Briefer on the priority bills approved by the President, February 7, 2011

Briefer on the priority bills approved by the President
To be presented at the LEDAC meeting on February 28, 2011
[Released to the media on February 7, 2011]


I. AN ACT INSTITUTING REFORMS IN LAND ADMINISTRATION
Salient Provisions
  • The creation of the Land Administration Authority (LAA) which shall be the sole agency that shall prepare, issue and register all titles to land. The LAA shall be composed of one (1) Director General, four (4) Deputy Director General, and five (5) Assistant Directors General.
  • The LAA shall have the following functions: land survey and mapping, land registration, public land administration, and keeping of land records.
  • The creation of the Stakeholders’ Advisory Committee which shall advise the LAA on the formulation of policies and policy development pertaining to land administration and public land management and shall monitor their implementation.
  • Permanent field offices at the city and provincial levels shall be established and shall be called Land Offices.
  • The creation of the Land Adjudication Board (LAB) which shall be the quasijudicial body of the LAA.
  • Local Land Adjudication Boards (LLAB) shall be created in all provincial and city Land Offices that shall serve as first level board.
  • The transfer of the powers and functions of the Land Registration Authority (LRA), Land Management Bureau (LMB), and the DENR-CARP to the LAA; and, making NAMRIA an attached agency of the LAA.
Relation to Existing Policies
  • This is consistent with NO.6 of the 16-Point Agenda of the President and supports the goals and objectives of the Good Governance cluster.
II. AN ACT RESETTING THE DATE OF THE REGULAR ELECTIONS FOR ELECTIVE OFFICIALS OF THE AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO (ARMM), SYNCHRONIZING THE ARMM ELECTIONS WITH THE SYNCHRONIZED NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTIONS 2013, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9333, ENTITLED “AN ACT AFFIXING THE DATE FOR REGULAR ELECTIONS FOR ELECTIVE OFFICIALS OF THE ARMM PURSUANT TO RA 9054″ ENTITLED “AN ACT TO STRENGTHEN AND EXPAND THE ORGANIC ACT FOR THE ARMM, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE RA 6734, ENTITLED AN ACT PROVIDING FOR AN ORGANIC ACT FOR THE ARMM, AS AMENDED,” AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Salient Features
  • The next regular elections for the Regional Governor, Regional Vice Governor and Members of The regular election for Regional Governor, Regional ViceGovernor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly of the ARMM shall be held on the second Monday of May 2013. They shall hold office for a term of three (3) years.
  • The incumbent elective officials of the ARMM shall hold office only until 30 September 2011.
  • The President shall appoint officers-in-charge until the successors shall have been elected and qualified.
  • The appointed officers-in-charge shall be ineligible in the next regular elections.
Relation to Existing Policies
  • The Consitution provides for the creation of an autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines. The autonomous region shall be under the general supervision of the President. (Sections 15 and 16, Article X, Philippine Constitution)
  • This is consistent with No. 14 of the 16-Point Agenda of the President.
  • This bill supports the goals and objectives of the Sovereignty, Security and Rule of Law cluster.
III. AN ACT FURTHER AMENDING CERTAIN SECTIONS OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6957, AS AMENDED BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7718, ENTITLED “AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE FINANCING, CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES,” APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE SAID PURPOSE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
Salient Provisions
  • Unsolicited proposals for projects may be submitted to the concerned government agency, GOCC or local government unit which may (1) use the unsolicited proposal as the basis for public bidding, (2) Accept the unsolicited proposal on a negotiated basis, or (3) reject the proposal.
  • Upon certification and recommendation of NEDA, the President may classify certain projects as “Projects of National Significance.”
  • Conditions to qualify as Projects of National Significance: (1) total cost of at least P5 billion, and (2) project is located or affects 2 provinces.
  • Projects of National Significance shall enjoy incentives such as real property tax exemption, maximum of 50% of 1% of gross sales/receipts imposable local tax and automatic grant of business permits.
  • Prohibition on the issuance of TROs, Preliminary Injunctions and Preliminary Mandatory Injunctions.
  • Creation of a Special Fund to defray the cost of compensation to project proponents in the event that the government agency or GOCC fails to comply or is prevented from complying with its obligations.
