Congress leaders to discuss agenda sans Palace

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 30 2014 01:47 AM | Updated as of Jan 30 2014 09:47 AM

MANILA - Leaders of Congress will meet to thresh out their legislative agenda, without the executive.

House Speaker Sonny Belmonte on Wednesday said he and Senate President Franklin Drilon will meet next week to thresh out their agenda.

Asked if this means he is giving up on a meeting of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council, Belmonte said, "being practical lang but still hopeful about LEDAC."

The LEDAC is a vehicle for the legislature and executive to thresh out their common legislative agenda to expedite the passage of priority bills.

Republic Act 7640 created the LEDAC as a consultative and advisory body to be composed of 20 members with the President as chairman and the following as members: the Vice President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, 7 members of the Cabinet to be designated by the President, 3 members of the House of Representatives to be designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives at least one of whom shall come from the dominant minority party, and the following to be appointed by the President: a representative of the local government units, a representative of the youth, and a representative of the private sector from any or a combination of the following: business, cooperatives, agriculture, and labor.

It mandates that the council shall meet at least once every quarter, but may be convened by its chairman to such special meetings as may be necessary.

The LEDAC has yet to meet in the 16th Congress. In its first 7 months, the 16th Congress has had 39 session days in the House of Representatives.

The 16th Congress has so far enacted only 4 national laws. Nine bills have been approved on second reading by the lower House.

Five of these are national in scope.