A TOTAL of 18 bills with national significance have been approved in the House of Representatives.
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco led the 300-strong member to fasttrack important measures with only two session days left before the long election recess.
Included in the 18 are the Magna Carta of Barangay Health Workers and the measure that provided continuing benefits to public, private health workers during the future pandemic.
The House is now in its final session week ahead of the May 9 local and national elections, and a few days before the start of the campaign period for nationally-elected posts on February 8.
“Before we return to our districts to prepare for the upcoming electoral campaign, it is only necessary that we approve all bills that are ready for final reading,” Velasco said.
“These measures reflect a lot of hard work and promise to positively and meaningfully impact the lives of people we represent,” he added.
Foremost among the measures approved on third reading were House Bill (HB) 10701 which seeks to grant mandatory continuing benefits to public, private and barangay health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and other future public health emergencies; and HB 10699 or “An Act Providing for Magna Carta of Barangay Health Workers.”
The House passed on final reading HB 10697 entitled “An Act Establishing the National Center for Geriatric Health and Research Institute, Defining its Powers and Functions, Creating Regional Geriatric Specialty Centers in the Department of Health-Retained Hospitals, and Appropriating Funds Therefore.”
Also approved on final reading were HB 10571 regulating the operation of motorcycles-for-hire; HB 10575 enhancing the competitiveness of Philippine maritime trade by strengthening the oversight functions of relevant government agencies over charges imposed by international shipping lines; HB 10612 providing for full and effective implementation of international maritime instruments to which the Philippines is a state party; HB 10647 granting additional benefits to Filipino centenarians and recognizing octogenarians and nonagenarians; HB 10648 granting legislative franchise to Oro Broadcasting Network Inc.;
HB 10650 establishing apex hospitals in every region of the country and providing funds therefor; HB 10672 renaming the Literacy Coordinating Council to National Literacy Council, strengthening its powers and functions, and expanding its membership structure and support mechanisms;
HB 10690 prescribing the use of neo-ethnic Philippine textiles in the academic regalia of all state universities and colleges; HB 10625 creating the Department of Economics and Development Planning; HB 10657 promoting Philippine indigenous and traditional writing systems and providing for their protection, preservation and conservation; HB 10658 strengthening the policies on anti-trafficking in persons and appropriating funds therefor, amending for the purpose Republic Act (RA) 9208, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003;
HB 10693 converting the Provincial Science and Technology Center into the Provincial Science and Technology Office in every province and appropriating funds therefor, repealing for the purpose RA 6959; HB 10696 institutionalizing the practice of extended producer responsibility on plastic products, amending for this purpose RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000;
HB 10698 strengthening the Sangguniang Kabataan by institutionalizing additional reforms to revitalize youth participation in local governance and by providing honorarium and other benefits and privileges; and HB 10703 strengthening the protection against online or offline child sexual abuse or exploitation.
The approved measures will be transmitted to the Senate.