Senate President Vicente III lays out priority bills

As the second regular session of Congress inches near, Senate President Vicente Sotto III wants to fast track five measures to improve government processes and strengthen the labor sector.

In Congress’ second session that would begin on July 27, Senator Sotto said that discussions will be prioritized for the enactment of the Medical Scholarship Act, Presidential Drug Enforcement Authority Act, Hybrid Election Act, Anti-False Content Act, and the 14th Month Pay law.

Senate Bill No. 1 in the upcoming session proposes a Medical Scholarship Act to grant scholarships for medical students to address the decline of health professionals in the country.

Under the proposal, scholars would be required to render service in the country for five years of which two years shall be served in a government hospital or facility.

The Presidential Drug Enforcement Authority Act seeks to harmonize drug enforcement, prosecution, prevention and rehabilitation under one single institution which would promote streamlined programs and projects in the continued advocacy to end illegal drugs in the country.

With the proliferation of misleading information and content on various forms of media, Senator Sotto also proposed Senate Bill No. 9 or the Anti-False Content Act/Anti-Fake News bill that imposes stiff penalties for those found guilty in the publication of such content.

A 14th month pay is also being eyed under Senate Bill No. 10 that mandates the provision of additional Christmas or holiday pay to workers in the private sector.

In relation to the 2022 elections, the Hybrid Election Act proposes the use of both electronic and manual systems in the voting and counting process that is aimed at ensuring credible, accurate and transparent elections.

 

"Times are difficult, especially with the impacts of the COVID-19 nightmare likely to haunt us for a long time. We need a break. These measures would, hopefully, give our people something to look forward to. Government needs to ramp up its effort to uplift the lives of Filipinos, especially in the aftermath of this horrifying crisis," the Senate President said.

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