MANILA - For its first year in office, Congress has managed to pass only four laws, a report of the House of Representatives showed.
In his report to House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said Congress passed the law postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, the 2017 national budget, and separate franchise renewals for GMA Network Inc. and Smart Communications.
Bicameral reports of six other proposals have, meanwhile, been ratified and were, thus, en route to being signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte.
These bills are the extension of Philippine passport validity to 10 years, the extension of the validity of the driver's license to five years, free public wi-fi access, the prohibition of the demand of deposits or advance payments for hospitals and clinics, free college education, and the adjustment of fines under the Revised Penal Code.
The House also adopted the Senate's version of the bill that would include casinos under the coverage of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
The chamber has, meanwhile, approved on third reading 194 measures, including the proposals to reinstate the death penalty and tax reform, both priority measures of the Duterte administration.
Overall, from the start of the first regular session in July 2016 to the sine die adjournment on May 31, a total of 6,908 bills and resolutions were filed at the House of Representatives.
For 2017, Congress had a budget of P14.97 billion, an increase from P13.5 billlion in the previous year.