Senate hopes to pass AMLA amendments by June


Posted at May 03 2012 11:49 AM | Updated as of May 04 2012 02:40 AM

Enrile says Corona trial will not only be its focus

MANILA, Philippines - Plenary sessions at the Senate will begin Tuesday next week, or May 8, when its members tackle the Aquino administration’s flagship projects including amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act and the Reproductive Health Bill.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said the Senate will do its best to pass the urgent bills amid the resumption of the impeachment trial against Chief Justice Renato Corona starting Monday, May 7.

"Our legislative work cannot take a backseat even with the ongoing impeachment proceedings. We will do our best to make sure that urgent and priority bills will be passed before the President delivers his state of the nation address in July,” he said.

Senate Executive Director for Legislation Renato Bantug Jr., for his part, said the Senate hopes to pass AMLA amendments and the Terrorist Financing Suppression Act before Congress on June 8.

The AMLA bill proposes amendments to the existing law to further strengthen the country’s legal framework to curb money laundering activities and make it fully compliant with international standards while the Terrorist Financing Suppression Act seeks to criminalize the financing of terrorist activities.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. earlier asked the Senate to prioritize these two bills because of a warning from the Financial Action Task Force. It said the agency might blacklist the country if it fails to enact the bills before the May 2012 deadline.

Besides all these, the Senate will also hold plenary sessions for the controversial Reproductive Health Bill and the proposed Competition Act that seeks to protect the public against unfair trade practices.