Bill on Second Reading: Youth Development and Empowerment Act of 2015

The President. The session is resumed.

The principal sponsor, Senator Marcos, is once more recognized and Senator Pimentel is likewise recognized in the period of individual amendments, and may I request the gentlemen on the Floor to refer to Senate Bill No. 2401 containing the amendments as of January 26, 2015 so that we can have an easy and uniform reference, for the record. Please proceed.

Senator Pimentel. Thank you, Mr. President. And I am ready to propose my individual amendments on Senate Bill No. 2401. May I proceed?

Senator Marcos. Yes, certainly, Mr. President.

PIMENTEL AMENDMENTS

On page 8, of that draft, line 23, I propose that we insert the word PROVINCIAL and COMMA (,), after the word “elected”.

Senator Marcos. Effectively, Mr. President, the gentleman is extending the anti-dynasty limitation to the SK officials to extend not only to the city, municipality, but also to the provincial level. The committee accepts that amendment, Mr. President.

The President. So, the word “PROVINCIAL” is inserted on line–just for the clarification of the Chair.

Senator Pimentel. Line 23, Mr. President, after the word “elected”.

The President. Yes, after the word “elected.” So, provincial….

Senator Pimentel. And comma (,).

The President. Okay. The Pimentel amendment is accepted by the sponsor. Is there any objection?

Senator Sotto. Mr. President.

The President. Yes, Senator Sotto.

Senator Sotto. Mr. President, just for my clarification.

The President. If the gentleman, the proponent will yield.

Senator Marcos. I yield, Mr. President.

Senator Sotto. Thank you, Mr. President. When we say “must not be related to any incumbent elected official, “et cetera, et cetera”, within the SECOND civil degree of consanguinity or affinity”, is that how it will read now?

Senator Marcos. As it stands now, it will read: “and must not be related to any incumbent elected provincial–which is the addition–city, municipal or barangay official within the SECOND civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.”

Senator Pimentel. In the localities.

Senator Sotto. That is as far as the legitimate family member is concerned. What about a mistress, the son of a mistress? We will be disallowing the legal member of the family from running, but we will be allowing the illegal.

Senator Marcos. Hindi po, dahil consanguinity.

Senator Pimentel. If I may be allowed to answer, Mr. President.

The President. Please proceed, Senator Pimentel.

Senator Pimentel. The illegitimate son of the parent is a relative within the second degree.

Senator Sotto. What about the brother of the mistress who is 17 years old?

Senator Pimentel. That is not covered.

Senator Sotto. That is what I mean, Mr. President. We will be disenfranchising a legitimate member of the family because she is an elected councilor or vice mayor or….But the brother of a mistress of a councilor, or a mayor, is allowed to run.

Senator Marcos. But, Mr. President, then we enter into the question of how we determine who is the mistress and who is not the mistress, which is—

The President. Maybe Senator Sotto can consider the fact that such illegitimate relationships are never recognized in our system.

Senator Sotto. I know, Mr. President.

The President. I mean that kind of….a mistress, unless—except for the cases of illegitimate children who have rights under our law—common-law relationship.

Senator Sotto. What about a common-law wife, Mr. President?

The President. A common-law wife is not recognized under our system.

Senator Sotto. She is not recognized. So, therefore, the brother of a common-law wife of a barangay captain can run?

The President. That is correct.

Senator Sotto. It is unfair.

Senator Pimentel. Yes.

The President. That is correct. He can run because nowhere in our laws that common-law relationship is recognized.

Senator Sotto. My curiosity was aroused because when I saw that we are limiting it to—well, we are not allowing any member of the family within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, I remember the debate we had here on the Anti-Political Dynasty bill. It is the same problem that we had and that is the reason that we have not solved it even up to now. We are going to make it unfair and prohibit the legitimate family member of a local official from joining the elections or allowing his services to be voted upon by the people, but we will be allowing a non-recognized or illegal relationship. That is my problem with this particular section, Mr. President.

Anyway, I can probably take it up when it is my time. At this point, I would like the sponsor to perhaps, give it a study or give it a thought on how we can resolve that particular concern of this representation. Thank you.

The President. The Chair would like to ask the sponsor a question on this page. Why is national and local officials, why is the relationship…I am sorry. Why are relatives of national and local officials within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity exempted from the anti-dynasty rule?

