Press Release
May 19, 2019

Senate to discuss amendments to human security act, other measures upon resumption of session

Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III said that the Senate is hoping to approve several priority measures, among them the Amendments to the Human Security Act, once session resumes on Monday, May 20, 2019.

"Unless some important bill escapes me, what I know is that one of the important bills that we have to approve is the anti-terrorism act," Sotto said during the weekly Kapihan sa Senado last Thursday.

Senate Bill No. 2204, otherwise know as the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019, seeks to amend Republic Act No. 9372, or the Human Security Act by redefining the acts of terrorism that are punishable by law. The measure was sponsored by Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs.

Sotto also mentioned the need to amend the Public Services Act, which is currently pending on second reading.

"You have seen the problems that we have encountered not only with telcos, with the airlines, most especially water. All these fall under the category of the Public Services Act," Sotto said.

SBN 1754, which amends Commonwealth Act No. 146 and enacted in 1936, seeks to address the confusion in the definition of a public utility and public services, which will result in more choices, better services, and lower prices for the Filipino consumer.

"The amendments to the Public Services Act would address the issues on water, air transportation and power," Sotto added.

Sotto also expressed hope that the Medical Scholarship Act, which he authored, will be given equal priority in the last three weeks before the Senate adjourns sine die on June 7. The measure is currently pending in the Senate Committee on Health and Demography.

"Napaka-kaunti ng duktor sa Pilipinas na nagpupunta sa mga barrio. Ang dahilan, mahal. Yan ang isa sa mga dahilan, so if ang pagdudoktor sa Pilipinas ay gagawin nating libre, both private and public medical schools, dadami ang duktor," Sotto said.

The proposed Medical Scholarship Act measure seeks to address both issues of scarcity and maldistribution of physicians in the country through the granting of scholarships to deserving medical students provided that they would serve the country for five years.

Several proposed priority measures including the Budget Reform Act, Rightsizing the National Government Act, the Salary Standardization Law, the Reformation of Children in Conflict with the Law are up for second reading. Measures seeking to grant President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to address the country's transportation woes, such as the National Transport Act and the Traffic And Congestion Crisis Act are also pending on second reading.

Other priority measures such as the Mindanao Railways Authority, the Unified Uniform Personnel Retirement Benefits and Pension Reform Act, and the Value for Money Procurement Act are pending in their respective committees.

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