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Thursday, April 18, 2024

LEDAC OKs 20 bills; MIF to be signed before SONA

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The Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) chaired by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday approved 20 bills that must be passed by the end of the year, including the Bank Deposit Secrecy measure that will allow the Central Bank to open accounts for cases involving money laundering and terrorism.

“Apparently, we’re the only country left in the world who hasn’t passed bank secrecy. Before it was Lebanon and the Philippines, but Lebanon passed it last year. So we need to have one,” Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said.

Pangandaman said Mr. Marcos is also set to sign into law the Maharlika Investment Fund before his second State of the Nation Address on July 24.

“The economic team, we were pushing for the signing hopefully before the SONA,” she said.

POST-LEDAC GAB. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (fifth from left) is flanked by House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, and several lawmakers after they finished discussing the priority bills covered by the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) discussion in Malacanang on Wednesday. PCO Photo

The MIF bill was received by the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs on Tuesday.

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Aside from the Bank Deposit Secrecy bill, other priority measures identified during yesterday’s LEDAC meeting are as follows:

Anti-Financial Account Scamming Act; Build-Operate-Transfer Law or the Public-Private Partnership Bill; National Disease Prevention Management Authority; Internet Transactions Act or E-Commerce Law;

Medical Reserve Corps; Virology Institute of the Philippines;

Mandatory ROTC and NSTP; Revitalizing the Salt Industry; Valuation Reform; E-Government or E-Governance Act; Ease of Paying Tax; National Government Rightsizing Program; Unified System of Separation, Retirement and Pension of MUPs;

LGU Income Classification; Waste-to-Energy Bill; New Philippine Passport Act; Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers; National Employment Action Plan; and Amendments to the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act.

The Palace said 18 of the 20 bills were part of the 42 priority legislative measures identified during the first LEDAC meeting in October 2022.

Of the 42 priority bills, only three had been signed into law: the SIM Card Registration Act, the postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, and amendments to the fixed term of officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The MIF Act, the Department of Health Specialty Centers Act, and New Agrarian Emancipation Act are still up for the President’s signature.

Speaker Martin Romualdez, for his part, affirmed the commitment of the House of Representatives to work on the passage of the priority measures.

“Upon the start of the 2nd Regular Session of the 19th Congress, I, together with the rest of the members of the House of Representatives will continue our efforts in realizing the President’s vision to greatly improve the Philippine economy, to reduce the prices of everyday commodities, and to increase the purchasing power of every Filipino citizen,” he said.

“Rest assured that the House of the People will remain steadfast and committed to being partners of the Executive Branch to spur economic growth, alleviate poverty, augment healthcare services, and foster job creation for all Filipinos,” Romualdez added.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri described the LEDAC meeting as “productive.”

“Once we resume the session, we will hit the ground running on these measures, especially on the measures that we are targeting to pass by the end of the year,” Zubiri said.

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