Senator Marcos. The reasoning behind that was that precisely because they are national officials and this is concerned with the local government. There were suggestions in the past that we include congressmen, senators and other national officials, but we felt it was not necessary. That it was sufficient that we identify local officials within that jurisdiction to achieve the purpose of minimizing the nepotistic tendencies of some of our local officials.

The President. Can the issue of equal protection of the laws be invoked here? We disqualify a number of relatives, but when it comes to relatives of national and local officials, they are qualified. A local official here, I assume, is the congressman.

Senator Marcos. We consider the congressman as national official, Mr. President.

The President. I am sorry, national.

Senator Marcos. It is governors down, Mr. President.

The President. Yes. The Chair would like to raise the question: Has the sponsor considered the issue of equal protection of the laws? We disqualify everybody, except those related to national officials, the senators and the congressmen. Unless we can find a clear justification for distinction, I would like the sponsor to review whether or not it violates the equal protection of the laws.

Senator Marcos. We will do that, Mr. President. But at the top of my head, I think it could be argued that they are of a different category because they are national, and this bill is essentially concerned with the actuations of our local officials.

In fact, in the experience of the SK elections and the candidates for the SK positions, generally speaking, there are very few instances and we could not actually find a specific one where a national figure or a national official was trying to involve himself in an SK election. Therefore, we feel that excluding them, first, because by their very nature they are national elected officials and not local elected officials. That is sufficient for us to achieve our purpose that again nepotism be not become part of the process.

The President. All right. The second question, with the permission of Senator Pimentel: What about relatives of appointed officials, are they allowed to run?

Senator Marcos. We are silent on any…I believe the provision on nepotism would apply for that.

The President. No, here…”must not be related to any incumbent elected official”. What about if they are related to appointed?

Senator Pimentel. Mr. President, as it is written…

The President. That is why I am raising the question.

Senator Marcos. As we have it now, Mr. President, the gentleman is right. We do not have any limitations on the relatives or the children really of appointed officials.

The President. Would the sponsor consider an amendment which will delete “elected” and reinstate “national”?

Senator Marcos. Or we could add, Mr. President, elected OR APPOINTED.

The President. Elected or appointed, that is the same.

Senator Marcos. If the chair would allow me, I would like to make a few calculations and try to see how many this affects kasi baka maubusan na po tayo ng ating magiging kandidato.

The President. Hindi naman, 100 milyon tayong Pilipino and 60% of those are qualified.

Senator Marcos. Certainly, Mr. President, we will look into the question of the national officials being included, the relatives or the children of the national officials being included in the first question that the Chair raised. And of course, without any further study, I really have no great objections actually to the limitations of the children of the appointed officials as well. But let me come back with a more thorough study of the question.

The President. So, we will hold that in abeyance.

Senator Marcos. Yes, Mr. President, please.

The President. Thank you, Mr. Sponsor. Thank you, Senator Pimentel.

Senator Pimentel. In the meantime, maybe I should withdraw my proposed amendment because I am open to amending my amendment. So, it is an amendment to my amendment which I am open to.

Senator Marcos. What we could do, Mr. President, is to defer since it is concerning the same–since the amendment of Senator Pimentel concerns the limitations on the children of officials, maybe we can defer the inclusion of the word “provincial” for now. It is in principle already accepted so that the amendment that we will eventually make is more complete and the language will be more elegant.

The President. All right. So, we hold the….

Senator Pimentel. If I need to formalize, I withdraw my proposed amendment.

The President. All right. Withdrawn on the condition that it will be taken up again later as an entire section will be suggested with the views of the Chair being considered by the Sponsor. So withdrawn.

Senator Pimentel. So, my next proposed amendment, Mr. President, is on page 9, line 10….

Excuse me, Mr. President, may I ask for a one-minute suspension.

The President. Is there any objection? [Silence] There being none, the session is suspended for a minute.

RESUMPTION OF SESSION

The President. The session is resumed.

So, for the record, the next session we go back to Sec. 10 on pages 8, 8A and 9.

Senator Marcos. That is right, Mr. President.

The President. Please proceed.

Senator Pimentel. On page 19, lines 10 to 11, I propose that we delete the phrase starting with the word “meaningful” on line 10 all the way to “empowerment” on line 11, deletion, Mr. President. And, on line 15….

