By Estong Reyes | Remate
VETERAN senators may have taught newbie lawmakers to be prompt in filing pet bills in the Senate as incumbent and re-elected solons were the early birds to folder their propose measures before the Legislative Bills and Index Section (LBIS) of the Philippine Senate.
Among those who first filed their priority measures are Senators Vicente “Tito” Sotto, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Acting Senate President Jinggoy Estrada.
Done via lottery, the order of filing was raffled off by Senate Secretary Emma Lirio-Reyes who was assisted by Edwin Bellen, Deputy Secretary for Legislation and Renato Bantug, Director for Legislation, with Sotto getting the first slot.
Each senator are only allowed to file 5 separate bills.
Binay (twentieth to file) and Poe (nineteenth) personally filed their bills and were received by Director Antoniette Aristorza of the Legislative Bills and Index (LBIS).
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 therefore; 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.
Incoming Senator Cynthia Villar, who was the eighth to file her bills, filed the proposed Department of Overseas Filipino Workers Act; the proposed Anti “No Permit, No Exam Policy Act; the proposed Accelerated Irrigation Act; the proposed Investments and Incentives Code, and the Act providing an assistance program for overseas Filipino workers in distress.
Binay, meanwhile, filed the proposed Employers Child Care Centers Act of 2013; the proposed Parents in Jail Act of 2013; the proposed Special Education Act of 2013, the proposed Women’s and Children’s Resource Development and Crisis Assistance Act of 2013; the proposed Indigent Children Free Medical and Dental Service Act; and the proposed Firecracker Safety Law.
Poe, another newcomer, filed the proposed Sustansiya sa Batang Pilipino Act, a nutrition-driven legislation with the objective of providing free nutria-meals to school children in public education, and the proposed Film Tourism Act, which aims to make film tourism a business priority. She also filed two resolutions, calling for the re-examination of the government’s policies and programs for OFWs, and the plight of coconut farmers.
Other Senators who filed bills at the LBIS of the Philippine Senate include Senators Koko Pimentel, who was the sixth to file his bills, followed by Pia Cayetano (seventh), Franklin Drilon (ninth), Antonio Trillanes (tenth), Serge Osmeña (eleventh).
Osmeña was followed by Senators Bong Revilla (twelfth), former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (thirteenth), Miriam Defensor-Santiago (fourteenth), Sonny Angara (fifteenth), Gringo Honasan sixteenth), while JV Ejercito placed seventeenth in the line-up of early filers.
Senators Teofisto “TG” Guingona (eighteenth), Manuel “Lito” Lapid (twenty-first), Minority Leader Alan Cayetano (twenty-second), Ralph Recto (twenty-third), also filed their bills.