The approval of the Common Legislative Agenda (CLA) for the 18th Congress by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) Executive Committee (ExCom) is a welcome development for the country’s efforts to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, said the National Economic and Development Authority, which sits as the LEDAC secretariat.

“The LEDAC-ExCom was convened last February 18, 2021 to discuss the CLA. These bills are crucial in ensuring the country’s economic recovery and in regaining our development trajectory that was held back by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue working with Congress to move the legislative agenda forward and enact these priority legislations within 2021,” said Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and LEDAC Secretariat Head Karl Kendrick Chua.

The meeting was attended by LEDAC ExCom Chairperson and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco, together with several members from the Cabinet, Senate, and House leadership, namely: Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, Undersecretary Jacinto Paras of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO), Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, House Senior Deputy Speaker Salvador Leachon, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, and House Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano.

Of the 27 measures in the initial CLA, 5 have already been passed by both Houses. In the LEDAC ExCom, 3 more bills were identified as priority measures, rounding up the CLA at 30 bills. Of these, 12 were identified as top priorities to be passed by the end of the second regular session in June 2021. The remaining 13 are targeted to be passed within 2021.

5 priority measures already passed by both Houses:

  1. General Appropriations Act (GAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021
  2. Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act
  3. Amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act
  4. Coconut Farmers’ and Industry Trust Fund Act
  5. Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act

Top 12 priority measures targeted to be passed by June 2021:

  1. Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE) Act
  2. Package 3 of Comprehensive Tax Reform Package (CTRP) or the Valuation Reform Act
  3. Package 4 of CTRP or the Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA)
  4. Amendments to the Public Service Act
  5. Amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act
  6. Amendments to the Foreign Investments Act
  7. Rural Agricultural and Fisheries Development Financing System Act (Agri-Agra)
  8. Creating a Medical Reserve Corps Act
  9. Creating a Disease Prevention and Control Authority Act
  10. Imposing Amusement Tax on Digital Platform and Offshore Betting Stations of Licensed Cockpits
  11. Establishing the Tax Regime of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO)
  12. Strengthening Local Government Participation in National Development by Increasing the Share of Local Government Units in the National Internal Revenue Taxes

The remaining 13 bills in the CLA targeted to be passed by December 2021:

  1. Creating a Department of Overseas Filipinos Act
  2. Creating a Department of Disaster Resilience Act
  3. Creating a Boracay Island Development Authority Act
  4. Creating a Unified System of Separation, Retirement and Pension of the Military and Uniformed Personnel Act
  5. National Land Use and Management Act
  6. Internet Transactions Act
  7. Magna Carta for Barangay Health Workers Act
  8. National Housing Development Act
  9. Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act
  10. Modernizing the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Act
  11. Modernizing the Bureau of Immigration Act
  12. Amending/Repealing RA 10192, or the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016
  13. Reviving the Death Penalty by Lethal Injection for Crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002

“As we safely reopen our economy and begin our vaccination program this year, we need to enact these bills to create an enabling economic environment and further strengthen our healthcare and fiscal system against future pandemics and other threats,” said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

“The pandemic has pulled back our human development gains, but at the same time, it has given us the opportunity to assess how we can bounce back stronger and protect our people from future shocks. The measures in the CLA will lay the groundwork to ensure that Filipinos will not face the same problems of hunger, job loss, and sickness in the future,” the Executive Secretary added.

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