Dominguez sees OK of 14 reform measures before legislators get busy with 2022 campaign
MANILA, Philippines—To complete structural reforms that the administration wanted to put in place before President Rodrigo Duterte steps down from office next year, the executive and legislative branches would work together to pass 14 bills before legislators get preoccupied with the campaign for the 2022 elections.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told an economic forum on Friday (Feb. 26) that the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) met a few days ago—its first meeting since the pandemic struck—where members “agreed on a menu of measures that have to be passed before the election period begins sometime in March of next year.”
“Let me assure the public that this administration is going to work until the last minute of its mandate. And we will push our colleagues in the legislature to do the same,” said Dominguez, who heads Duterte’s economic team.
Dominguez said the list included 14 bills, among them the measures being pushed by the economic team like the Guide, or government financial institutions unified initiatives for distressed enterprises for economic recovery. The other measures on the list are amendments to laws on foreign investment, public service and opening up retail trade to foreign investors.
The finance chief later told reporters that the rest of the priority legislation will be formally and jointly announced by the Office of the President together with leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives.
At the same forum, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said the BSP was also pushing to ease antiquated bank secrecy laws on top of amendments to laws on agriculture and agrarian reform and financial consumers.
In a separate text message, acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said the list of priority bills that Ledac had agreed on will be released “soon.”
Also still pending in Congress were the rest of the Duterte administration’s comprehensive tax reform program, which included:
- Real property valuation and assessment reform
- Passive income and financial intermediaries reform
- A new mining fiscal regime
- Higher motor vehicle road users’ tax
Some legislators were also pushing for the Bayanihan 3 bill as well as lifting of economic restrictions in the Constitution.
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