The approval of the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro region and amendments to the restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution are among the legislative priorities set by the House of Representatives in the third and last regular session of the 16th Congress.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said the other legislative priorities involve the following concerns: 1) economic development and trade; 2) national security, public order and safety; 3) promotion of good governance; 4)revitalizing education for a more competitive human resources; 5) enhancement of social protection; 6) expanding access to health to achieve higher productivity; 7) unleashing land productivity; 8) sustainable energy; 9) climate change adaptation; and 10) peace.
"The Bangsamoro Basic Law is now on second reading and being fine-tuned to ensure greater inclusiveness and greater efficiency in practice," said Belmonte, an honorary chairperson of the National Unity Party (NUP).
"We want to ensure a more meaningful autonomy while likewise paving the way towards a more effective provision of vital services to our people. We want a peace that is lasting and sustainable,” he added.
Meanwhile, Belmonte’s proposal to insert the phrase "unless otherwise provided by law" in the Constitution’s restrictive economic provisions, is now awaiting final approval in the third regular session.
The House has approved on third reading the following priority bills: 1) providing for the establishment of the No Calls and No Text Registration System; 2) the provision of a centralized accounting of all tax incentives granted by investment promotion agencies and other government agencies 3) Acquisition of right of Way of Government Infrastructure Projects; 4) and the establishment of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Hub in every legislative District.
The amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer Law has been approved by the Committee on Public Works and Highways and referred to the Appropriations Committee for its funding provision.
The proposed Rationalization of Fiscal Incentives and amendments to the Consumer Act, meanwhile, are undergoing refinement by their respective Technical Working Groups (TWGs).
Proposed amendments to the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act will soon resume plenary debates, while the proposed Rationalization of the Mining Revenue or Excise Tax on Mining is awaiting approval at the committee level.
Also approved at Committee level are the following priority bills: 1) the Whistle Blowers Protection Act; 2) the Amendments to the Witness Protection Act; and the measure seeking to introduce structural and institutional reforms in the 74-year old Immigration Act.