4 pct of House bills in 17th Congress enacted into law

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 20 2019 06:25 PM


MANILA - About 4 percent of the 9,000 bills filed in the House of Representatives' 17th Congress were enacted into law, data from the chamber showed.

Of the 11,894 House resolutions and 9,212 bills filed between July 2016 and June 2019, only 4,682 were approved by the chamber, according to data released by the House of Representatives, Saturday.

Only 379 proposals or 4.11 percent of bills filed were enacted into law during the 17th Congress' 236 session days, data showed.

The legislative process naturally trims down the number of bills that could be enacted into law and "this is a good thing," said 1Pacman Rep. Mikee Romero, who had the most number of bills filed in the 17th Congress.

After the first reading, the number of bills are slashed by 80 percent, Romero told ABS-CBN News.

"Karamihan diyan kino-consolidate, meaning there are many congressmen who espouse the same law at pagdating sa committee gagawin na isang bill na lang 'yun," he said.

(Most of the bills are consolidated, meaning even if there are many congressmen who espouse the same law, their bills will be treated as one once it is tackled at the committee level.)

After deliberations on the second and third reading, the number of bills are reduced "to less than 10 percent or a single digit," Romero said.

"Nababawasan kasi may mga bills na baka may existing laws na tatamaan or there are already laws na kamukha," he said.

(Some bills have to be taken out because it might contradict or might be too similar to an existing law.)

"Sa bicameral conference [with the Senate], natri-trim down pa 'yan to siguro sa isang kamay sa percentage," he said.

(After the bicameral conference, it is further trimmed down to the number of fingers on one hand in terms of percentage.)

"It's the process that trims it down, which is good kasi nasasala 'yung mga bill (because the bills are filtered)," he said.

BILLS ENACTED BY THE 17TH CONGRESS

Of the bills enacted under the past Congress, 120 were national bills and 259 were local bills, the House statement read. Four joint resolutions were also enacted into law.

An act that designates casinos as covered persons under the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 was enacted in the first regular session.

The second regular session's notable policies include the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act, Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act, and Free Irrigation Service Act.

The chamber experienced "intense productivity" during the third regular session where landmark laws were passed, the House's statement read.

Among the third regular session's achievements were the passage of the following republic acts (RA):

  • RA 11054: Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
  • RA 11310: An Act Institutionalizing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)
  • RA 11055: Philippine Identification System Act
  • RA 11165: Telecommuting Act
  • RA 11202: Mobile Number Portability Act
  • RA 11210: 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law
  • RA 11223: Universal Health Care Act
  • RA 11291: Magna Carta of the Poor

Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez spearheaded the first and second regular sessions of the House before he was ousted and replaced by former president and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the 17th Congress' third and final leg.

Seven bills were vetoed by President Rodrigo Duterte in the 17th Congress, including measures that sought to strengthen the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), expanded survivorship benefits, and the "Anti-Palo Bill" that prohibited the imposition of physical punishment on children.

"By the end of the 17th Congress, there were 44 bills, comprising 25 national bills and 19 local bills, transmitted to the President for his approval and signature," said House Press and Public Affairs Bureau Executive Director Ma. Bernadette Dela Cuesta in a statement.

The 291-member legislative body consolidated 2,513 measures and made 745 referrals of resolutions on inquiries, data showed.

Under the 17th Congress, 6 House members died, while 1 lawmaker resigned citing a disconnect with her role in the House of Representatives.