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Bicam tackles Lifetime Cellphone Number Bill

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

 

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Congressional Bicameral Conference Committee has started deliberations on the proposed measure seeking to provide mobile phone users with a lifetime personal cellphone number.

Senate Bill 636 or the proposed Lifetime Cellphone Number Act will give phone users the option of keeping their existing mobile numbers even as they switch networks or mode of subscription services from prepaid to postpaid.

Authored by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the bill will give mobile users the option to choose a cheaper and more efficient network service provider.

The measure will also prohibit telecommunications companies from option of exclusivity or locking mobile devices to their respective network.

Once approved at the bicam committee level, the Congress will ratify the bill for submission to President Rodrigo Duterte for signing. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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Bicam approves Rice Tariffication Bill

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

(file photo)

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Bicameral Conference Committee has approved the rice tariffication bill on Thursday (November 22).

Under the proposal, import restrictions will be lifted on rice importation along with the creation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (Rice Fund).

According to the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food Senator Cynthia Villar, the proposed measure will benefit ordinary farmers.

This is through excesses in rice tariff revenues and from the P10-B fixed appropriation on the rice fund that will serve as direct financial assistance to rice farmers.

“If we are successful in the competitive enhancement, katulad ng seeds can increase their harvest from 4 metric tons per hectare to 6 that 50 % increased in productivity we’re rice sufficient,” Villar explained.

The bill is expected to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte before the end of the year. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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Bicam okays Bangsamoro Organic Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2018

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The 28-member of the bicameral conference committee approved on Wednesday night (July 18) the reconciled version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which was renamed, Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

This was after the bicameral panel concluded its debates on the most contentious provisions of the House and Senate versions on the region’s territorial jurisdiction.

The Bangsamoro Organic Law seeks to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which would have a regional government, a parliament, and justice system as well as a greater fiscal autonomy that would allow an independent budget management. Up to P70B in block grant would be given to the Bangsamoro Region from the national government.

Awaiting a regional plebiscite, the proposed region would be composed of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

It also seeks to include six municipalities of Lanao del Norte and 39 barangays of North Cotabato in the Bangsamoro, only if the province and their municipalities vote for inclusion.

Meanwhile, chartered cities of Cotabato and Isabela would also be included, also pending a plebiscite.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri accepted the Bangsamoro bill on the part of the Senate followed by House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas for the Lower House. After both legislators signaled the acceptance of the measure, celebrations erupted in the room.

“They can now also convince the extremist yung mga nagiisip na mga manggugulo doon. Sila na mismo ang MILF, MNLF ngayon ay partners ng gobyerno in convincing population not to join extremism,” said Zubiri.

“This may be not a perfect law, but this is good to start with,” exclaimed MILF Vice Chairman for Political Affairs Ghadzali Jaafar.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday (July 19) said President Rodrigo Duterte can sign the BOL “anytime” as soon as he receives the consolidated version.

President Duterte may also opt to sign the proposed measure into law hours before his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23. – Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo

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Bicam deletes anti-political dynasty provision in the proposed BBL

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The bicameral conference committee has deleted in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) the provision that bans political dynasty in the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

According to House Majority Floor Leader Rudy Farinas, the provision was removed because it violates the current Constitution.

“It was dropped by the Senate after we cited the flaws of the provision that violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution,” he said.

The Senate version of the bill states that “no Party Representative should be related within the second (2nd) civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to a District Representative or another Party Representative in the same Parliament.” This means that the anti-political dynasty provision applies only to party-list representatives.

Farinas said that though one senator argued that such similar prohibition is contained in the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform Act, he explained that “such law applies to all SKs in the whole country without distinction.”

“It does not violate the equal protection clause as it applies to all those belonging in the class so distinguished,” he added.

Farinas said there was no objection on the side of the Congressmen but they called the attention of the Senators on the “constitutional infirmity” of the provision. The Senators then decided to remove it.

The Bangsamoro Transition Committee (BTC) earlier noted the provision as “discriminatory” and “selective.”

The bicameral conference committee has created subcommittees to tackle controversial provisions of the BBL such as the government structure, public order, security and judicial system of the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

Deliberations are expected to be tedious especially when it comes to the territorial provisions of the BBL as long debates on the inclusion of Lanao Del Norte and North Cotabato to the Bangsamoro territory are expected.

The bicameral conference committee targets to finish its deliberation on the proposed BBL on Wednesday (July 11). – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

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