Senate goes on legislative break

MANILA The Senate on Wednesday went on a legislative break after weeks of intensive work, but not before vowing to continue work on priority bills like the proposed changes of the 1987 Constitution and the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) once Congress resumes sessions.

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said the institution would "work harder to improve the quality of life for all," once sessions resume on May 14, 2018.

Before going on recess, the Senate adopted House Concurrent Resolution No. 16 that amended the bicameral conference committee report on the proposed Expanded Red Tape Act of 2017, which the chamber had approved on final reading last August 2017.

Earlier this week, the Senate had also passed on third and final reading the proposed Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Act (SBN 1233), and the Philippine Identification System Act of 2018 (SBN 1738), the latest of bills the Senate had approved this year.

"Our legislative achievements in the last few months include the proposed AntiHazing Act of 2018 (SBN 1662), the Philippine Identification System Act of 2018 (SBN 1738), the bill abolishing the Road Board (SBN 1620), to name a few. There were many legislative achievements that we were able to accomplish," Pimentel said.

Other bills approved on third and final reading by the Chamber since the start of the year included proconsumer legislations such as the proposed Lifetime Cellphone Number Act (SBN 1636), Recoverable Systems Loss Act (SBN 1623), and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act of 2017 (SBN 1531).

The Senate also passed the proOverseas Filipino Worker (OFW) legislation Handbook for OFWs Act of 2016 (SBN 192); the prohealth legislation Pagkaing Pinoy para sa batang Pinoy Act (SBN 1279); and proworker legislations such as the proposed Magna Carta for Scientists (SBN 1534) and the Reservist Employment Rights Act (SBN 1698).

Pimentel said that the proposed Charter Change (ChaCha) and the BBL continue to lead the priority bills to be tackled by the Senate when sessions resume in May.

"For BBL, once we resume sessions in May, we would give time for senators who would want to interpellate in the floor," he said.

As for Charter Change, the Senate leader said that hearings will continue even if Congress is on recess.

The committee hearings and consultations on ChaCha being conducted by the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes around the country would continue even while the Senate is on a break," Pimentel said.

Source: Philippine News Agency