Monday, October 19, 2009

House of Representatives presents performance card for 3rd Regular Session

MANILA, Philippines - Saying the "House of the People did what were right and needed by the people," Speaker Prospero Nograles said the House of Representatives has remained true to its constitutional mandate.

"We continue to face difficult times. I salute each member, whether from the majority or the minority or party-list groups, contributed their fair share of the burden of instituting policy reforms needed to push national development," Nograles said.

Nograles noted that the performance card reflects the record time second reading approval of the proposed 1.541-trillion pesos 2010 national budget and the crucial 12-billion pesos supplemental budget to help government meet the contingencies resulting from the devastation of typhoons Katrina and Parma and support the yet unfinished reconstructions of areas earlier hit by typhoon Fengshen in the Visayan region.

Based on actual statistical data of measures processed during the 3rd regular session released by the Committee on Rules chaired by Majority Leader Arthur Defensor, from July 27 to October 16, 2009, or a total actual 34 session days, the House plenary approved 912 national and local bills and various resolutions.

Nograles and Defensor noted that the 912 approved measures exclude some 137 bills and various resolutions processed and are classified as those falling under the "Unfinished Business" and "Business for the Day" which await consideration and approval by plenary come resumption of session.

With the total 1049 measures processed within the period July 27 to October 16, it would then show that the House processed some 30 measures per session day for 34 actual session days.

The Rules committee likewise revealed that during the said period some 419 bills and 260 resolutions were filed for a total of 679 measures of which some 289 committee reports were submitted for plenary consideration.

Of the measures approved in plenary, 75 were signed into Republic Acts (including the House Joint Resolution on the Supplemental budget, 15 national and 59 local bills). The House also adopted the Senate version of thee national and one local bills. The House also concurred with the Senate amendments on 9 national, two local and one HJR.

The House has ratified bicameral conference committee reports on 13 national, one local and one HJR. Still at the bicameral conference committee level are 16 national bills and 2 local bills, while the House has 34 national bills, 123 local measures and one HJR approved on 3rd reading and now pending in the Senate.

Awaiting 3rd reading approval are some 17 measures of national interest and 3 local bills already approved on 2nd reading when Congress went on recess last October 16. The House4 also adopted some 47 regular resolution and 120 resolutions on inquiries/investigations in aid of legislation.

The overall picture of the 14th Congress (1st, 2nd and 3rd regular sessions from July 23, 2007 until October 16, 2009)) would show that a total of 6,936 bills, 1559 resolutions, for a total of 8495 measures were filed of which some 2,456 have resulted to committee reports for plenary consideration.

During said period some 48 national and 173 local bills and 4 HJR became law. Overall, some 185 national, 981 local, 5 HJR and one HCR were approved on 3rd reading and now pending in the Senate. Approved on 2nd reading and await final passage by the House are 17 national and 3 local bills.

Among those awaiting the President's signature are:

1. HB 5982 - Establishing the Framework Program for Climate Change;
2. HB 5709 - Anti-Torture Bill;
3. HB 6407 - Pre-Need Code;
4. HB 6379 - Real Estate Investment Trust;
5. HB 5279 - Legitimation of Children Born to Parents Below Marrying Age;
6. HB 50 - Magna Carta for Homeowners Associations;
7. HB 6440 - Defining the Crime of Child Pornography; and
8. HB 6633 - Defining and Penalizing Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law.

The House instead adopted the Senate version of HB 3274 – amendments to the Customs Brokers Act which, along with the Pre-Need Code are LEDAC priorities. Also awaiting the President’s signature is HJR 48 – authorizing the use of Unprogrammed Fund not exceeding P12-billion pesos for the relief operations, rehabilitation, reconstruction and other services to areas affected by natural calamities.

"Our work does not stop here. There is a lot of work ahead of us. We will not fail our people," Speaker Nograles assured. (Gil Bugaoisan)

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