CONGRESS enacted only four laws out of the hundreds of proposed measures filed during the first year of the Duterte administration.
This was based on the data on the measures that were deliberated and approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate during the First Regular Session of the 17th Congress covering the period July 25, 2016 to May 31, 2017.
The four laws were Republic Act 10923 or the postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, R.A. 10924 or the General Appropriations Act of 2017, R.A. 10925 or the renewal of the franchise of GMA Network Inc., and R.A. 10926 or the renewal of Smart Communications’ franchise.
The data also showed that the House and the Senate ratified six measures awaiting the President’s signature to become law.
Those include the 10-year passport validity, free internet access in public places, stiffer penalties against hospitals that refuse to accept patients with no deposits, free tuition in state colleges and universities, and the five-year driver’s license extension.
But as far as the records are concerned, the House under the stewardship of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez passed 194 bills on third and final reading during the first regular session.
Of the total, 53 were national bills, 140 were local bills and one was a joint resolution on both chamber’s support to President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao caused by the Marawi siege.
The Senate and the House were allotted a P13.5-billion budget in 2016 and P14.97 billion in 2017.
This developed as Reps. Rodolfo Albano III of Isabela and Harry Roque of Kabayan party-list believed Congress was still productive despite the records.
“Congress is in the process of reviewing all the outdated laws and will begin to refine and attune them to our times,” Albano, majority leader of the House contingent to the Commission on Appointments, said.
Roque said Congress could do more but there were other things that needed attention.