[In the news] 13 measures tackled in 2nd Ledac meeting – www.sunstar.com.ph

13 measures tackled in 2nd Ledac meeting

MANILA (Updated 4:05 p.m.) — President Benigno Aquino III presented 13 priority measures before the members of Congress during the second Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) meeting Tuesday.
One of the measures Aquino wanted to be prioritized by Congress is the highly-debated Responsible Parenthood (RP) bill.

In a press briefing after the four-hour meeting, the President said the executive made several amendments to the measure and will make it acceptable to all sectors, particularly to the Church.

Some of the changes he cited were the provision of setting the ideal size of a family, appropriate age for sex education, and the access to artificial contraception methods.

“We try to remove certain issues that can be contentious. We had at least 10 amendments to the measure,” he said.

He added that they agreed to fund the natural family planning and the values formation should be sensitive to the religious affiliation.

Aside from the RP bill, among the measures tackled at the Ledac were:
* Human Security Act of 2007
* An Act Amending the People’s Television Network Rural Electrification Program
* An Act Restructuring the Excise Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco Products
* An Act Providing for the Delineation of the Specific Forest Limits to Public Domain
* An Act Granting Broader Protection for Consumers
* Bills on Protecting Individual Personal Data in Information and Communications Systems in the Government and in the Private Sector
* An Act Reorganizing the Philippine Statistical System
* An Act Imposing Stiffer Penalties for Stealing or Tampering Government Risk Reduction and Preparedness Equipment, Accessories and other Facility Items
* An Act Providing for Additional Benefits and Protection to the Househelpers
* An Act Expanding the Coverage of the Science and Technology Scholarship
* Twenty Percent Balanced Housing

President Aquino said he expects “expeditious” passage of the bills he prioritized in Congress.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, meanwhile, declined to promise for the “smooth sailing” passage of Aquino’s priority measures, particularly the RP bill.

“With regards to the RP bill, I cannot assure that we passed the version. It will take a full-blown debate in the Senate. But with regards to the proposals of the President we will have to look at them very closely,” Enrile said.

For House Speaker Sonny Belmonte, he said the Congress will give “the same attention” to the new sets of bills regarded as priority by the President.

In relation to the non-inclusion of the Freedom of Information, Aquino said the technical working group he tasked to study the bill still needs to discuss certain matters to both chambers of Congress and various stakeholders. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)

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