Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Senate passes bill raising teachers' salaries, 4 others

On the last day of the first regular session of the 14th Congress, the Senate on Wednesday night was able to rush and pass on second reading the measure upgrading the minimum salary grade level of teachers and four more bills, Senate Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan said Thursday.

The Upper Chamber also passed Senate Bill 2230, which codifies the laws on the illegal/unlawful possession, manufacture and acquisition of firearms, ammunition and explosives; SB 2150 or the Right to Reply bill, giving subjects of news articles and broadcasts the right to respond to allegations; SB 1976, which creates five additional Metropolitan Trial Courts; and SB 3224, or the reappointment of the lone legislative district in Agusan del Sur. "This measure is long-overdue, and we are speeding up its passage as we know that this will have a decisive effect on the quality of our education," Pangilinan said of the bill raising teachers' minimum salary grades from Salary Grade 10 to 19.

"In the face of the worsening crisis on oil and food, we at the Senate are adamant in exploring more ways to improve the lives of our citizens. We will continue to respond to the challenge through a proactive and relevant legislative agenda," he added.Bills passed on second reading have only step to go -- a roll call vote for third reading -- before it can be classified as passed by the Senate. After the third reading, the bill goes through the bicameral committee to reconcile the differences in the Senate and House versions.

The final step in the legislative process is the President's signature. Pangilinan said the Senate has been very productive, passing priority measures in time for the Senate's adjournment sine die before Congress resumes its sessions on July.28. "The Senate has been steadfast in passing vital measures that will pave the way for improvements in crucial fields such as tourism, education, the pre-need industry, among others," he said.

By 7 p.m. Wednesday, the Senate passed on third reading the measure reducing the tariff on the movie industry; the Pre-need Code which regulates the establishment of pre-need industries; and SB 2213 which declares a national policy for tourism, reorganizes tourism authorities and aligns thrusts in the said field. Of the Tourism Bill, Pangilinan said: "With this in order, we anticipate a more aggressive tourism force that will encourage more tourists and generate more jobs for the poor.

"Pangilinan stressed that almost all the priority bills outlined during the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council were passed by the Senate. He said Senate passed 30 measures over the past year, an efficiency rate of three bills a month."As the nation battles the oil and food crisis, the Senate is responding to its duty with urgency. We have crafted bills such as tax exemptions for minimum wage earners, affordable medicines bill, the UP Charter, that will have a direct impact on the lives of the common folk, and we will continue delivering to our people relevant legislation in the days to come," he said. (By Veronica Uy; INQ.net)

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