Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda has vowed to push as priority measures in the 18th Congress bills creating the Department of Disaster Resilience and the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and Higher Quality Opportunities.
Salceda principally authored the same measures among the 34 measures he filed in the 17th Congress, 12 of which he considers priority legislation, topped by the DDR and TRABAHO.
The 10 others are the Housewives Compensation Act, Amendments to the Public Service Act, Public Schools of the Future, Internet Speed and Connectivity Emergency Act, 35-Hour Workweek Act, Last Mile Schools, Science for Change Program, Mandatory Overpass near schools for students safety, Public-Private Partnership Modernization Act, and Protection for Freelance Gif Workers in the Gif Economy Sector.
Salceda’s 22 other bills include amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, Foreign Investments Act, Fiscal Regime for the Mining Industry, Real Property Valuation and Assessment; National Transportation Act, Capital Income and Financial Taxes Reform, Excise Tax Rates on Alcohol, National Competition Policy Act, Productivity Incentives, National Innovation and Policy Act;
Public Schools of the Future bill or PSOFT, Collective Investment Scheme, the New NEDA Law, PNR Authority and PNR Corps, Compensation for SK Kagawads and officers, SKOK or Special eligibility for SK Officers, Moving Barangay and SK elections to 2021, Proof of Parking, National Land Use Act, FinLit Law, Scam Finder Act, Mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, and Lowering of Age of Criminal Liability.
Salceda, who won his second term unopposed as Albay 2nd district Representative in the May elections, said the administration’s supermajority win in the last polls would ensure the passage of the needed legislation that would lead the country towards more economic, political and social reforms.
The proposed Department of Disaster Resilience will serve as the primary agency to lead, manage, and coordinate national initiatives to prevent, mitigate risks, prepare for and respond to disasters, spearhead recovery and rehabilitation, and build on forward. The DDR measure is deemed long overdue.
President Duterte has repeatedly called for the passage of such a law in the past three years, the solon noted.
The TRABAHO bill, on the other hand, is the second package of the Duterte administration’s tax reform agenda and is the government’s biggest incentive promotion package.
Salceda said the Housewives Compensation Act aims to give salaries to women serving their husbands and families, who are out of the labor force and are commonly considered “unproductive.” The measure amending the Public Service Act clarifies the definition of “public utilities” and thus expands industries eligible for higher foreign investments, while the Public Schools of the Future bill or PSOFT, will serve as a pillar of basic Philippine education and provide “Filipino students the benefit of technological innovations and prepare them for the challenges of future economic and employment realities.”
The Internet Speed and Connectivity Emergency Act aims to address and declare the country’s poor internet connectivity as a national emergency which merits immediate solution.
The 35-hour Workweek for Public and Private Employees seeks to reduce the number of work hours from 40 down to 35, and promote a more productive labor force while giving workers more time for their families.
The Last Mile Schools Act seeks to provide access to education, particularly, in geographically isolated, disadvantaged and conflict-affected areas or GIDCA, where school children are known to walk long stretches of mountain paths and poorly maintained roads, cross stream rapids and flood-prone areas, exposing themselves daily to dangers just to learn.
Salceda said the Science for Change Program aims to boost scientific innovations and inventions, research and development towards social progress, and global competitiveness.
The Mandatory Overpass for Students Safety seeks to construct overpasses near schools along roads, especially along the main route of the Pan-Philippine Highway, to better ensure the safety of students and teachers from unnecessary harm from vehicles.
The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Modernization Act, on the other hand, will shorter the project approval process from 30 months to 18 months and prescribes “clearer parameters on government undertakings.”
It also allows the “creation of a Risk Management Fund to ensure fiscal sustainability and enhance the ability of implementing agencies in the discharge of their mandates and contractual obligations.