Senate to resume work on priority measures

THE Senate has resume its session on Monday to continue working on several priority measures for the Second Regular Session of the 18th Congress.

Upon the resumption of the session, Senate President Tito Sotto said the Senate is expected to pass the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act which was passed on second reading before the sine die adjournment last month.

The measure seeks to extend the powers granted to President Rodrigo Duterte under Republic Act No. 11469 to carry out national policies in response to the  COVID-19 pandemic.

In his speech, Sotto called on the public to unite in fighting COVID crisis as he assures everyone that the Senate will be there to support all the programs.

"Together we must fight the feeling of uncertainty that runs rife in everyday. All of us must pledge commitment to survive this crisis, not only individually with our families, but more importantly together as a nation," Sotto said.

"Today, I give my solemn pledge that the Senate will fight for and in behalf of the Filipino people," he added.

Sotto also said that two measures, which originated from the Department of Finance – the Financial Institution Strategic Transfer (FIST) and Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE) – will be prioritized by the Senate.

The Senate is also expected to pass the repackaged Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE), formerly the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA), to help businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises badly hit by the pandemic, rebuild, recover and retain jobs for their employees.

Other priority measures the Senate President is pushing are the Medical Scholarship Act, Presidential Drug Enforcement Authority Act, Hybrid Election Act, Anti-False Content Act and the 14th Month Pay law.

The Senate will also tackle the Expanded Solo Parents Act, the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, the creation of the  Department of Disaster Resilience, amendments to Public Service Act and the Agrarian or Agriculture Credit Cooperative Condonation Act, among others.