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,”
“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
ECONOMIC CHARTER CHANGE
Romualdez also reaffirmed his commitment to advance the constitutional
reforms that Speaker Velasco revived in order to sustain the country’s
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, bistadodailynews.net)