Foreign chambers urge Congress to fast-track 10 bills


Posted at Jan 16 2013 11:36 AM | Updated as of Jan 16 2013 07:55 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines on Wednesday urged Congress to fast-track the passage of 10 bills for business and economic reforms.

In a statement, the JFC enumerated the following measures as:

  • Anti-money Laundering Act amendments,
  • Direct Remittance of Local Government Share in National Wealth Taxes,
  • Enhancing the Curriculum of Basic Education, 
  • Insurance Code amendments,
  • Institutionalizing the National Land Use Policy,
  • Amendments to several laws on professions to allow foreign reciprocity (Criminology, Environmental Planning, Pharmacy, and Forestry),
  • Rural Bank Act amendments,
  • Sustainable Forest Management bill,
  • Universal Healthcare Coverage, and
  • Whistleblowers Protection bill.

Moreover, the JFC noted the Design Council bill and the Freedom of Information bill approved by the Senate have yet to be passed in the House. In addition, the Anti-trust bill has yet to be approved by both houses.

"[T]he growing reform momentum in the Philippines which is attracting worldwide attention in the international press and among foreign governments... [We] urge Congress to support this momentum by accomplishing a final effort by passing most of these measures when it resumes for a three-week session on January 21 before entering the election campaign period," the JFC said.

The JFC has lauded Congress efforts in passing bills such as Anti-trafficking Act amendments, Intellectual Property Code amendments, Tripartism, Conciliation and Mediation as Mode of Dispute Settlement, and the abolition of Common Carriers Tax and Gross Philippine Billings Tax.