Constitutional reforms lead Senate priority as session resumes Monday

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

The Senate would return to work after a strong legislative performance in December, after it passed 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.

Included in the Senate's priority agenda is the proposed amendments or revision of the 1987 Constitution. As of press time, three bills on the issue had been filed in the Senate by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Richard Gordon and Juan Miguel Zubiri, all of which are set to be discussed in a hearing by the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes on January 17.

Pimentel, as well as House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, had both expressed their support for convening both ouses 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."

He said tthe Senate would also work on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, the proposed Anti-Terrorism Law, the proposed National ID System Act and the proposed 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 as a public institution. According to the Social Weathers Station (SWS) Fourth Quarter 2017 survey 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.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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