Sunday, 24 Sep 2017
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15th Congress bills and updates

As part of its policy advocacy work, SALIGAN continues to be vigilant of the policy landscape carved in Congress.  Below is a summary of the bills filed by the members of the 15th Congress at the House of Representatives.

Agrarian Reform

HB 825 filed by Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo lifts the restriction on the right of FBs to mortgage and/or encumber the lands awarded to them undet the CARP and allowing the submission of the CLOAS as sufficient collateral for loans entered into with banks and/ or other financial intermediaries.

HB00374 filed by Rafael V. Mariano institutes for a Genuine Agrarian Reform in the Country.

HB00721 filed by Rufus Rodriguez creates the National Agrarian Reform Adjudication Commission.  The Commission aims to establish a separate Commission that will settle agrarian reform related disputes.  This commission shall still be attached to the Department of Agrarian Reform.

HB 1012 filed by Florencio GAray seeks to increase the cash payment given to landowners as compensation for lands covered by CARP.  Garay also filed HB 1013 which provides for a shorter maturity period for Land Bank of the Philippines bonds given to landowners.

Fisheries

Several bills were filed to amend the Fisheries Code.  HB 176 by the Arroyos, HB 203 by Villafuerte, HB 207 and 208 and 209 by Erin Tañada, HB 300 by Roilo Golez.   A bill proposes for an increase in the fine to Php 500,00 for the violations committed by illegal fishers.  Golez bill bans shark finning.  Tanada recognizes archipelagic baseline and inserts more prohibitions including cutting of mangrove.  Tanada also pushes for citizen’s suit.

Housing

HB00384 filed by the Arroyos pushes for the creation of Department of Housing and Urban Development to consolidate and coordinate the five key shelter agencies.  HB 1231 by Winnie Castelo and HB 2216 by Rodolfo Valencia also aim for the creation of DHUD.

HB 154 filed by Edwin Olivarez will create LHB in every city and municipality which will provide the administrative machinery that will complement the efforts of shelter agencies to effect full implementation of UDHA.    Rodolfo Biazon has filed a similar bill (HB1157).

HB 215 (HB 5382 during the 14th Congress)  filed by Magtanggol Gunigundo increases the penalties for violation of PD 957 (regulating the sale of subdivision and condominium lots).

HB1041 filed by Joseph Violago and HB 1818 by Emmeline Aglipay  seek for the declaration of all disposable lands of the government which have remained idle and suitable for residential purposes shall be developed into socialized housing site for low salaried and private employees and squatters.

HB 1332 filed by Rodante Marcoleta will allow the order of eviction or demolition by the courts only, when judgement becomes final and executor y.

HB 1337 filed by Amado Bagatsing provides for the settlement, aid, rehabilitation services for the underprivileged and homeless citizens affected by the demolition of houses/ dwellings along danger areas such as esteros, garbage dumps, riverbanks, sbhorelines, waterways, and other public places.

HB 1440 filed by Carmelo Lazatin requires for the mandatory allocation of 5 % of the total budget of every provinces, municipalitites, and cities for the housing program for the urban poor.

HB 2145 filed by Amelita Villarosa amends the Anti Squatting Law of 1997.

Divorce

HB 1799 filed by Gabriela solons introduce Divorce and amend the Family Code (legal separation).  The bill believes that when a marriage is no longer viable, divorce should be an option.

Anti-Divorce Law (HB 2768) filed by Marcelino Teodoro, also known as the Anti-Divorce And Unlawful Dissolution of Marriage”, seeks for the protection of marriage as an inviolable social institution and  the family as the foundation of the nation.  The bill pursues that the State should guarantee that no legislation encouraging or facilitating the dissolution of marriage and recognizing divorce.

Labor Code Amendments

Akbayan PL members filed HB 2514 to amend Art 263 and 264 of the Labor Code which aims to strengthen workers’ rights to trade union activities.  They also filed HB 2826 to strengthen the constitutional right to collective bargaining of workers thereby amending Art 234-A of the Labor Code.  Rep. Rufus Rodriguez also filed HB 3321 to amend several provisions of the Labor Code on CBAs, payment for reinstatement, SC review of Commission decisions, etc.

HB 51 filed by Rufus and Maximo Rodriguez and HB 421 by Sonny Angara will expand prohibited acts of discrimination against women on account of sex thereby amending Arts 135 and 137 of the Labor Code. 

HB 303 filed by Kaka and Walden strengthens security of tenure amending Art 106 of the Labor Code.  HB 891 by Raymond Mendoza criminalizing Labor only contracting also amends the same provision of the Labor Code.  Mendoza also filed HB 892 to strengthen workers’ security of tenure.  The term Employer includes a contractor or subcontractor.

HB 589 filed by Rufus and Maximo Rodriguez rationalizes the nightwork prohibition on women workers.  It amends Art 130 and 131 of the Labor Code.  No woman, regardless of age, shall be employed or permitted or suffered to work AT NIGHT DURING A PERIOD OF AT LEAST ELEVEN (11) CONSECUTIVE HOURS, INCLUDING AN INTERVAL FALLING between ten o’clock at night and six o’clock in the morning of the following day, IN ANY INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKING OR IN ANY BRANCH THEREOF, OTHER THAN AN UNDERTAKING IN WHICH ONLY MEMBERS OF THE SAME FAMILY ARE EMPLOYED.  HB 652 by Angara has a similar objective.

HB 245 filed by Sonny Angara will establish a tax-exempt Workers’ Compensation Program which aims to build a culture of safe and healthy work environment, provide support to the dependents of workers, and provide rehabilitation services.