PRIORITIES

The proposed 2018 national budget, the supplemental budget for the rehabilitation of Marawi City, charter change and the civil unions bill.

House Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia said in a press conference of the House leadership that these are the  priorities are of the chamber in the 2nd regular session of the 17th Congress which opens on Monday.

Garcia explained that the supplemental budget is now a necessity for Marawi’s recovery. “of course theres alsot he supplemental budget for the realignment of the budget for the marawi rehabilitation in the armed conflict  in marawi city thats turning into a humanitarian crisis and even an infrastructure crisis. restoring normalcy in the lives of didsplaced residents reviving local commerce rebuilding homes in the city have become a necessity and legislative branches”

Garcia explained that the 2018 budget will be key to implementing and operationalizing the programs of the government. “what are the bills the important issues that the 2nd regular session of the House will address? when we resume session of course primary importance will be the national budget of 2018 this is very crucial as the duterte administration marks on the most masisve infrasturcuture program as you know the motto has been build build buld and such a massive infratructure undertaking will need the support of a budget that will support all of these infrastructure that will be built.”

Garcia explained that the civil unions bill address the new realities. “now this is of i believe of great interest to a number of our brotehrs and sisters we re speaking here of civil union we ahve to address this this is a changing reality its become a growing necessity this is to rpomote civil and human rights for same sex couples and even heterosexual couples who want to live together but are nto ready to marry this they can do through  civil union the civil union bill will also govern property rights custodial rights over chidlren and adoption rights.”

Last week, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez told ABS-CBN news that a civil unions bill is among his priorities this coming 2nd regular session.

Garcia says charter change is also a key campaign promise of President Duterte and she hopes the Senate will act on it as well. “charter change as you know we already passed in plenary the bill that seeks to amend or revise the constitution through constituent assembly we hope that the senate will be acting on a similar measure so that we may finally tackle a growing sentiment amongst so many filipinos for the need of charter change in order to adopt the changingre alities and needs of our times of course federalism which has been a battlecry of the president even during the campaign days will be of utmost importance”

The bill for a constituent assembly remains pending at the plenary of the Lower House.

(sots)