BBL high on agenda at Ledac meeting, says Neda chief
The passage of the Duterte administration’s version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will be high on the agenda of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) meeting Wednesday, the country’s chief economist said.
In a text message Tuesday, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said that besides the BBL, bills aimed at combating corruption will also be discussed during the third Ledac meeting under the Duterte administration.
Early this month, President Duterte personally assured the leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that the proposed BBL was a “high priority” bill of his administration.
As such, the President wanted to meet with the Senate President as well as the Speaker of the House to facilitate the process, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella had said.
At last month’s meeting, the Ledac approved the Common Legislative Agenda for the 17th Congress, which consisted of 28 priority measures.
Half of the priority bills or 14 measures had been recommended by the Ledac executive committee as urgent, which meant that the government wanted them passed this year.
Pernia had noted that 10 of the priority bills were already in advanced stages of legislation, namely: Comprehensive Tax Reform; National Land Use Act; Rightsizing of the National Government; Amendments to the National Irrigation Administration Charter regarding Free Irrigation Act; Ease of Doing Business Act; National Mental Health Care Delivery System; Occupational Safety and Health Hazards Compliance; Strengthening the Balik-Scientist Program; Philippine Qualifications Framework; and Social Security Act Amendments.
According to the website of state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority, Ledac was formed in 1992 through Republic Act (RA) No. 7640 signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos.
The council “serves as a consultative and advisory body to the President, Chair of the Neda Board, on certain programs and policies essential to the realization of the goals of the national economy,” it said.
Also, Ledac “serves as a venue to facilitate high level policy discussions on vital issues and concerns affecting national development,” Neda added.
According to Neda, Ledac is chaired by the President and is joined by 19 other members, including the Vice President, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, seven members of the Cabinet designated by the President, three members of the Senate designated by the Senate President, three members of the House of Representatives designated by the House Speaker, a representative of local government units, as well as one representative each from the youth and private sectors.
RA 7640 mandates quarterly Ledac meetings.
President Duterte’s economic managers early on in the administration pointed out the need to again convene Ledac to inform the legislative of the executive’s proposed priority legislation in line with its 10-point socioeconomic agenda.
The 10-point agenda was ultimately aimed at slashing the poverty incidence to 14 percent by 2022 from 21.6 percent last year.
Former President Aquino convened Ledac only twice during his six-year term. The Duterte administration was eyeing to hold Ledac meetings more frequently, although the plan to hold the first meeting late last year did not push through. /je
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