Pass bills that will uplift lives of Filipinos, Congress urged

MANILA President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday asked Congress to pass bills that are essential in achieving the government's target for genuine change.

In his third State of the Nation Address (SONA), Duterte called for the passage of the Package 2 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) that will lower corporate income taxes, especially for the small businesses.

Lower taxes mean they will have more money to invest and create more jobs. More than 99 percent of our businesses are micro, small, or medium enterprises (MSMEs) and employ around 65 percent of our workers, Duterte said in his 48-minute SONA at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

The enactment of the Package 2 is what stands between today and millions of jobs in the near future, he added.

Duterte thanked House Representatives Dakila Cua, Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Rene Abu, Sharon Garin, Horacio Suansing Jr., Rodel Batocabe and Estrellita Suansing for filing the respective versions of CTRP's Package 2.

Thank you so much and I support their push to shepherd the bill. I hope the Senate will follow suit, maybe tomorrow sir, Duterte said.

The President is hoping Congress will pass "in succession" all five packages of the CTRP for there is no chance that we can deliver our promises without an equitable tax system.

On the other hand, Duterte applauded Congress for the timely passage of the Package 1 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN).

We need this for sustainable growth that leaves no Filipino left behind, Duterte said.

With an average of 20 typhoons affecting 22 vulnerable provinces every year, Duterte also appealed for the passage of the creation of Department of Disaster Management.

He also urged the two houses of Congress to convene the bicameral conference committee and pass at the soonest possible time the bill establishing the Coconut Farmers' Trust Fund.

I pray that you will do it, Duterte said.

Duterte also pushed for the "speedy" passage of the Universal Health Care Bill and a measure that will end the practice of contractualization once and for all.

He said the passage of the National Land Use Act is needed to put in place a national land use policy that will address our competing land requirements for food, housing, businesses and environmental conservation.

Meanwhile, Duterte said he will sign within 48 hours the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Duterte was supposed to sign the BOL before his third SONA but the House of Representatives failed to ratify the bicameral conference committee report during Monday's opening session.

The Senate unanimously approved the bicameral report, hoping it would finally bring lasting peace in Mindanao.

Despite all that has been said [for] or against the Bangsamoro Organic Law by all sectoral groups, I make this solemn commitment that this administration will never deny our Muslim brothers and sisters the basic legal tools to chart their own destiny within the Constitutional framework of our country, he said.

On the other hand, Duterte thanked Congress for the swift passage of the East of Doing Business Act which is significant in the fight against corruption and in improving service delivery. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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