Housing, federal push top Ledac agenda

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Malacañang and Congress agreed to pass 28 bills as part of the common legislative agenda for the 17th Congress―including the creation of a separate department for housing, amendments to the procurement act and the push for a federal system of government―during the second Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council Tuesday night. 

“We are pleased that the approved CLA [Common Legislative Agenda] responds to what the Philippine Development Plan ‎2017-2022 has laid out,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a statement.

“In fact, 21 out of the 28 measures are identified as priority legislations in the PDP. This development only shows that the whole of government is moving forward in the same direction.” 

The CLA, approved during the second Ledac meeting convened under Duterte, included 14 bills that were recommended as urgent in July and which emphasized the necessity of having them passed into law within the year, Pernia said. 

He made his statement even as the House of Representatives on Wednesday renewed its commitment to push for President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for federalism as the measure would be on top of Ledac’s priority agenda, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said.

He said the proposed shift to a federal form of government was among the measures that the President would want Congress to attend to soonest.

President Rodrigo Duterte presides over the 2nd Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on Aug. 29, 2017. Presidential Photo

“The proposed shift to a federal form of government as being pushed by President Duterte must begin as soon as possible,” Alvarez said after Duterte met with Senate and House leaders at the Ledac meeting Tuesday night.

But the Freedom of Information bill, the Death Penalty and the Anti-Political Dynasty were  not among the priority measures approved by Ledac during a meeting in Malacañang Tuesday night.

When  Congress opened its second regular session on July 24, Senator Grace Poe, head of the Senate committee on public information and mass media, vowed  to pursue the approval of the FOI bill in the Senate. 

She had  earlier expressed optimism that the  anti-corruption measure would be approved by the Senate.  She said the measure would breathe life to the people’s right to information on matters of public concern as enshrined in the Constitution.

Among the bills listed as priorities of the  Duterte administration were the following: 

1. Unified National Identification System Act

2. Security of Tenure Bill (End of contractualization)

3. Utilization of the Coconut Levy Fund

4. Comprehensive Tax Reform Program

5. National Transport Act to address the traffic problem

6. Budget Reform Act

7. National Land Use Act

8. Rightsizing of the National Government

9. Amendments to the Anti-Cybercrime Act

10. Amendments to the Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1996

11. Amendments to the NIA Charter RE: Free Irrigation Act

12. Amendments to Public Service Act

13. Ease of Doing Business Act/Fast Business Permit Act

14. Government Procurement Reform Act Amendments

15. Federalism

16. National Mental Health Care Delivery System

17. Occupational Safety and Health Hazards Compliance

18. People’s Broadcasting Corporation Charter Bill

19. Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill

20. Strengthening the Balik-Scientist Program

21. Philippine Qualifications Framework

22. Amendments to Repunlic Act (RA) No. 7718, Otherwise known as the BOT Law

23. Land Registration Reform Act

24. Delineation of the Specific Forest Limits

25. Social Security Act Amendments

26. Free Higher Education Act

27. Enhanced Universal Health Care Act

28. Allowable/Recoverable System Loss Act.

Once the proposed government rightsizing bill is enacted, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council will be made a separate agency, while the Department of Housing and Urban Development will address the country’s housing and resettlement needs. 

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