Zubiri: Senate eyes passing key economic measures, OFW dept. bill in August

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 19) -  The Senate hopes to pass key economic measures by August in line with the legislative chamber's commitment to President Rodrigo Duterte, a Senate leader said Monday.

"Meron po tayong mga panukala na pending pa rin po sa Senado na hopefully by next month of August, matatapos na po natin. 'Yan po ang mga pending economic measures," Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri said in a televised briefing.

[Translation: We have pieces of legislation still pending in the Senate that we will hopefully pass by next month of August. These are pending economic measures.]

Zubiri was referring to bills amending the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, Public Service Act, and Foreign Investments Act, measures the President earlier urged Congress to pass immediately. 

"'Yan po ang aming pangako sa ating mahal na Pangulo noong bumisita po kami sa [This is what we promised our beloved Preisident when we visited] Malacañang," added the solon.

These measures shall help give the Philippine economy a much-needed boost amid the COVID-19 health crisis, said the lawmaker, adding these will also help encourage investments which in turn will create more job opportunities for Filipinos.

Zubiri also said they committed to the chief executive that they will pass "hopefully by August and September" the bill creating a separate department for overseas Filipino workers. 

In a separate statement, the lawmaker said the senators also target passing proposed legislation on the following in "the next two months":

- Bureau of Fire Protection's modernization

- Rural agricultural and fisheries development

- Increasing age of statutory rape

- Military and uniformed personnel's insurance fund

- Anti-online sexual abuse and exploitation of children

- Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention

- Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao extension

The Senate shall go on a break in October according to Zubiri, for some of its members' filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2022 polls, and resume session in November to December.