Press Release
May 13, 2018

Senate to tackle more priority measures before 2nd Regular Session ends

The Senate will resume its session on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, with the Senate leadership vowing to finish work on more priority legislation before the 17th Congress' 2nd Regular Session ends in July.

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said the institution would "work harder to improve the quality of life for all," when they return to work on Tuesday.

The 2nd Regular Session of the 17th Congress started last July 24, 2017, and is set to end on July 22, 2018.

For his part, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said the Senate would try its best to finish working on at least 24 bills which is part of the Senate's priority legislative agenda.

Leading the list of priority bills is the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (SBN 1717), which will establish the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region to replace the existing Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The bill is already undergoing interpellations at second reading in the Senate, while the House of Representatives' version of the measure has been endorsed by a joint House committee.

The Senate will also prioritize the ongoing proposals for Charter Change, and the shift towards a federal form of government, which is currently being discussed at the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws.

Sotto said that another top priority would be the Prevention of Terrorism Act of 2017 (SBN 1715), which would amend the Human Security Act and impose tougher penalties for individuals who commit acts of terror.

The Senate will also tackle bills on economic reforms and consumer rights such as the proposed amendments to the Corporation Code of the Philippines (SBN 1280), amendments to the Agricultural Tariffication Act, amendments to the Government Procurement Act, Budget Reform Act, the proposed Innovative Startup Act (SBN 1532) and the Philippine Fare Discount Act (SBN 1597).

The Senate has also prioritized bills that are seen to streamline bureaucracy, improve government processes and expand services to Filipinos such as the proposed Open Access in Data Transmission Act (SBN 1763), Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute Act of 2017 (SBN 1574), the National Museum Act (SBN 1529), the Retirement Law of the Office of the Ombudsman (SBN 1762), amendments to the Fair Elections Act, and the bills creating the Department of Disaster Response and Preparedness, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Included in the list are pro-justice reforms such as the Anti-Discriminate Act of 2017 (SBN 1619), proposed Criminal Investigation Act, and the proposed Community Service in lieu of Imprisonment Act.

The Senate will also prioritize pro-health and social service reforms such as the proposed Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act (SBN 1390), Enhanced Universal Healthcare Act, the One Town: One Doctor Act of 2016 (SBN 930), and the amendments to the Social Security Act.

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