PNoy asks Congress to prioritize FOI

Posted at 07/30/2014 6:15 PM

MANILA - President Benigno Aquino III has asked lawmakers to prioritize the passage of 20 bills, including the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill that he failed to include in his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Based on documents from the Presidential Legislative Liaison's Office, another priority measure is the extension of the period by which to issue notices of coverage for the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) lands.

Another priority measure is the proposed P2.606 trillion General Appropriations Act for 2015.

The others are:

- Bangsamoro Basic Law;

- Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act and the Fiscal Incentives Rationalization;

- amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer law;

- amendments to provisions on right of way;

- amendments to the Cabotage Law;

- Uniformed Personnel Pension Reform bill which will amend Presidential Decree 1638 to "ensure that military pensions are timely, and balanced against national needs;”

- amendments to the Charter of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas;

- rationalization of the mining fiscal regime;

- Competition Law;

- an act providing protection, security and benefits to whistleblowers;

- Philippine Maritime Zones Act or the Archipelagic Sea Lanes Act;

- the Land Administration Reform Bill which will ensure convergence among agencies tasked to oversee land holdings;

- National Land Use Act;

- delineation of specific forest limits of the public domain;

- Water Sector Reform Act;

- an act protecting the rights of internally displaced persons;

- amended Magna Carta for the Poor.

"It is hoped that these measures will improve the quality of governance, boost the market's essential institutional infrastructure, and support an economy that guarantees full, equal, and universal enjoyment of all human rights," said Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.

Aquino has yet to convene the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).

The law provides that the LEDAC should meet every quarter of every year.

Under Aquino’s term, the LEDAC was only convened in February 2011, August 2011, and February 2012.