Senate’s back-to-work agenda: Charter reforms

Senate President Koko Pimentel. (From Facebook page)

THE proposed revision of the 1987 Constitution would lead the list of priority bills to be tackled by the Senate when it resumes session on Monday, January 15, 2018.

The Senate would return to work after a strong legislative performance in December highlighted by its passage of the 2018 General Appropriations Act and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act, both of which had been already signed by President Rodrigo Duterte into law.

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said the Senate would “work harder to improve the quality of life for all,” as they tackle the institution’s priority bills for the new year.

As of press time, three bills on amending the 1987 Constitution had been filed by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Richard Gordon and Juan Miguel Zubiri. The three bills are to be discussed in a hearing by the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes on January 17.

Both House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Pimentel expressed their support for convening both Houses of Congress as a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) as a way of amending the 1987 Constitution “to pave the way for the shift to federalism.”

Pimentel said the Senate would also work on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, Anti-Terrorism Law, National ID System Act and Universal Healthcare for All Filipinos Act.

Earlier, the Senate leader thanked the Filipino public for the high approval ratings they gave to his office and the Senate.

According to the Social Weathers Station Fourth Quarter 2017 survey result released last December 28, Pimentel got a “good” net public satisfaction rating of +49, while the Senate remained as the top public institution Filipinos are most satisfied with, with a “very good” +56 net satisfaction rating. p: wjg