Relation to Existing Policies
  • The BOT Law was enacted pursuant to the State Policy enunciated in the Constitution “The State recognizes the indispensable role of the private sector, encourages private enterprise, and provides incentives to needed investments.” (Section 19, Article II, Philippine Constitution)
  • This bill is consistent with NO.9 of the 16-Point Agenda of the President. and the Presidents thrust on the proliferation of public-private partnership projects.
  • It supports the goals and objectives of the Economic Development cluster.
IV. AN ACT CREATING THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (DHUD), DEFINING THE MANDATES, POWERS AND FUNCTIONS, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFORE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Salient Provisions
  • The DHUD shall be the primary national government entity responsible for the management of housing and urban development. It shall be the main planning and policy-making, program coordination, and performance monitoring entity for all housing and urban development concerns,
  • The DHUD shall be headed by a Secretary assisted by two (2) Undersecretaries and three (3) Assistant Secretaries,
  • The following shall be agencies attached to the DHUD: National Housing Authority (NHA), Housing Guaranty Corporation (HGC), National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), and Housing and Urban Development Adjudication Commission (HUDAC),
  • Renaming and Reconstituting the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) into the Housing and Urban Development Adjudication Commission (HUDAC) composed of a Chairperson and fourteen (14) full-time Members.
  • Appointing and defining the jurisdiction of Housing and Land Use Arbiters, Decisions, awards or orders of the Housing and Land Use Arbiters shall be final and executory unless appealed to the HUDAC within ten (10) calendar days from receipt.
  • The HDMF, SSS and GSIS shall allocate funds annually to implement home lending and housing assistance programs which qualified members of these institutions may avail of.
  • A Social Housing Fund shall be established (to be sourced from PAGCOR, PCSO, and proceeds from documentary stamps, ill-gotten wealth, loans, grants, donations, forfeited customs bonds, unused agri-agra allocation funds and savings from debt servicing) to support Key Shelter Agencies for housing programs for the low-income group of the informal sector.
  • The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council’s (HUDCC’s) functions, equipments, funds, choses in action, records and pertinent transactions, shall be transferred to the DHUD.
Relation to Existing Policies
  • Section 9, Article XIII of the Constitution provides that “The State shall, by law, and for the common good, undertake, in cooperation with the private sector, a continuing program ofurban land reform and housing which will make available at affordable cost decent housing and basic services to underprivileged and homeless citizens in urban centers and resettlement areas. It shall also promote adequate employment opportunities to such citizens. In the implementation of such program the State shall respect the rights of small property owners.”
  • This bill is consistent with goals and objectives of the Human Development cluster.
V. AN ACT TO PROMOTE FINANCIAL VIABILITY AND FISCAL DISCIPLINE IN GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR CONTROLLED CORPORATIONS AND TO STRENGTHEN THE ROLE OF THE STATE IN ITS GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT TO MAKE THEM MORE RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS OF PUBLIC INTEREST AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
(Senate Bill No. 2640)
Salient Provisions
  • There shall be created a Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) as an advisory, monitoring, recommendatory, and policy-implementing body composed of DOF Secretary, DBM Secretary, NEDA Director-General and two (2) private sector representatives.
  • The GCG is tasked to develop a Compensation and Position Classification System which shall apply to all officers and employees of the GOCCs.
  • The grant of additional allowances and bonuses shall be subject to the approval of the President, upon recommendation of the GCG. All profits and bonuses received in excess of that authorized are to be held in trust by such member of the Board or Officer for the GOCC they represent.
  • An appointive director shall be appointed by the President from a shortlist prepared by the GCG.
  • All the members of the Board and the CEO shall be qualified by the “fit and proper” test to be determined by the GCG in consultation and coordination with the relevant government agencies to which the GOCC is attached and approved by the President.
  • As fiduciaries of the State, members of the Board of Directors and Trustees and the Officers of GOCCs have the legal obligation and duty to always act in the best interest of the GOCC, with utmost good faith in all its dealings with the property and monies of the GOCC.
  • The members of the Board and the Officers must exercise extraordinary diligence in the conduct of the business and in dealing with the properties of the GOCC. Such degree of diligence requires using the utmost diligence of very cautious person with due regard for all the circumstances.
  • A Government Agency seeking to establish a GOCC or Related Corporation under The Corporation Code of the Philippines shall submit its proposal to the GCG for review and recommendation to the President for his approval before registering the same with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Relation to Existing Policies
  • The Constitution provides that “Public office is public trust. Public officers and employees must, at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.”(Section 1, Article XI, Philippine Constitution)
  • This is consistent with Nos. 1, 6, and 11 of the 16-Point Agenda of the President.
