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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

100% of LEDAC bills passed by House, ball now with Senate

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The House of Representatives has approved 100 percent of the bills prioritized by President Marcos in his 2023 State of the Nation Address, and the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC), and is waiting for the Senate to do its job, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said Friday.

“The 2023 LEDAC [list] that we put in place in July, which we were supposed to finish in December, we finished in September, three months in advance. The SONA priorities, which we should finish before [the next] SONA, we finished in December, over six months in advance. We are just waiting for our colleagues in the Senate to finish their work,” Romualdez said in Filipino.

“We don’t have any ‘back subjects,’ [and] we’re just waiting for ourfriends in the Senate. Instead of talking about anything, like the people’s initiative, or the resolution of both houses, let’s just finish it. That’s their job, isn’t it? To take care of the LEDAC and SONA priorities,” he added.

“Senators, just work on the LEDAC and SONA priorities for the people,” he said. “Don’t get distracted by the people’s initiative. You have nothing to do with the people’s initiative. That’s the work of the people. Congressmen and senators, let’s work on legislation. Let’s focus on our work, get down to work, [and] buckle down. “There’s just 24 of you. Get your act together, focus. Focus on your work. And stop hitting on Congress and maintain parliamentary courtesy.”

Romualdez reiterated the House support for the President.

As of Sept. 27, 2023, he said the House has approved all 20 of LEDAC’s priority measures targeted for passage by December last year, three months ahead of schedule.

In fact, he said 10 of the 20 were passed on third reading as early as 2022.

He said of the 20 LEDAC bills, five have been enacted into law, while three–New Philippine Passport Act, Salt Industry Development Act and Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers–would soon be sent to the President for his signature.

Another measure, which contains proposed amendments to the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, is being finalized by a bicameral conference committee.

The rest of the LEDAC measures approved by the House have been sent to the Senate for action, the Speaker reported.

“And out of the 57 LEDAC common legislative agenda measures, all have been approved by the House of Representatives except three. The latest that was approved was the Philippine Self-Reliant Defense Posture Program Act, which was passed on third reading last Jan. 24, 2024,” Romualdez said.

President Marcos called off a scheduled LEDAC meeting at the Palace Thursday and instead met with members of the House and the Senate separately.

This was confirmed by Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva and Senator Imee Marcos.

“Instead, we had an executive session with the President,” Villanueva said.

No explanation was given for the unusual setup, but analysts have observed a looming rift between the two chambers of Congress over differing views on how to amend the 1987 Constitution.


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