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MANILA — President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. expressed elation Wednesday on the progress of his priority legislations, hoping that they will be passed into law to support his development agenda.

President Marcos enumerated the priority bills in his 2022 State of the Nation Address (SONA), which are essential in the implementation of the administration’s plans and programs for the country, particularly the 8-point socioeconomic agenda.

Among those he certified as urgent include the Fiscal Year 2023 General Appropriations Bill, Amendments to Republic Act (RA) No. 11709 (AFP Professionalism), Maharlika Investment Fund, the Mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and National Service Training Program.

As of January 18, 10 out of the 20 SONA priority legislative measures have been passed by the House of Representatives and transmitted to the Senate, the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) said.

These measures include the Tax Package 4: Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA), Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE) Bill, Tax Package 3: Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act (HB No. 6558), Internet Transaction Act or the E-Commerce Law and Condonation of Unpaid Amortization and Interests of Loans of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries.

The creation of the Medical Reserve Corps, creation of the Philippine Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), creation of the Virology Institute of the Philippines and an amendment to the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law are also among the priority legislations.

The remaining 10 SONA priority bills are at the level of the committees in both houses of Congress.

These include Department of Water Resources (DWR), E-Government/Governance Act, Government Rightsizing Program (GRP), National Land Use Act, Budget Modernization, Natural Gas Industry Enabling Law, EPIRA (RA 9136) Amendments, MUP Pension Reform, and National Defense Act.

There are bills certified as urgent by the President and other Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC)-priority bills that have been passed by the lower house but are still pending in the Senate.

The LEDAC-priority bills include the New Passport Law, Leyte Ecological Zone, Waste Treatment Technology, Free Legal Assistance for Military and Uniformed Personnel, Eastern Visayas Development Authority, Revised National Apprenticeship Program and the Magna Carta of Barangay Health Workers.

Those being pushed by the Palace based on the President’s directives include the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Regulatory Functions, Amendment to RA No. 8172 or ASIN Law Amendment, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) (for Senate ratification), and Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act. (PND)

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