Palace: Congress committed to pass Maharlika bill, nine others in June


Malacañang on Monday said Congress has committed to pass 10 priority measures of the Marcos administration in June of this year, including the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund.

The 10 priority bills were tackled during the executive committee meeting of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).

These include the following:

  •     Proposed Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law/Public-Private Partnership (PPP) bill;
  •     Medical Reserve Corps;
  •     Establishment of the Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control as well as the Creation of the Virology Institute of the Philippines;
  •     Mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) and National Service Training Program (NSTP);
  •     The Condonation of Unpaid Amortization and Interests of Loans of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs);
  •     Proposed Internet Transactions Act/E-Commerce Law;
  •     Maharlika bill;
  •     Proposed Attrition law;
  •     AFP Fixed Term; and
  •     Salt Industry Development Bill.

The House of Representatives had passed House Bill (HB) No. 6608 or the Maharlik Investment Fund Act providing for an independent fund that shall be sourced from the investible funds of select government financial institutions (GFIs), from contributions of the national government, declared dividends of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and other funds sources.

Under the proposed measure, the fund shall be used to invest on a strategic and commercial basis in a manner designed to promote fiscal stability for economic development and strengthen the top-performing GFIs through additional investment platforms that will help attain the national government’s priority plans.

The Senate is currently deliberating on its own version of the MIF bill.

The LEDAC meeting was presided by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin at the Premier Guest House in Malacañang Palace.

Present during the meeting were Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

The list of officials under the executive branch who attended include Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio Lagdameo Jr., Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, Department of Agriculture (DA) Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO)  Secretary Mark Llandro L. Mendoza, Department of Finance (DOF) Assistant Secretary Valery Brio, and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Juan Victor Llamas.

Representing the legislative branch were Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Senator Sonny Angara, Deputy Speaker Ralph G. Recto, Majority Leader Manuel Jose M. Dalipe, Minority Leader Marcelino C. Libanan, Representatives Sandro Marcos, and Stella Luz A. Quimbo.

In an interview with reporters, Villanueva said measures seeking to amend the 1987 Constitution were not discussed during the meeting but the LEDAC identified the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as a priority.

"Other than these top 10 bills, yun pong RCEP at National Employment Action Plan, yun yung mga napag-usapan," the Senate majority leader told reporters.

Although the priority bills were identified by the LEDAC, Villanueva said they were not given a timeline to pass these measures.

"We feel that among the 12 priority measures that [we] have identified, I think at least two or three [bills] will be able to pass because there are no objections," he said.

June 2 is the sine die adjournment for the first regular session of the 19th Congress. — with Hana Bordey/AOL/RSJ, GMA Integrated News