House permits committees to work during break

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2023 03:30 AM


MANILA - The House of Representatives has authorized its committees to continue working amid the six-week Congressional Break this year, from March 25 to May 7.

The lower chamber seeks to finish off all priority bills by the adjournment of the 1st Regular Session of the 19th Congress in June.

Before ending its session Wednesday night, House Speaker Martin Romualdez led the chamber in approving Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe's motion to authorize all committees during the break.

Before this, Romualdez issued a press release showing their timetable to pass the remaining priorities of the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).

“We are confident of approving them on third and final reading before the sine-die break,” he said in a statement.

He said the chamber is done with 23 of the 31 priorities identified by the LEDAC, leaving the House with just eight priorities on its to-do list.

A press release from the Speaker's Office identified the remaining eight other LEDAC bills pending in the House, namely: the Regional Specialty Hospitals; Enabling Law for the Natural Gas Industry; National Land Use Act; Department of Water Resources and Services and creation of Water Regulatory Commission; Electric Power Industry Reform Act; Budget Modernization; National Defense Act; and Unified System of Separation, Retirement and Pension for Uniformed Personnel.

On top of these, the House Speaker said leaders and members want 21 other measures to be likewise prioritized, including 10 that are up for LEDAC endorsement. 

The House already approved on third and final reading four of the 10 bills, namely the Maharlika Investment Fund bill, Ease of Paying Taxes Act, LGU Income Classification, and Amendment to Universal Health Care Act.

Romualdez added that the House priority list also includes Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6, and House Bill 7352, which seek to call a constitutional convention to amend the 1987 Charter.

Even with these bills on the list, Romualdez said prioritized legislations are almost done before both chambers of Congress go on their six-week break.

He said that of the 23 measures the House approved, only two got the nod of the Senate and were signed into law by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

By Romualdez's count, the House has finished approving 94 national bills, 233 local bills, a House Joint Resolution, and the Resolution of both Congressional chambers that were approved on third and final reading.