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LEDAC bares priority economic bills to be passed within 2021

The Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) on Tuesday bared a list of economic measures to be prioritized and passed within this year.

In a statement, the National Economic and Development Authority, which sits as the LEDAC secretariat, said that the approval of the common legislative agenda (CLA) for the 18th Congress is “a welcome development for the country’s efforts to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The LEDAC-ExCom was convened last February 18, 2021 to discuss the CLA. These bills are crucial in ensuring the country’s economic recovery and in regaining our development trajectory that was held back by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue working with Congress to move the legislative agenda forward and enact these priority legislations within 2021,” said Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and LEDAC Secretariat head Karl Kendrick Chua.

The NEDA said the following are the 12 priority measures targeted to be passed by June 2021:

  •     Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE) Act
  •     Package 3 of Comprehensive Tax Reform Package (CTRP) or the Valuation Reform Act
  •     Package 4 of CTRP or the Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA)
  •     Amendments to the Public Service Act
  •     Amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act
  •     Amendments to the Foreign Investments Act
  •     Rural Agricultural and Fisheries Development Financing System Act (Agri-Agra)
  •     Creating a Medical Reserve Corps Act
  •     Creating a Disease Prevention and Control Authority Act
  •     Imposing Amusement Tax on Digital Platform and Offshore Betting Stations of Licensed Cockpits
  •     Establishing the Tax Regime of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO)
  •     Strengthening Local Government Participation in National Development by Increasing the Share of Local Government Units in the National Internal Revenue Taxes.

Meanwhile, the following 13 bills under the CLA are targeted to be passed by December 2021:

  •     Creating a Department of Overseas Filipinos Act
  •     Creating a Department of Disaster Resilience Act
  •     Creating a Boracay Island Development Authority Act
  •     Creating a Unified System of Separation, Retirement and Pension of the Military and Uniformed Personnel Act
  •     National Land Use and Management Act
  •     Internet Transactions Act
  •     Magna Carta for Barangay Health Workers Act
  •     National Housing Development Act
  •     Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act
  •     Modernizing the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Act
  •     Modernizing the Bureau of Immigration Act
  •     Amending/Repealing RA 10192, or the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016
  •     Reviving the Death Penalty by Lethal Injection for Crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

The CLA measures are comprised of a total of 30 bills, five of which have already been passed by both the House of Representatives and Senate.

The five priority measures already passed by both chambers of the Congress are the following:

  •     General Appropriations Act (GAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021
  •     Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act
  •     Amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act
  •     Coconut Farmers’ and Industry Trust Fund Act
  •     Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act.

The LEDAC ExCom meeting was attended by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, Undersecretary Jacinto Paras of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO).

Also present were Senate President Vicente Sotto III, House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco, Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, House Senior Deputy Speaker Salvador Leachon, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, and House Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano.

“As we safely reopen our economy and begin our vaccination program this year, we need to enact these bills to create an enabling economic environment and further strengthen our healthcare and fiscal system against future pandemics and other threats,”  Medialdea said.

“The pandemic has pulled back our human development gains, but at the same time, it has given us the opportunity to assess how we can bounce back stronger and protect our people from future shocks. The measures in the CLA will lay the groundwork to ensure that Filipinos will not face the same problems of hunger, job loss, and sickness in the future,” he added.—AOL, GMA News