  • It supports the goals and objectives of the Good Governance cluster.
VI. AN ACT TO DEFINE THE MARITIME ZONES OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
Salient Features
  • It is an act which defines the maritime zones of the Philippines,
  • The bill is a general declaration of the maritime zones under the jurisdiction of the Philippines, The various maritime zones include: internal waters, archipelagic waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone, and continental shelf. It mentions, in general terms, the rights that the Philippines may exercise over these maritime zones.
  • The purpose of this act is to provide flexibility in enacting laws pertinent to the rights and obligations that the Philippines would like to exercise over the maritime zones.
Relation to Existing Policies
  • This bill is under the Sovereignty, Security and Rule of Law Cluster.
  • The Philippines is a signatory and party to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This proposed bill is pursuant to the UNCLOS recognition that the Philippines and other coastal States have the right to establish various maritime zones and jurisdictions over which it can exercise sovereignty and appurtenant sovereign rights.
VII. AN ACT TO STRENGTHEN THE MODERNIZATION OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES, EXTENDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MODERNIZATION PROGRAM OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES, INSTITUTING NECESSARY REFORMS IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7898, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE AFP MODERNIZATION ACT AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Salient Features
  • It entails the development and employment of certain capabilities that can address the assessed threats, provided that the acquisition of air force, navy and army equipment and material of such types and quantities shall be made in accordance with the need to develop AFP capabilities pursuant to its modernization objectives, provided further, that the acquisition of new equipment and weapons systems shall be synchronized with the phase-out of uneconomical and obsolete major equipment and weapons systems in the AFP inventory, provided finally, that no supply contract shall be entered into unless such contract provides for, in clear and unambiguous terms, an after sales services and the availability of spare parts,
  • It extends the effectivity of the “AFP Modernization Act” and the AFP Modernization Program until year 2025.
  • It authorizes the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to enter into and execute contracts of sale, lease and joint venture agreements involving defense real properties, and to enter into public-private partnerships in order to raise additional proceeds needed for the Modernization Program of the AFP.
  • It creates a trust fund to be known as the AFP Modernization Act Trust Fund. Said trust fund shall be used exclusively for the AFP Modernization Program.
  • Relation to Existing Policies
  • This proposed bill is to further implement the continuing modernization of the AFP pursuant to RA 7898, otherwise known as the AFP Modernization Act.
  • Under the Sovereignty, Security and Rule of Law cluster, it belongs to the President’s 16-Point Agenda “From demoralized but dedicated civil servants, military and police personnel destined for failure and frustration due to inadequate operational support to professional, motivated and energized bureaucracies with adequate means to perform their public service missions.
VIII. AN ACT RATIONALIZING THE GRANT AND ADMINISTRATION OF FISCAL INCENTIVES FOR THE PROMOTION OF INVESTMENTS AND GROWTH, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Salient Features
  • It is an act rationalizing the grant of fiscal incentives for the promotion of investments and growth, and for other purposes. It shall be known as “The Consolidated Investments Incentives Code of the Philippines.”
  • It requires all Investment Promotion Agencies to administer fiscal incentives, as enumerated in the proposed bill, to their respective registered export enterprises to the extent of their registered activities.
  • Registered domestic enterprises, which invest in activities listed in the Investments Priorities Plan (IPP), shall enjoy tax incentives only by locating in any of the less developed areas. They may choose either Full Income Tax Holiday or Reduced Income Tax. However, their choice shall be final and cannot be changed for the duration of their registration.
  • It empowers the President upon joint recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, Secretary of Trade and Industry and Director-General for Economic Planning, to allow the registration of, and grant of tax incentives to, a strategic project that will undertake an activity that is not listed in the IPP either as an export-oriented or domestic-oriented enterprise.
  • It allows the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to confer upon private developers of PEZA ecozones the 5% tax on gross income earned in lieu of all national and local taxes except the value-added tax and real property tax.
  • It authorizes the Bureau of Customs to examine the entry and exit of imported articles into the economic zones and free ports for the purpose of determining the quantity and description of subject imported articled.
Relation to Existing Policies
  • Under the Economic Development Cluster, this bill is in consonance with the State policy to ensure that investment incentives shall promote substantial social and economic spillovers, equitable development across income classes and across provinces, are fiscally sustainable, financially and economically justifiable, and are consistent with international treaties.
