Senate vows to pass 10 priority bills amid hybrid session

SENATE leaders gave assurances that despite continuing their hybrid session when the 18th Congress reconvenes on Monday, July 26, the chamber will work speedily on priority measures, topped by those certified urgent by the President.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, who will deliver his speech during the opening of the morning session, said the Senate will focus on passing 10 priority measures which include the Amendments to the Foreign Investment Acts (FIA), Amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA), Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE), Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act, Package 4 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) or the Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (Pifita), Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP), Rural Agricultural and Fisheries Development Financing System Act (Agri-Agra) and Package 3 of the CTRP or the Valuation Reform Bill.

Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier said the Senate will work on passing the following measures:  Modernization of the Bureau of Fire Protection, Increasing the Statutory Rape Age Act, Military and Uniformed Personnel Insurance Fund Act, Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Act, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Extension Law and possibly the Bayanihan 3.

As in 2020, visitors and guests will not be allowed inside the Senate premises due to stringent health protocols and regulations. Family members of senators, former senators, government officials and media personalities will also not be allowed inside the gallery hall. Only selected Senate employees will be allowed inside to assist during the session.

Following tradition, a photo session of senators will be arranged for the 14 legislators who will be physically present during the proceeding.

This will be followed by a virtual press conference with the Senate President, including senators who may wish to attend the said briefing.

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