Returning senator Lapid seeks legal recognition for foundlings

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 03 2019 10:29 PM

MANILA - Sen. Lito Lapid has filed a bill that seeks to grant legal recognition and natural-born status to foundlings.

Lapid filed a similar version in 2015 of Senate Bill 56, or the “Foundling Recognition Act,” one of his 10 priority bills for the 18th Congress.

“Paano na lamang ang batang iniwan at natagpuan lamang sa mga pinto ng simbahan at basurahan?” Lapid said in a statement.

“Sa panukalang ito, ang napulot na bata ay ituturing na anak ng sinumang nakapulot sa kanya.”

Lapid’s closest ally in the Senate, Sen. Grace Poe, is a foundling herself, a status which became a hurdle in her 2016 presidential bid.

The returning senator noted that currently, the citizenship and legitimacy of foundlings remain in limbo unless they are adopted or naturalized in accordance with the law.

Under his proposed measure, foundlings would get to enjoy the rights and benefits under the Civil Code, Family Code and other relevant laws.

EXPAND ECONOMIC SABOTAGE COVERAGE

Lapid also filed a bill which seeks to expand the scope of economic sabotage by punishing individuals who commit fraudulent investment schemes.

In the explanatory note of his bill, Lapid referred to the investment scam involving the Kapa-Community Ministry International which allegedly defrauded its members of as much as P50 billion.

“These fraudulent schemes must end… Not only does this measure insulate the investors/depositors from economic saboteurs but likewise it will help maintain the confidence and trust of the people in the nation’s banking and financial sector,” Lapid said.

PIA CAYETANO FILES PRIORITY BILLS

Another returning senator, Pia Cayetano, meanwhile, filed bills anchored on the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal to mark her return in the upper chamber.

Cayetano filed the Alternative Child Care Code of the Philippines, Educational Roadmap Act, Priority Health Infrastructure Act, Priority Infrastructure for Public Higher Education Institutions Act, and Sustainable Cities and Communities Act.

Rounding up her top ten priority measures are the Sustainable Transportation Act, Recognition of the Foreign Decree of Termination of Marriage Act, Amendments to the Family Code of the Philippines, Inclusive Education for Children and Youth with Special Needs Act, and Additional Support and Compensation for Educators in Basic Education Act.

“We already have a set of goals that we envision for future generations of Filipinos. What we need is a comprehensive action plan to ensure that our goals will be met,” Cayetano said in a statement.

“For my part, I will continue what I started since my first term as a legislator and push for more laws to empower Filipinos through education, proper healthcare services, children and family welfare policies, and sustainable development.”