Duterte urges House, Senate: Act on priority measures

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday expressed optimism that Congress would heed his call to pass the remaining priority measures of his administration.

In a keynote speech delivered at Malacañan Palace, Duterte said his administration’s priority measures would bring “genuine” reforms to the country.

The Package 3 and 4 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program, and the amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, the Foreign Investments Act, and the Public Service Act are among the government’s priority bills, Duterte said.

“I would like to emphasize the need for fruitful collaboration [with both] Houses of Congress to ensure the passage of the remaining priority legislation of this administration,” he said during the ceremonial signing of 16 legislative bills into law. “The Filipino people eagerly await these genuine reforms, and may these laws come to fruition soon.”

Duterte made the call as he lauded the senators and congressmen for working together to ensure the passage of 16 legislative measures aimed at improving the quality of life for all Filipinos. (See full story online at

Thirteen of the 16 laws inked by Duterte seek to establish new public hospitals and increase the bed capacities of existing hospitals across the country.

“The signing of these 16 laws today is a testament to the cooperation between Congress and this administration in providing our people with equitable and sustainable service, especially in the areas of quality healthcare and education,” Duterte said.

Duterte said the signing of health-related bills would help strengthen the capacity of the country’s healthcare system amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

He said the establishment of new public hospitals would make quality medical services more accessible to the Filipino people, especially to those who are residing in far-flung areas.

He added that increasing the bed capacity of existing public hospitals would augment the inventory of “much-needed” hospital beds that the country needs amid its fight against Covid-19.

Duterte assured the healthcare workers that the government would implement the newly-enacted and existing healthcare laws to make Covid-19 response efforts “inclusive and seamless.” “As we pass these health-related bills into law, let me assure our dedicated medical front-liners [that] this administration cares about your plight and we continue to work with Congress to equip you with proper and functional medical supplies and logistics,” Duterte said.

Duterte also asked for public trust and cooperation, as the government pursues a “harmonious, organized, and progressive society supported by active, responsible, and law-abiding citizens.”

He also expressed hope that a “healthy and productive” nation would be achieved through the concerted efforts of government offices.

“Let me assure our kababayans (countrymen) that this administration will continue forging people-centered policies geared towards sustainable development.

Topics: Rodrigo Duterte , Public Service Act , Comprehensive Tax Reform Program , Congress
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