SPEAKER Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday assured the passage of measures enumerated by President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte during his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) such as the creation of new departments to handle water crisis, concerns of Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and strengthen country’s disaster preparedness when Congress resumes session on November 4.
Cayetano said the House of Representatives just prioritized the passage on third and final reading of the remaining comprehensive tax reforms package (CTRP) of President Duterte, including House Bill (HB) No. 304 or the Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA) and HB No. 4157 or the Corporate Income Tax and Incentive Rationalization Act (CITIRA).
“We will prioritize those mentioned by President Duterte during SONA—Department of Water, Department of Foreign Employment or Overseas Filipinos, and the Department for Emergency Disaster or Disaster Preparedness,” Cayetano told reporters in an ambush interview at Mercado del Lago floating restaurants in Taguig City before visiting the Taguig City Jail.
“That’s why inuna namin ‘yung revenue bills kasi madaling magpasa ng bills creating new offices, giving more responsibilities and promising more social benefits,” said Cayetano.
Cayetano said the House leadership is eyeing the passage of these measures “before the end of the year” or “by March.”
The Speaker already said he already called up House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez last Monday and decided to set a leadership meeting on November 4.
“The OFW bill, we want it done before the end of the year,” said Cayetano, one of the principal authors of the bill.
Earlier, the House of Representatives formed a technical working group (TWG) tasked to consolidate the 31 bills on the proposed creation of the Department of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and work with Senate to thresh out the provisions of President Duterte’s priority bill.
Cayetano said he is counting on the TWG panel to finalize their report by November so that “by second to third week of November, we can do the plenary debates if we want to pass it by December.”