House, Senate eye passage of BSKE postponement, SIM card registration laws by Oct. 1

September 9, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 306 views

THE House of Representatives and the Senate are eyeing the passage on the third and final reading of the proposed laws seeking to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) and the registration of all postpaid and prepaid mobile phones’ Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards by October 1, House Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe said Friday.

“We initially met last night (Thursday) to discuss our common legislative agenda. The House and Senate leadership are eyeing the postponement of barangay and SK elections and passage of [the] SIM card registration bill before our adjournment this September. This is to ensure that the entire Congress is moving forward in the same direction,” Dalipe said after their meeting with Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, and Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva in Makati City.

“The House will also pass by October 1 the national budget for next year,” Dalipe added, referring to the proposed 2023 P5.268-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB).

Under the House proposal, it seeks the postponement of the barangay and BSKE scheduled on December 5, 2022 to December 4, 2023.

Last Monday, the House Committee on Information and Communications Technology approved the SIM card registration bill to lessen scams and criminal activities.

At the same time, Dalipe said top House leaders reiterated their commitment to fully support the administration’s legislative agenda that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. enumerated during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) by acting on these measures “with dispatch”.

“Our main priority is economic recovery, with agriculture as the key driver for growth and employment,” Dalipe said. “We will push for the passage of more reform-oriented measures to improve good governance and uplift the lives of Filipinos. We are here to serve the people.”

The priority measures enumerated by President Marcos Jr. in his SONA were the Valuation Reform Bill, Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA), E-Governance Act, Internet Transaction Act, Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE) bill, Medical Reserve Corps bill, National Disease Prevention Management Authority bill, Virology Institute of the Philippines bill, Unified System of Separation, Retirement and Pension bill; Department of Water Resources bill, E-Governance Act, National Land Use Act, Mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and National Service Training Program, Budget Modernization bill, National Government Rightsizing Program, National Defense Act, Enactment of an Enabling Law for the Natural Gas Industry, Amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, Amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer Law, and condonation for agrarian reform beneficiaries.

During the meeting, Dalipe said House leaders initially agreed to prioritize the passage of the Medical Reserve Corps bill, Virology Institute of the Philippines measure, creation of a United States-type Center for Disease Control (CDC) medical facility, condonation for agrarian reform beneficiaries to enable farmers to concentrate on farm productivity, Amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer Law, mandatory ROTC, Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers, apprenticeship bill, and benefits for barangay health workers as part of their common legislative agenda.

According to Dalipe, House and Senate leaders will meet again to finalize the list of their common priority legislations while awaiting the convening of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) to set the direction and other requests of the executive branch in terms of legislation.