace said.
The proposed New Government Auditing Code, Open Access in Data Transmission Act, Defense Industry Development Act, and Philippine Maritime Zones Act were also included in the priority agenda.
Proposed amendments to the Right-of-Way Act were also among the LEDAC’s new 10 priority bills.
Senate President Juan Miguel F. Zubiri said the bills were endorsed by Mr. Marcos’ economic team.
“We committed to support this as well,” he said after the LEDAC meeting, based on the Palace statement.
The Palace said Congress is on track to pass the LEDAC’s top 20 priority bills for this year, including measures amending the Bank Deposit Secrecy Law and Anti-Financial Account Scamming Act.
The two bills, which are still pending at the Senate committee level, had been endorsed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which aims to remove the Philippines from the Financial Action Task Force’s “gray list” by January 2024.
Another bill proposing changes to the military and uniformed personnel (MUP) pension system, which was approved on second reading by the House of Representatives earlier this week, was also on LEDAC’s list.
Bills targeted for Congress approval by December also include the proposed Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act, E-Governance Act, Magna Carta for Seafarers, Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, and a bill seeking to ease the payment of taxes.
The list also includes bills seeking to rightsize the National Government, create a National Employment Action Plan, institutionalize the automatic income classification of local government units, and develop the salt industry.
The proposed Internet Transaction Act, National Scamming Act, National Citizens Service Training Program Act, New Philippine Passport Act, and proposed amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer law were also included in the list.
House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said 18 out of the 20 priority bills were already approved by the lower house.
He said the bill reforming the MUP pension system is slated for approval on third and final reading next week, while the proposed Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act was already approved at the committee level earlier in the day.
“We are on track to approve the two remaining measures before the October recess,” the House leader said in a separate statement. “In sum, the House of Representatives will meet its commitment to approve all 20 priority measures by the end of September, or three months ahead of target.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza