MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Senate stated Monday that it approved a record 166 bills on third reading, the highest in a single day in the last ten years.
Many of the bills propose the establishment of state universities and colleges, elementary and secondary schools, hospitals, and marine hatcheries, as well as provincial offices for the Commission on Higher Education, the Land Transportation Office, and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
“We hope our colleagues in the House of Representatives appreciate our effort to pass these local bills. Having been a congressman myself, I know how hard they work to deliver the necessary legislation for their respective constituents, and so I am very glad that we have all been able to efficiently work together for our people,” Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, who led the approval of the bills, said in a statement on late Tuesday.
Meanwhile, nine bills were of national application, such as the proposed Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act, the COVID-19 Benefits and Allowances for Health Workers Act, the Expanded Anti-Trafficking Act, the Foundling Recognition and Protection Act, amendments to the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation Charter, the Vintage Vehicles Regulation Act, the Second Congressional Commission on Education Act, the Extended Producer Responsibility Act, and the measure declaring August 30 as National Press Freedom Day.
“I thank our presiding officer, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, for his guidance and leadership, allowing us to become incredibly productive. And I thank all our colleagues for diligently studying and voting on each and every measure,” Zubiri said.
“I can say without a doubt that this Senate body has been one of the most hardworking groups in Senate history,” he added.
“I am glad that everyone has been amenable to working overtime, so we can pass these important bills before adjournment—especially bills like the Marawi Compensation Act and the Allowances for Health Workers Act, which a lot of people have been waiting for. This really is a working Senate, and I am so proud to be part of it,” Zubiri said.
When a law passes the third reading, it is referred to the House of Representatives for consideration.
If there are disparities between the bills, a bicameral conference committee is constituted to reconcile them.
The measure will be signed by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate once both houses have given their final assent.
If President Rodrigo Duterte does not sign a measure after 30 days of receiving it, it may become law without his signature. If two-thirds of the members of Congress vote to override a presidential veto, the bill will become law.