Some Marcos priority bills may be approved within the year, says House Speaker

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2022 07:17 PM

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his State of the Nation Address at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on July 25, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his State of the Nation Address at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on July 25, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

 
MANILA — Some of the priority bills that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. named in his State of the Nation Address might be approved within the year, House Speaker Martin Romualdez said on Thursday. 

"Majority of the priority measures spelled out by President Marcos in his SONA are principally authored by no less than your House Speaker, so I expect my fellow legislators to act on these bills with dispatch," Romualdez told the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry during its meeting in Makati City. 

"In fact, I am hopeful that we can approve most of these measures before the year ends," he added. 
 
The House is aligning congressional initiatives with the economic recovery programs of the national government, Romualdez said. 

Out of the 19 priority bills that Marcos listed in his SONA, Romualdez noted the following 9 measures which he said might be of concern to businessmen. 

  •  GUIDE bill that seeks to provide financial assistance to distressed MSMEs through government banks 
  •  Tax Package 3: Valuation Reform Bill that aims to provide a database for real property transactions and declarations, as well as a standardized valuation system 
  •  Tax Package 4: Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA) that aims to redesign the taxation of capital income and financial services on passive income
  •  E-Government Act that aims to establish a masterplan for innovation and constant development of information and communications technologies 
  •  Internet Transaction Act or E-Commerce Law that seeks to protect consumers in online transactions, ensure the safety of products being sold, and make competition fair 
  •  National Land Use Act that eyes "rational and holistic management and development" of land and water resources 
  •  Enactment of an enabling law that seeks to foster the development of the Midstream Natural Gas Industry and diversify the country's sources of energy 
  •  Amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act or EPIRA to address high cost of electricity, alleged market collusion, and insufficient power supply 
  •  Amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law to improve public-private partnerships 

"As stakeholders, you will be consulted in every measure that we tackle especially those involving commerce and industry," Romualdez told businessmen. 

"Please make your positions very clear on the issues I mentioned earlier as I want all stakeholders to be heard before we pass these measures," he added. 

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Romualdez also noted that the House of Representatives adopted on Monday a resolution that gave full support to the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF) of the Marcos administration. 

"To my knowledge, this is the first time that our legislators fully committed themselves to a medium-term fiscal plan that will serve as anchor for the annual spending and financing plan of the national government," Romualdez said. 

"This— the Medium Term Fiscal Framework— will serve as our guide in preparing the annual budget for the next six years." 

Romualdez said the framework contains an 8-point economic agenda

It also set the following macroeconomic targets for the next 6 years, he said. 

  •  6.5 to 7.5-percent GDP growth in 2022 and 6.5 to 8-percent annual GDP growth from 2023 to 2028;
  •  9-percent poverty rate by 2028;
  •  3-percent national government deficit by 2028;
  •  Less than 60-percent debt-to-GDP ratio by 2025; and
  •  Upper middle-income country status for the Philippines 

 

"In simple terms, the MTFF is a fiscal consolidation and resource mobilization plan. The objective: in the short run, keep the macroeconomy stable and provide adequate social services; in the medium term, generate more jobs, quality jobs, green jobs," Romualdez said.