Senator Marcos. Well, that would be one amendment. So, let us dispose of that first. We accept that deletion, Mr. President.

The President. Pimentel amendment is accepted. Is there any objection? [Silence] There being none, the amendment is approved.

Senator Pimentel. And, on the same page on line 15, we rephrase line 15 by deleting the words “capability building and” and then inserting comma (,) after “ elopment,” and inserting the phrase, CAPABILITY BUILDING WHICH EMPHASIZES LEADERSHIP TRAINING.

Senator Marcos. So, for clarification, Mr. President, the line will read: “resiliency, youth employment and livelihood, health and anti-drug abuse, gender sensitivity, sports development and CAPABILITY BUILDING WHICH EMPHASIZES LEADERSHIP TRAINING.”

We accept, Mr. President.

The President. Is there any objection? [Silence] There being none, the amendment is approved.

Senator Pimentel. That would be all, Mr. President, thank you very much.

The President. The Majority Leader.

SUSPENSION OF SESSION

With the permission of the Chamber, the session is suspended for one minute, if there is no objection? [There was none].

RESUMPTION OF SESSION

The President. The session is resumed.

Senator Marcos is recognized.

MARCOS AMENDMENTS

Senator Marcos. Thank you, Mr. President.

I have some individual amendments to introduce. On page 21, line 23, after the letter “(h)”, delete the punctuation mark comma (,), and in lieu thereof, insert the conjunction AND.

I so move, Mr. President.

The President. Is there any objection? [Silence] There being none, the amendment is approved.

Senator Marcos. On the same page and line, the letter “(i)” is deleted and the conjunction “and”.

I so move, Mr. President.

The President. Approved.

Senator Marcos. On the same page, line 24, delete the letter “(j)”.

I so move, Mr. President.

The President. Approved.

Senator Marcos. On page 25, line 1, after the letter “(h)”, delete the punctuation mark comma (,), and in lieu thereof, insert the conjunction AND.

I so move, Mr. President.

The President. On line 20….

Senator Marcos. On page 25, line 1, after the letter “(h)”, delete the punctuation mark comma (,) and in lieu thereof, insert the conjunction AND.

I so move, Mr. President.

The President. Is there any objection? [Silence] There being none, the amendment is approved.

Senator Marcos. On the same page and line, after the letter “(i)”, delete the conjunction “and” and the letter “(j)”.

I so move, Mr. President.

The President. Is there any objection? [Silence] There being none, the amendment is approved.

Senator Marcos. On page 35, line 1, delete the letter “(c)” and in lieu thereof insert the letter (D), and reletter the succeeding subsections accordingly.

I so move, Mr. President.

The President. Is there any objection? [Silence] There being none, the amendment is approved.

Senator Marcos. On page 30, line 20, delete the punctuation mark comma (,) and in lieu thereof, insert the punctuation mark period (.).

I so move, Mr. President.

The President. Is there any objection? [Silence] There being none, the amendment is approved.

Senator Marcos. On the same page, lines 20 and 21, delete the phrase “but in no case shall be more than two (2) consecutive years” and in lieu thereof, insert the phrase SUBJECT TO THE PROVISION OF SECTION 24, PARAGRAPH (G) HEREOF.

I so move, Mr. President.

The President. Is there any objection? [Silence] There being none, the amendment is approved.

Senator Marcos. On page 42, line 16, delete the word “June” and in lieu thereof, insert the word NOVEMBER.

I so move, Mr. President.

The President. Is there any objection? [Silence] There being none, the amendment is approved.

Senator Marcos. On the same page, lines 18 and 19, delete the phrase “(b) The term of office of the members of the Council as established under this Act shall commence at noon of 30th of June 2016.”

I so move, Mr. President.

The President. Is there any objection? [Silence] There being none, the amendment is approved.

Senator Marcos. Thank you, Mr. President. Those are the amendments I have for now.

The President. There are other amendments that we discussed which the sponsor will present tomorrow.

Senator Marcos.   Yes, that is right, Mr. President. We can suspend the period of individual amendments for now.

SUSPENSION OF CONSIDERATION OF S. NO. 2401

Senator Cayetano (A). Mr. President, with the consent of the sponsor, I move that we suspend consideration of Senate Bill No. 2401 under Committee Report No. 75.

The President. Is there any objection? [Silence] There being none, the motion is approved.

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