IX. AN ACT PROVIDING A DEFINITE TARGETING STRATEGY IN IDENTIFYING THE POOR, AMENDING REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7875 OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE ACT OF 1995 AS AMENDED, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Salient Features
  • It is an act amending specific provisions of Republic Act No. 7875 otherwise known as the National Health Insurance Act of 1995, as amended.
  • It empowers the Philippine National Health Insurance Corporation (PHILHEALTH) to:
1. Visit, enter and inspect facilities of health care providers and employers and to secure copies of their medical, financial and other records pertinent to the claims, accreditation, premium contribution records, and that of their patients or employees, where applicable, who are members or dependents of the program;
2. Enter into agreements with national agencies and local governments to require proof of PHILHEALTH membership before transacting with private individuals or groups; and
3. To impose surcharges of three percent (3%) per month or any rate as may be fixed by the PHILHEALTH in case of delay in remittance of contributions which are due within the prescribed period, and waive or release, in whole or in part, such interest or surcharges imposed upon employers regardless of the amount involved under such valid terms and conditions it may prescribe.
  • It shall amend the composition of the PHILHEAL TH Board, adding the Vice Chairperson for the basic sector of the National Anti-Poverty Commission or his representative, and the representatives of the Filipino overseas workers and the elective local government officials as Members.
  • It provides qualification for government subsidy on contributions of indigent members which applies only to those belonging to the poorest 20% of the population.
Relation to Existing Policies
  • This proposed bill is pursuant to the policy of the State to adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all people at affordable costs.
  • Under the Human Development cluster, it belongs to the President’s 16-Point Agenda“From treating health as just another area of political patronage to recognizing the advancement and protection of public health, which includes responsible parenthood, as key measures of good governance”,
X. AN ACT RATIONALIZING THE NIGHTWORK PROHIBITION ON WOMEN WORKERS, THEREBY AMENDING ARTICLES 130 AND 131 OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NUMBER FOUR HUNDRED FORTY-TWO (PO 442), AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE LABOR CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES
Salient Features
  • It seeks to expand the exemptions from the nightwork prohibition for women employees due to the increasing demand for exemption on the nightwork prohibition on women employees in the call center industry brought about by globalization and liberalization.
  • It specifically removes the prohibitions in commercial and agricultural undertakings.
Relation to Existing Policies
  • It is in consonance with the constitutional mandate for equal rights to employment opportunities and the right against employment discrimination.
  • Under the Human Development cluster, it belongs to the President’s 16-Point Agenda “From lack of concern for gender disparities and shortfalls, to the promotion of equal gender opportunity in all spheres of public and private policies and programs.
XI. AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE ARCHIPELAGIC SEA LANES IN THE PHILIPPINE ARCHIPELAGIC WATERS, PRESCRIBING THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF FOREIGN SHIPS AND AIRCRAFTS EXERCISING THE RIGHT OF ARCHIPELAGIC SEA LANES PASSAGE THROUGH THE ESTABLISHED ARCHIPELAGIC SEA LANES AND PROVIDING FOR THE ASSOCIATED PROTECTIVE MEASURES THEREIN
Salient Features
  • It establishes the archipelagic sea lanes in the Philippine archipelagic waters, prescribing the rights and obligations of foreign ships and aircraft exercising the right of archipelagic sea lanes passage through the established archipelagic sea lanes and providing for the associated protective measures therein.
Relation to Existing Policies
  • This bill is under the Sovereignty, Security and Rule of Law Cluster.
  • This is in consonance with Article I of the 1987 Constitution defining our national territory, which states that:
The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.
XII. AN ACT ENHANCING THE CURRICULUM AND INCREASING THE NUMBER OF YEARS FOR BASIC EDUCATION, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Salient Features
  • It seeks to provide for a quality 12-year basic education program that each Filipino is entitled to.
  • Basic education shall include Kindergarten and 12 years of elementary and secondary education.
Relation to Existing Policies
  • It is consistent with Article XIV, Section 2(1) of the 1987 Constitution which states that “The State shall establish, maintain, and support complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society”.
  • Under the Human Development cluster, it belongs to the President’s 16-Point Agenda“From treating education to just one of the many concerns to making education the central strategy for investing in our people, reducing poverty and building national competitiveness”.