Senate targets sin tax, salary increase, anti-terror bills before Christmas break: Sotto

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 16 2019 12:00 PM | Updated as of Dec 16 2019 12:24 PM

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MANILA - The Senate will likely pass a tougher anti-terrorism act, higher taxes on alcohol and smoking products, and the Salary Standardization Law before it goes on break Friday, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Monday.

Sotto said debates on the amendments to the sin tax reform bill are finished, while interpellation on the Human Security Act was expected to be finished Monday.

The Senate will also tackle the next tranche of the Salary Standardization Law, which aims to increase wages of teachers and public health workers, Sotto said.

"Iyang tatlo malaki ang pagasa na matapos by Wednesday," he told radio DZMM.

Teachers have been clamoring for a significant increase in their salary following pay hikes for police officers, soldiers, and other uniformed personnel in 2018.

Sotto, meantime, said amending the Constitution through a constituent assembly is "not a priority" at the Senate after a House committee approved charter change last week.

Senators have said voting jointly with House members may technically dissolve the 24-member Senate as the chamber will easily be outvoted by the House with 304 members.

"Yung voting separately we’re really firm on that atsaka 'yung Supreme Court palagay ko kakampi naman dun sa issue na 'yun," he said.