Our thrust is to sustain reform agenda – Belmonte

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SPEAKER Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. said congress will exert all efforts to sustain the country’s growing reform momentum which is now being acknowledged by the international community.

“We will continue policy reforms to promote good governance that will sustain our gains in the area of significant reforms. This is paving the way towards the genuine national development we seek,” the Speaker said noting the growing international confidence in the program thrusts of the national government.

In particular, Belmonte cited and acknowledged the open support of the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines and the Philippine Business Groups for the legislative initiatives now in their advanced stages in both chambers of Congress.

In a statement this week issued to media, the two business groups commended the “hard work” of Congress at passing vital measures that may soon be signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III.

The business community expressed elation that the following measures passed by Congress may soon be enacted into law: Intellectual Property Code amendments, Anti-Trafficking Act amendments, Tripartism (Conference Committee), Conciliation and Mediation as a Mode of Dispute Settlements (Conference Committee), and the Removal of Common Carriers Tax and Gross Philippine Billings Tax (Conference Committee).

“Right now there are about 5 measures awaiting the President’s final action,” Belmonte added.

Other measures which the business sectors are urging Congress to pass (already approved by the House on 3rd reading and pending Senate action) include: Enhanced Basic Education or K-12; AMLA amendments; Insurance Code amendments; Land Use Policy; Universal Health Care; Whistleblowers Protection Act; Rural Bank Act amendments and the amendments to several laws on professions to allow foreign reciprocity (Criminology, Forestry, among others); and Sustainable Forest Development.

The proposed Anti-Trust bill, which the business sectors strongly endorse, likewise awaits plenary passage by both the House and the Senate.

Earlier, Speaker Belmonte said he would be meeting and coordinating with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to discuss and chart their possible common agenda for the coming three-week session from January 21st to February 8th.

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