April 30, 2024 Camille P. Balagtas 101 views

IN time for the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri confirmed that the Senate is targetting the approval of 20 priority measures as Congress resumes regular sessions following a one month summer break.

In a press conference, Zubiri said they are prioritizing measures which the Chief Executive considered important and he is confident that the Senate can pass them before the 2nd Regular Session ends.

“We will be discussing 20 priority measures na i te take up natin and hopefully maipapasa natin. Target namin with cooperation of the chairman before we adjourn Sine die (May 24) , we will be able to finish the deliberations,” Zubiri said as he revealed that one measure is already set for the signing of President Marcos which is the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) Act, a framework that accounts for the country’s natural capital and its economic impact.

Zubiri said the proposal of Senator Ronald Bato dela Rosa and Senator Francis Tolentino on the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) issue must also be tackled.

“Kasi mag iisang taun na rin po ito at kailangan natin malaman kung ano talaga ang status at kung maipapasa ba. I made a personal commitment to Sen. Bato. Para magka alaman na lang kung may numero. Pending na po ito for one year. Let’s put it to a vote,” Zubiri said as he admitted that there is a strong opposition against ROTC because of the hazing issue.

“May anti-hazing law na po tayo. Kaya mag iingat na sila. We will enhance specialization na kung saan yung field of expertise ng estudyante. Hindi na lang puro marcha marcha ito,” Zubiri said.

For the charter change issue, Zubiri said they are still discussing it as he revealed that they have three remaining hearings in the proposal to amend economic provision in the 1987 Constitution.

“Chacha po may tatlong hearing pa kami and magkakaroon pa tayo ng regional consultation sa Baguio, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro. I would prefer that we do not do it during session time at 3 pm but in the morning preferably,” he said.

Other issues to be tackled are the bicameral report on three other measures that has been ratified and now in the process of enrollment which include the Philippine Maritime Zones Act, a measure establishing the Negros Island Region, and the Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act.

The Senate chief is confident that they will be able to finish 20 important measures before the 3rd regular session starts and fulfill their legislative commitments to the present administration of the Marcos government.