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Congress leaders meet to unite agenda

ILOCOS Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas said on Wednesday leaders of the Senate and Congress have met to set 35 measures in their legislative agenda.

He said leaders of both chambers have agreed to create a joint technical working group to draft the proposed revisions to the Constitution in the absence of a 25-man constitutional commission to be created by President Rodrigo Duterte.

He said the House of Representatives and the Senate may have six to 12 members each in the joint TWG to form a working draft that would be submitted to Congress to convene itself into a constituent assembly to push for federalism.

“We are going to prioritize the revision of the Constitution. We have discussed that if we cannot wait for the Con-com being created by the President, both Houses of Congress will form a technical working group to present proposed amendments or revisions to the Constitution,” he said.

“The TWG will be the one to make inputs for us to have a working draft that we are going to deliberate when Congress convenes into a Con-assembly,” he added.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Fariñas, Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, majority leader Vicente Sotto III and Minority Leader Franklin Drilon took part in the meeting.

“We have agreed to pass 35 measures. We have divided the second regular session into four quarters,” Fariñas said.

“There are measures we have already finished [discussing], and that they are now at the Senate.”

Among the priority bills were the passage of the creation of the department of disaster response, and approval of the Free Irrigation Service Act, Agrarian and Agricultural Credit Condonation Act, Enhanced Universal Healthcare Act, Philippine Mental Health Act, Prohibit Conversion of Irrigated Lands, National Land Use Act, Occupational Safety and Health Standards Act, Community Service in lieu of Imprisonment for the Penalty of Arresto Menor, Tax Reform Act, Revision of Constitution, Bangsamoro Basic Law, Public Service Act Amendments, Traffic and Congestion Crisis Act, National ID System, Legislative Franchise for Operating Railways, End of Contractualization Act, Free School Feeding/Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy Act, Estate Tax Reform Act, Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Act, and Ease of Doing Business Act/Fast Business Permit Act.

Topics: Senate , Congress , Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas , legislative agenda , Constitution , constitutional commission
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