Villanueva: Senate to continue passing relevant, well-studied laws

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Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva said the Senate will continue making headway in passing measures that are thoroughly studied, well-deliberated and relevant to the welfare of the Filipino people.

With a week to go before the sine die adjournment of Congress, Villanueva said his colleagues are geared up to tackle and pass more crucial bills beneficial to the public.

“We thank our fellow senators for working tirelessly from crafting the bills and resolutions, to participating in committee hearings and debating in plenary to see through the passage of these important measures,” Villanueva said.

“We owe it to the people to see to it that the laws we pass here in the Senate have hurdled the most rigid scrutiny to ensure that they will truly impact the people,” he added.

Villanueva also pointed out that aside from the expected benefits to the people, the Senate ensures that the laws it passes have proper safeguards against possible abuses or breaches to existing systems.

“Ang bawat batas ay dumadaan sa butas ng karayom. Dito lang po tayo makakasiguro na ang ipapasa natin ay para sa kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino,” he said.

Today, the Senate passed on third and final reading landmark measures such as Villanueva’s Senate Bill No. 2035 or Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act, which establishes a National Employment Master Plan.

Villanueva’s bill aims to synergize all policies, programs and initiatives of the government in addressing labor-related challenges under one coherent direction and strategy.

The Senate also passed Senate Bill No. 2212 or Regional Specialty Centers Act, which will make health services more accessible to people, especially in the provinces.

The bill aims to establish up to 53 specialty centers throughout the country by 2028.

Senate Bill No. 2219 hurdled final reading which will extend the period of availment of the estate tax amnesty program to June 14, 2025, and expands the coverage of decedents’ estates who may avail to those who died on or before May 31, 2022.

Last week, the Senate passed on third reading Senate Bill No. 2021 instituting the Shared Services Facilities Act which will benefit micro, small and medium enterprises.

For the country’s elderly, Senate Bill No. 1480 or the Act Rationalizing the Disability Pension of Veterans will provide a hike in the pension of veterans and their families from Php1,000-Php1,700 to Php4,500-Php10,000.

A long-awaited bill by the country’s teachers, Senate Bill No. 1964 or the Kabalikat sa Pagtuturo Act will provide increase in the yearly supplies allowance of educators at Php 7,500 per teacher for School Year 2023-2024; and Php 10,000 per teacher for SY 2024-2025 onwards.

Villanueva thanked Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri for steering the chamber to be a productive body, and Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III for being the “chief fiscalizer” in ensuring that the measures they pass are airtight and truly meaningful to the people’s welfare.

For the Senate Majority Leader, quality of the laws must always reign over quantity.

“The role of Congress is more substantive than merely being a legislative mill.  At the end of the day, we just want to pass laws that will make every Filipino’s life better,” he said.

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