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Romualdez: House to work double time to pass Prrd’s priority bills

The House of Representatives, under the leadership of Speaker Lord

Allan Velasco, will continue to work double time in passing President

Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s legislative agenda and pursue economic

reforms that would ensure a sustained campaign to defeat the

coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic, Majority Leader and Leyte

Rep. Martin Romualdez said on Sunday.


Romualdez, chairman of the House Committee on Rules, said the House

leadership will work on the immediate approval of the Corporate

Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) and Amendments to

Republic Act (RA) No. 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) of

2001 in the bicameral conference committee.

“These (CREATE and AMLA amendments) are administration measures which

the Department of Finance classified as vital for our economic

recovery program. We are going to harmonize immediately the

differences between the Senate and the House versions during the

bicameral conferences,” said Romualdez.

Once enacted into law, Romualdez said “the CREATE bill will definitely

provide businesses, particularly micro- small, and medium enterprises

(MSMEs), with one of the largest economic stimulus measures in the

country’s history to help them recover from the economic turmoil

caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The AMLA amendments, on the other hand, needs to be passed before

February for the Philippines to avoid being included in the Financial

Action Task Force’s so-called gray list. This measure seeks to address

the deficiencies in the anti-money laundering law and to implement

regulations that will improve efforts to curb terrorist financing,”

Romualdez said.

“I thank our senators for working double time to ensure prompt action

on these vital measures. We need all these laws if we are to bounce

back from the economic ravages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he


CREATE is now pending in the bicameral conference committee while AMLA

amendments was approved by the House of Representatives on third and

final reading last December.

He said the House is scheduled to approve on third and final reading

HB 08097 or the Additional Benefits for Solo Parents, which is part of

President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address’ (SONA) priority


Also pending for third reading approval, according to Romualdez, are

proposed laws Instituting the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers and

Extending the Implementation of the Lifeline Rate.

HB 07814 or Strengthening Drug Prevention and Control is now under

period of sponsorship, he said.

        Romualdez said the House of Representatives already transmitted to

the Senate the following SONA priority measures: HB 00304 or the

Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation (PIFITA) Act; HB

04664 or the Real Property Valuation Assessment; HB 06134 or Mandating

Banking Institutions to Strengthen the Financing System for

Agricultural, Fisheries and Rural Development in the Philippines; HB

00078 or the Public Service Act Amendments; HB 05832 or the Department

of Filipinos Overseas and Foreign Employment (DFOFE) Act; HB 05989 or

the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR); HB 07406 or the Bureau of

Fire Protection Modernization Act; and HB 07805 or the Internet

Transaction Act/E Commerce Law.

        Last December, the House of Representatives ratified HB 06816 or the

Financial Institution Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act and adopted a

Senate bill under HB 08136 or the Coconut Farmers Trust Fund Bill or

Coco Levy.  The two measures are also among the SONA priority



Romualdez also reaffirmed his commitment to advance the constitutional

reforms that Speaker Velasco revived in order to sustain the country’s

economic growth.

He said the push for Charter change (Cha-cha) campaign of the Velasco

leadership would complement the Duterte administration’s initiatives

to accelerate economic growth.

“We will keep our dedication, commitment, passion and the flame

burning in pursuing Charter change until we reap the real benefits of

genuine constitutional reforms for our children and the succeeding

generations,” said Romualdez. “We need to create opportunities and for

strong economic growth to be felt also by ordinary people.” (Vina de Guzman,