Belmonte outlines Congress' priorities

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 01 2014 06:12 PM | Updated as of Sep 02 2014 02:12 AM

MANILA - House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said the Bangsamoro Basic Law, economic charter change, and the anti-trust bill are among the legislative priorities decided on by leaders of both houses today.

"In the area of [charter change], we all agreed economic provisions have a good chance of passing, and at any rate, precedent-setting. This is first time Congress is trying out this method without fanfare of convention and a lot of things. We made it plain, if we put in political issues, federalism form of government, lifting term limits -- all of those are out of the question," he said.

Belmonte said political amendments are divisive, unlike economic amendments.

"For practical reasons, di magagawa iyan. Everybody has an opinion. It will be divisive. On the other hand, economic provisions are quite simple and people have opinions that are in favor.

Asked about Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice’s plan to introduce political amendments to the charter, Belmonte said, "I don't think Congress is in the mood to adopt that kind of mode to overhaul the political system. That's too complicated.”

Erice wants to copy the strategy of Belmonte in introducing the political amendments. Belmonte's Resolution of Both Houses 1 is going through a process akin to regular legislation.


With regard to the Bangsamoro Basic Law, Belmonte gently reminded everyone that it's already September and they still don't have the bill.

"September 1 na tayo, We will have to follow up on it. They shouldn't keep on talking that before end of year, we will already have a plebiscite. The longer it’s not in our hands, the longer we’re not able to deal with it.”

Belmonte added passing an anti-political dynasty law can also be done.

Belmonte said they may revise the bill to limit to 2, instead of 1, the number of public officials within one family up to the 2nd civil degree.