MANILA - Veteran senators were the first to file bills on the first day of the filing for the 16th Congress, based on a lottery system.
Senators Vicente “Tito” Sotto, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Acting Senate President Jinggoy Estrada were the early birds to file their pet bills in the Senate.
The order of filing was raffled off by Senate Secretary Emma Lirio-Reyes who was assisted by Deputy Secretary for Legislation Edwin Bellen and Director for Legislation Renato Bantug.
Sotto’s name was drawn up first.
Among the bills filed by Sotto included a bill creating a special court to be known as the Dangerous Drugs Court; an Act amending Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002; a bill providing for affordable drug rehabilitation treatment for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) beneficiaries; a bill prohibiting any person from allowing children 12 years old and below to ride at the back of a motorcycle when travelling along public and private roads; and a bill amending Section 150 of R.A. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.
Legarda filed the Pantawid Tuition Program, which aims to fund one college scholar for every poor family; the Pag-Asa Modernization bill, which seeks to provide funding for the three-year modernization of the state weather bureau; the Magna Carta for School Teachers; the National Land Use bill, and the creation of the Philippine River Basin System Administration, a bill adopting the integrated river basin management approach as a comprehensive framework in developing and managing the country’s river basin systems.
Marcos, for his part, filed a bill amending Section 6 of Republic Act 10175, a proposed Act defining cybercrime and providing for the prevention, investigation and imposition of penalties therefor; a bill imposing a three-year moratorium on the creation or conversion of state universities and colleges; a bill providing Barangay officials, including Barangay Tanods, members of the Lupon ng Tagamayapa, Barangay health workers and Barangay day care workers a retirement benefit; a bill mandating the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to accelerate national irrigation development program; and a bill increasing pensions under the Social Security System.
New senators Nancy Binay and Grace Poe, meanwhile, filed their bills personally.