Incoming senator Dela Rosa eyes training on lawmaking
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Former Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa is planning to attend seminars on crafting laws should he win a seat in the Senate.
First time candidate Dela Rosa is poised to become a senator with more than 18 million votes in the Commission on Elections (Comelec) partial, unofficial results of the 2019 midterm elections.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, Dela Rosa said he is seeking to attend seminars on lawmaking as this is the very essence of his work as a legislator.
“Ewan ko kung meron bang seminar diyan, or ano bang training dyan para matutuhan ko kung paano gawin ‘yung ng batas, kung paano gawin ‘yung trabaho sa Senado. Kung merong ganon I’ll take that opportunity para matuto ako,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.
(Is there a seminar for that or training where I could learn how to craft laws or about our work in the Senate? If there’s any, I’ll take that opportunity so I could learn.)
But he added that he will not attend the training if these will be held in the University of the Philippines because it was “anti-police” and “anti-military.”
Dela Rosa also said that he plans to consult reelectionist Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel and JV Ejercito on the things that he needs to do to prepare for the job.
“Magtawag tawag ako kina Koko Pimentel, JV Ejercito kung ano ba talaga ang trabaho ng senador. What do I need to prepare para pagpasok ko, hindi na ito katawa-tawa,” he said.
(I will call Koko Pimentel and JV Ejercito to ask about the job of a senator, what I need to prepare so I won’t look ridiculous when I enter the Senate.)
Dela Rosa is currently ranking fifth in the top-12 winning circle with 18,339,919 votes based on partial, unofficial results from Comelec as of 5:10 a.m. Wednesday.
Pimentel is currently at 11th spot with 14,255,261 votes while Ejercito is outside the winning circle at the 13th place with 13,897,153 votes.
“Kaya nga malungkot ako. Magdasal na lang. Sana si JV makaakyat, si Koko ‘wag nang bumaba,” Dela Rosa said.
(That’s why I am sad. I’ll just pray. I hope JV’s ranking would go up and Koko’s wouldn’t go down.)
by Aileen Cerrudo | Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019
The senate has approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to establish a Philippine Space Agency.
On Monday (May 20), the Senate voted 18-0 in favor of Senate Bill No. 1983 or an Act Establishing the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy and Creating the Philippine Space Agency.
The bill was introduced by Senator Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Vicente Sotto III, Loren Legarda, and Sonny Angara.
According to Senator Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, the bill aims to improve disaster management as well as enhance production and profitability of agribusinesses.
“Satellites can improve disaster management from providing accurate information that allows early warnings and predicting of disasters to reliable and quick communication during relief and recovery operations,” Aquino said in his sponsorship speech.
Once the law is passed, the new agency will have an initial funding of P1 billion for the space program from the current fiscal year’s appropriation of the Office of the President.
“An additional P10 billion will come from the gross income of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for five years after the effectivity of the act, with P2 billion to be released to PhilSA yearly,” the statement said.
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Voting 17-0, the Senate approved on Monday (May 20) a bill allowing Filipino employees to render services with shorter workweek arrangement.
Filed by Senator Joel Villanueva, the proposed measure on compressed workweek arrangement allows employees to opt out of the regular eight-hours-five-days-per-week schedule.
Instead, employees may choose to enter into an agreement with the employers as long as it is a “mutually agreed voluntary work arrangement”.
Specifically, employees may prefer to work for a fewer number of days in a week but with longer hours as long as they meet the required workweek load of 40 hours, although the law upholds the 48-hour work limit per week.
Even with the a mutually agreed work schedule, employees will still be entitled to the existing company benefits.
With Senate approving the bill, it is now for submission to the Office of the President for signing to be enacted into law. – Marje Pelayo
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate and the House of Representatives are set resume their sessions today in a bid to pass several priority bills before the 17th Congress formally adjourns in three weeks.
The sessions will resume on Monday at three in the afternoon.
But before the plenary session begins in the Senate, majority of senators will first meet for a caucus called by Senate President Vicente Sotto III to finalize the legislative agenda of the upper chamber.
Sotto said that among the priorities that the Senate is looking to approve before the 17th congress adjourns on June 7 is the proposed amendments to the Human Security Act.
Sotto is referring to the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019, which seeks to amend the Republic Act No. 9372 by redefining the acts of terrorism that are punishable by law and strengthening its provisions to deter terror groups.
The Senate will also try to finish tackling the proposed amendments to the Public Service Act. The bill seeks to amend Commonwealth Act No. 146 to address the confusion in the definition of a public utility and public services in order to provide Filipino consumers with more choices, better services and lower prices on utility services.
The measure is pending on second reading.
Sotto also expressed hope that the Medical Scholarship Act, which he authored, would be given equal priority before the sessions adjourn.
The bill seeks to address the issues of scarcity and unequal distribution of physicians in the country through the granting of scholarships to deserving medical students, provided that they would serve the country for five years.
The proposed measure is currently pending in the Senate committee on health and demography chaired by Senator JV Ejercito.
Other measures that the Senate is expected to discuss are the Budget Reform Act, Foreign Investment Act and the proposed granting of emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to address transportation woes in the country.
The lower House, for its part, is looking to approve more pro-people bills in the tight three-week schedule.
House Majority Leader Rep. Fredenil Castro said that among the bills they will tackle are the proposed Strengthening Drug Prevention and Control Act and the creation of Overseas Filipino Workers Sovereign Fund.
The Congress has nine session days before the sine die adjournment of 17th Congress. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)
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