Marcos initials Maharlika Fund, 10 other bills as Ledac priorities


SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez announced last Sunday that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. approved 11 additional bills, including the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), as part of the priorities of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac).

Romualdez said through a statement that these additional bills will bring to 42 from the original 31 the total number of priority administration measures.

Romualdez said the bills are designed to address key issues on public health, job creation and further stimulate economic growth. He added that these measures will be the focus of legislative efforts when Congress resumes session this Monday.

Romualdez accompanied the President during Marcos’s 5-day official visit to the United States and the United Kingdom (UK). The latter is for the coronation of newly-crowned monarchs of the UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, King Charles III and Queen Camila.

According to Romualdez, the bills include the following:

• Amending the AFP Fixed Term Bill, which was transmitted to the President;

• Ease of Paying Taxes;

• Maharlika Investment Fund;

• Local Government Unit Income Classification;

• Amendment to Universal Health Care Act;

• Bureau of Immigration Modernization;

• Infrastructure Development Plan/Build Build Build Program, which is now for committee report preparation;

• Philippine Salt Industry Development Act;

• Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (Pencas);

• National Employment Action Plan; and,

• Amendment to the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, which is under committee/technical working group (TWG) meeting.

‘Best effort’

ROMUALDEZ added lawmakers aim to approve the remaining eight Ledac bills from the original 31 bills before the sine die adjournment of Congress on June 2.

“It will be on a best-effort basis. We will try to pass the remaining eight bills from the original priority list. If we could do that, we would have approved all the urgent measures identified by [the] President in less than a year,” Romualdez said.

These proposed pieces of legislation support the President’s Agenda for Prosperity and his eight-point socio-economic road map, the lawmaker added.

“They are intended to sustain our economic growth, hasten the country’s digital transformation and speed up the delivery of public services to our people, among other objectives,” Romualdez said.

A total of 31 proposed laws had been originally listed by the President in his first State of the Nation Address (Sona) in July last year and later adopted by the Ledac.

Two of the 31 are now laws the government is implementing: the SIM (subscriber identity module) Registration Act and the postponement of the barangay/Sangguniang Kabataan elections, which are now scheduled for October this year.

Another bill, the proposed Agrarian Reform Debts Condonation of unpaid loans, interest and penalties of thousands of agrarian reform beneficiaries, may soon become law.


CONGRESS had ratified the conference committee report containing the condonation bill before its Holy Week adjournment.

The House had approved 20 Ledac-Sona bills on third and final reading from the 31 original Ledac bills.

These are: the Magna Carta of Seafarers, e-Governance Act/e-Government Act; Negros Island Region, Virology Institute of the Philippines; Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act; National Disease Prevention Management Authority or Center for Disease Control and Prevention; Medical Reserve Corps; Philippine Passport Act; Internet Transaction Act/e-Commerce Law; Waste-to-Energy bill; Free Legal Assistance for Police and Soldiers; Apprenticeship Act; Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law; Magna Carta of Barangay Health Workers; Valuation Reform; Eastern Visayas Development Authority; Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone; Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery; National Citizens Service Training Program; and, Rightsizing the National Government.

The original eight remaining SONA-Ledac priority measures the House is aiming to approve in the homestretch of the First Regular Session of the 19th Congress include the bill establishing regional specialty hospitals.

The other are the following: enabling law for the natural gas industry; National Land Use Act; Department of Water Resources and Services and creation of Water Regulatory Commission; Budget Modernization Act; National Defense Act; amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act; and, the bill on a unified system of separation, retirement and pension for uniformed personnel.

Priority measures

ADDITIONALLY, the House has identified 13 priority measures including the On-Site, In-City Near City Local Government Resettlement Program and the Open Access in Data Transmission. The others are: the Mandatory Establishment of Evacuation Centers in Every City, Province and Municipality Permanent Evacuation Centers; Online Registration of Voters, Constitutional Convention (RBH 6) Calling for Constitutional Convention; and, Implementing RBH 6 and Amendments to the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) Charter, which were also sent to the Senate following third and final reading approval.

The other measures are: the Estate Tax Amnesty Act Extension, which is for calendaring by the House Committee on Rules; the Government Procurement Reform Act, which is under technical working group (TWG); the Department of Disaster Resilience and Livestock Development and Competitiveness Bill, which is under committee deliberations; and, the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and Wage Employment Assistance Program for Displaced and/or Vulnerable Workers, which is for committee deliberations.

Facilitate investments

ROMUALDEZ said these Ledac legislations would facilitate the entry of investments pledges from the US amounting $1.3 billion.

The lawmaker said the pledges amount generated by the president’s official visit will have the potential to create around 6,700 new jobs for Filipinos within the country.

Earlier, Marcos noted that during his engagements with numerous American business groups, he was able to entice many of them to expand their operations or create new ventures in the Philippines.

He said that when realized, these investments from the US will support our country’s economic recovery efforts and further strengthen the foundations of our economic environment.

“We expect even more investment that will materialize once these companies firm up their plans,” Marcos added.

According to the President, these pledges from American investors are a sign of the trust and confidence in doing business in the Philippines, as many of them see the country as an ideal investment destination.

Among the key areas of focus of the President’s official visit to the US include enhancing cooperation on addressing some of the key economic challenges, particularly food, energy and health security, digital connectivity, “and the cross-cutting issues of climate change and pandemic preparedness.”

The President said his discussions with the US business community also affirm the optimism of international investors in the Philippines, particularly their praises for the talent, ingenuity and work ethic of Filipinos.