17 draft laws need House action

The House of Representatives will tackle several measures of national and local importance starting on May 23 before the current 16th Congress closes in June.

Based on data of the House of Representatives as of May 5, 2016, there are 17 measures of national concern and eight local bills pending for action by the bicameral conference committee.

The measures, after approval by their respective conference panels, shall be ratified by both chambers during the remaining days of the 16th Congress before giving way to its constitutional mandate of jointly conducting the presidential and vice presidential canvass of votes.

The measures pending in conference deal with issues like anti-graft and corruption, housing, retirement benefits, agrarian reform, foreign trade, public transport safety, investments and judicial concerns, among others.

Both the House and the Senate will resume session on May 23 after more than three week break to give way for May 9 general elections.

Upon resumption, the two chambers of Congress will convene as the National Board of Canvassers for presidential and vice presidential votes.

After fulfilling their canvassing tasks, the House is expected to attend to its legislative functions and attend to several measures that are up for approval.

These include: HB 772-An Act amending Presidential Decree No. 1638, otherwise known as the AFP Military Personnel Retirement and Separation Decree of 1979, by amending a new Section 25-A granting children/survivors who are mentally retarded exemption from termination of benefits upon reaching 21 years of age, appropriating funds therefor; HB 3785-An Act strengthening and institutionalizing direct credit support of the Land Bank of the Philippines to Agrarian Reform beneficiaries, small farmers and fisherfolk, further amending R.A. 3844, otherwise known as the Agricultural Land Reform Code, as amended; HB 4116-An Act strengthening the balanced Housing Development Program, amending for the purpose R.A 7279, entitled ‘An Act to provide for a Comprehensive and Continuing Urban Development and Housing Program, establishing the mechanism for its implementation and for other purposes; HB 4146-An Act increasing the prescriptive period from 15 years to 30 years for the violation of R.A. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act, amending Section 11 therefor; HB 4730-An Act requiring business establishments to give exact change to consumers; HB 5076-An Act creating the Philippine Trade Representative Office and appropriating funds therefor; HB 5417-And Act regulating the Philippine Credit Card Industry; HB 5617-An Act establishing the regulatory framework for the safe operation of the liquefied petroleum gas industry and penalizing certain prohibited acts; HB 5855-An Act reorganizing and modernizing the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and providing funds therefor; HB 5911-An Act requiring the mandatory installation of speed limiter in public utility and certain types of vehicles; HB 6040-An Act banning the reappointment of a regular member of the Judicial and Bar Council who has already served the full term; HB 6268-An Act modifying the Compensation and Position Classification System of the civilian government personnel and the base pay schedule of Military and Uniformed personnel in the Government, and for other purposes; and HB 6395-An Act removing/amending investment restrictions in specific laws governing adjustment companies, lending companies, financing companies and investment houses cited in the Foreign Investment Negative List, except those in the Constitution.

The others in the list are bills granting or extending franchises to telecommunications and broadcast companies in the country.

Source: The Standard