President resolute to veto Zero Bill, moves forward with Palace and Senate

President Martin G. Romualdez has forged closer coordination with Malacañang and the Senate to prevent even a single presidential veto on bills to be approved by the 19th Congress, House of Representatives leaders said Monday.

House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe, Marikina City Representative Stella Luz Quimbo and Deputy House Majority Leader and Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Party List Representative Margarita Ignacia Nograles, promised to ensure the smooth and swift approval of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s program and other pro-grassroots measures.

Two months into his administration, Marcos vetoed five bills, while allowing 41 to become law.

Vetoed laws include the creation of the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone; the charter of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel; the granting of a franchise to the Davao Light and Power Company; the Philippine Transportation Safety Board Act; and exempting from income tax the fees, allowances and other financial benefits of persons rendering services during an election period.

Dalipe said closer coordination would facilitate the process and ensure better links, synergies and coordination to accelerate, facilitate and harmonize the adoption of vital measures.

“We are coordinating closely with Malacañang and the Senate to avoid vetoing a measure, which is a waste of time and resources. Under the leadership of President Martin, we are working with our counterparts to ensure the smooth passage of important bills,” Dalipe told the Ugnayan sa Batasan Majority News Forum.

“With the leadership of the Senate under (Senate President Juan Miguel) Migz Zubiri, Speaker of the House Martin Romualdez, our President, Hon. Bongbong Marcos, it would be better, we can do more for the legislative agenda,” said Dalipe.

Quimbo, senior vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee, revealed that she attended the first Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) last Thursday to expedite the approval of President Marcos’ priority bills and ensure that government resources are not wasted.

Nograles said the supermajority in the House has been very supportive of President Romualdez’s plan for a zero veto on bills to ensure government resources are spent wisely and prudently.

She assured that well-crafted legislation will pass through the House of Representatives, where Cabinet members and other stakeholders will have an opportunity to be heard.

At the LEDAC-TWG meeting, Quimbo said eight of President Marcos’ 19 priority pieces of legislation had already passed the third and final readings of the 18th Congress.

She said these measures are eligible for expedited approval under Rule 10, Section 48 of the House of Representatives. Quimbo said using this rule would significantly speed up any committee’s review and approval of any covered bill and its eventual plenary approval.

“At the same time, eight out of 19 measures that had already been approved in third reading by the last Congress,” Quimbo said.

The 19 priority actions listed by President Marcos in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) were the Valuation Reform Bill, Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA) , E-Governance Act, Internet Transactions Act, GUIDE Bill, Medical Reserve Corps bill;

National Disease Prevention Management Authority Bill, Philippine Institute of Virology Bill, Unified Separation, Retirement and Pension System Bill, Ministry Bill Water Resources;

E-Governance Act, National Land Use Act, Reserve Officers Mandatory Training Corps (ROTC) and National Service Training Scheme, Budget Modernization Bill, National Government Righting Scheme, National Defense Act;

Enactment of an Enabling Act for the Natural Gas Industry, Amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, and Amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer Act.

The eight measures approved by the 18th Congress were the Valuation Reform Bill, the Passive Income and Financial Intermediaries Taxation Act or PIFITA, the Electronic Governance Act, the Internet Transactions Act, the GUIDE, the Medical Reserve Corps, the National Disease Prevention Management Authority and the Institute of Virology of the Philippines.

Under Rule 10, Rule 48, House committees are authorized to dispose of priority measures already tabled and approved for third reading at the immediately preceding Congress.

Section 10 provides: “In the case of bills or resolutions identified as priority measures of the House, which were previously introduced in the immediately preceding Congress and which have already been approved at third reading, they may be treated as questions already mentioned. the approval of the members of the committee present, the quorum being reached.

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