Palace says officials eye passage of Maharlika fund, mandatory ROTC bills by June

Raffy Cabristante, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 13 2023 04:28 PM | Updated as of Feb 13 2023 05:58 PM

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. heads the first LEDAC meeting under his administration on Oct. 10, 2022. Presidential Communications Office/Twitter/File
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. heads the first LEDAC meeting under his administration on Oct. 10, 2022. Presidential Communications Office/Twitter/File

MANILA (UPDATED) — Officials eye the passage of 10 priority measures by June, including the proposed Maharlika sovereign wealth fund and the return of the mandatory Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), Malacañang said on Monday.

During the first Executive Committee Meeting of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC), the following bills were "adopted for passage" by the time the 19th Congress adjourns its first regular session on June 2, the Palace said in a statement. 

  • - Maharlika Investment Fund bill
  • - The mandatory implementation of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) and the National Service Training Program (NSTP)
  • - The creation of the Virology Institute of the Philippines and the Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control
  • - Amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law/Public-Private Partnership (PPP) bill
  • - Medical Reserve Corps
  • - The Condonation of Unpaid Amortization and Interests of Loans of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs)
  • - Internet Transactions Act/E-Commerce Law
  • - A bill amending the law creating fixed terms for officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
  • - Amendments to the Attrition Law
  • - Salt Industry Development Bill


President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier enumerated the priority bills during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July. The measures were deemed "essential" in the implementation of his administration's plans for the country, including its 8-point socioeconomic agenda.

The advisory body did not discuss the prospect of charter change, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva said.

Villanueva said that some proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution were already included in previously passed measures, such as the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, Foreign Investment Act, and the Public Services Act.

"It was not even tackled in our LEDAC meeting so I don’t see any reason why we will be focusing into it," he said.

Marcos recently said he was not keen on charter change, even if it was to accommodate investment pledges and business deals secured during his recent working visit to Japan.

"It is not a priority for me, because maraming ibang kailangan gawin eh. There are so many other things that we need to do first, that we can still do, we can achieve, kung makuha natin ang gusto natin but within the present Constitution, the way the constitution is written," Marcos told reporters.

The LEDAC serves as a consultative and advisory body to the President, the chair of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, on certain programs and policies essential to the national development agenda.

The executive meeting was presided by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin at the Malacañang Palace in Manila on Monday, and was attended by members of the Marcos Cabinet, the Senate, and House of Representatives.

The 19th Congress is slated to adjourn sine die on June 2, which means that there is still no date as to when it would reconvene.

—With reports from Robert Mano and Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News


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