Duterte to press lawmakers on 14 priority bills

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 15 2016 02:08 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will ask lawmakers to prioritize 14 measures to help grow the economy and fight crime, his liaison to Congress said Thursday.

Malacanang officials will also convene the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) more frequently, or once every two months, to make sure that the bills are passed swiftly, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Secretary Adelino Sitoy said.

The Department of Finance will push for the adjustment of personal and corporate income taxes and new taxes on fuel and sugary drinks, Sitoy said.

Malacanang will push for amendments to laws on terrorism, money laundering, cyber-crime, as well as laws on whistleblowers and state protection for witnesses, he said.

A revised bill granting wider autonomy to the country's Muslim minority will also be prioritized, Sitoy said. The Bangsamoro Basic Law, which failed to pass under previous government, was among the final steps in a peace settlement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The government will also push for the creation of Cabinet departments for housing and overseas Filipinos, he said.

Sitoy said 15 other measures mentioned by Duterte in his State of the Nation Address in July were also considered as priorities, including shifting the country's form of government to a federal-parliamentary system and a revival of the death penalty.