Lawmakers have filed several measures—including the granting of 14th-month pay, legalizing medical marijuana use, and increasing the salary of teachers—at the start of the 18th Congress yesterday.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed the measure requiring employers in the private sector to remunerate the 14th-month pay.
Sotto also filed the Anti-False Content Bill which seeks to prohibit the publication and proliferation of false content on the Internet as well as a bill seeking to lower the minimum age of criminal liability from 15 to 12 years old.
Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, for his part, filed a bill to increase the salary of the country’s 800,000 public school teachers.
In his bill, Angara proposed the present Salary Grade 11 of entry-level teachers at P19,077 be increased to SG 19 at P36,409.
The measure seeks to adjust correspondingly the salaries of teachers holding higher salary grades such to avoid distorting the pay scale. “It will be across-the-board,” Angara said.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, on the other hand, refilled his “One Town, One Doctor” bill wherein government funds the schooling of one medical student from a town, on the condition that he will serve his town for four years after becoming a doctor.
The program, Recto said, addresses a key mandate of the Universal Health Care Act, which calls for the training and deployment of an adequate number of public physicians nationwide.
“Without health personnel, there is no health care. You have to send ‘white coats’ to the places where they are needed most by those who have the least in life,” he said.
At the House of Representatives, a bill legalizing the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes and was filed by neophyte Isabela Rep. Antonio Albano. The bill is a pet measure of his brother, former Isabela Rep. and now Isabela Gov. Rodolfo Albano III.
The bill, otherwise known as the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, proposes to establish a Medical Cannabis Regulatory Authority under the Department of Health to regulate the medical use of cannabis in the country.
READ: Medical marijuana bill not likely to be revived—Atienza