Senate adjourns session with 1 bill approved on final reading
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate of the 17th Congress adjourned its session on Wednesday, October 19, the same week the chamber commemorated its centennial anniversary. (READ: IN PHOTOS: Philippine Senate turns 100)
During the chamber's last session, 6 committee reports with consolidated bills were reported out to the plenary.
These included the Freedom of Information bill, the bill seeking to expand the coverage of the anti-wiretapping law, the measure providing security of tenure for all casual and contractual government employees, the bill seeking to institutionalize the grant of teaching supplies allowance for public school teachers, the bill regulating the practice of criminology profession, and the measure regulating the licensure, and practice of occupation theory.
Since June 30, the Senate has so far approved only one measure on 3rd and final reading – the bill postponing barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law.
Upon resumption on November 7, the Senate is expected to focus on the passage of the proposed P3.35 trillion national budget for next year, the first under the Duterte administration. (READ: What's in the proposed 2017 budget?)
“We will exert our best efforts to timely conduct our hearings and ensure the early passage of this most important piece of legislation” Pimentel said in a statement.
The House of Representatives already approved on third and final reading the proposed 2017 General Appropriations Act on Wednesday.
Under the previous government, the national budget was regularly approved on time or before the start of the new fiscal year.
Aside from the budget, the Senate is also set on working on other pending priority legislation next month.
These include the emergency powers to solve the traffic crisis, the bill ending labor contractualization or “endo,” the proposed SIM Card Registration Act, the amendments to the Bank Secrecy Law, and the adjustments on the indexation of income tax rates – a priority of the administration.
The Senate committee on justice and human rights, headed by Senator Richard Gordon, is also set to submit its report on the controversial probe into the spate of extrajudicial killings.
Gordon, who replaced the President's fiercest critic Senator Leila de Lima as chair, earlier said the panel has not found evidence linking President Rodrigo Duterte or the state to the summary executions.
He also said there is no proof of the existence of the Davao Death Squad, the alleged vigilante group supposedly controlled by Duterte when he was Davao City mayor. – Rappler.com