Press Release
January 17, 2016

Senate to pass 34 new measures as plenary sessions resume Monday

The Senate is set to pass at least thirty four new measures - capped off by the proposed Salary Standardization Law IV and the Customs and Tariff Modernization Act (CTMA) - when it resumes plenary sessions on Monday tomorrow, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said.

Drilon said that the Senate will begin the first session for the year 2016 by making huge strides on their remaining legislative targets within the 16th Congress, which ends in July of this year.

"Even with the elections drawing close, we have much work to do in the Senate. We intend to make good on our promise to the Filipino people on the start of the 16th Congress that we will help the poor, widen the delivery of education and other social services and improve the economy," he said.

Leading the package of Senate bills to be approved is the proposed Salary Standardization Law IV (SBN 2671), which will introduce a higher compensation system for all government employees, including nurses, teachers and soldiers.

Drilon said the SSL IV seeks to attract more professionals into the public workforce by making compensation for all civilian government personnel "competitive with those doing comparable work in the private sector."

Also up for approval by the Senate is the Customs and Tariff Modernization Act (SBN 2968), which will introduce full automation of customs procedures, and strengthen the Bureau of Customs' risk management, revenue collection and enforcement systems.

Drilon also said that the Senate will also pass other important measures such as the Foreign Ownership Restrictions Act (SBN 3023) which will lift the ban on foreign ownership restrictions on financing and lending houses and investment houses, the Comprehensive Tuberculosis Elimination Plan Act (SBN 2653) to end the spread of TB in the country, and the Expanded Maternity Leave of 2015 (SBN 2982) which will extend maternity leave for female employees up to 100 days.

The high chamber will also formally pass Senate resolutions extending its condolences to the death of long-time Philippine Daily Inquirer editor and renowned journalist Letty Jimenez- Magsanoc, and congratulating the new Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, who won the title last December 20, 2015.

With a tight schedule ahead, Drilon vowed that there will be no let up in the Senate's legislative efforts, and that they will waste no time in working on the passage of remaining priority bills like the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the Public-Private Partnership Act.

"The Senate will continue to be a working Senate. We will maximize our remaining time to continue our mandate and work on relevant, important and much-needed laws for our people," the Senate leader concluded.

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