One of the pillars of democracy is the judiciary. However, our judicial system is presently beset with case delays and docket congestion. The new Congress should prioritize the passage of bills that would push for the creation of additional courts and the appointment of more judges. This is essential for the speedy disposition of cases and to unclog the docket of existing courts.
Cebu City MTCC Judge DAKILA U. BARCENAS
Yes to Anti-political Dynasty Bill; Freedom of Information Bill; and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Equality Bill. No to charter change, death penalty, and allowing foreign ownership of land.
Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations Awards Foundation president and former NYC Commissioner PERCIVAL VILAR CENDAÑA
Congress would do well to consider the following:
• A bill creating a Department of Disaster Resilience to ensure that we are better prepared for disasters and to address climate change. This was passed by the House of Representatives but not by the Senate in the 17th Congress.
• A bill amending the Intellectual Property Code to strengthen policy environment on innovation and intellectual property creation. The bill should enhance national innovative capacity and enable micro, small, and medium enterprises to use intellectual property to enhance their creativity and competitiveness.
• National Land Use Bill (mandated by the 1987 Constitution and passed by the House of Representatives but not by the Senate in the 17th Congress) to rationalize land use. Our fragmented approach to land use could be addressed through a comprehensive national land use law.
Bureau of Patents Director Atty. LOLIBETH RAMIT- MEDRANO
There are many existing laws, more than enough to improve the well-being of Filipinos. Instead of just introducing new laws, Congress must review existing ones. What I would like the incoming lawmakers to do is to revisit Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Tarrification Law passed early this
year. This law lifted import restrictions on rice and is now threatening the livelihood of 2.4 million Filipino farmers and small traders, not to mention their families. This is a common concern raised by irrigator-farmers from Aparri to Jolo.
Former PNP Chief and National Irrigation Administration Administrator Retired Director General ARTURO LOMIBAO
Congress has to review the basis for the allocation of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to LGUs. Specifically, more funds should be allocated to IRA-dependent LGUs (even just for a limited
period) so they can invest in much-needed development projects which remain unfunded or underfunded. At present, IRA share is based on population and territorial size.
LGUs should also have an “automatic” (not necessarily equal) share of their congressman’s development funds based on a systematized formula to prevent the congressman from helping only his political allies.
Basco, Batanes Mayor DEMY NARAG
The new Congress should enact an Anti-political Dynasty Law. Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution states that “(t)he State shall… prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.” More than three decades after the framers of the Charter left the discretion to the legislature to prohibit political dynasties, there has been no definitive move on the part of both houses of Congress to finally end what many experts say has proven to be more of a bane than a blessing to the development of the Philippines. It is about time that the country’s lawmakers enact an Anti- political Dynasty Law to comply with the duty imposed on them by the Charter.
Assistant Solicitor General RENAN E. RAMOS
We in Agham Youth support the pro-people and pro- environment bills previously filed in Congress but left unenacted into law. We believe that the People’s Mining Bill that aims for the appropriate utilization of the country’s mineral resources, and the bill declaring the waters of Manila Bay as a reclamation-free zone are both steps toward environmental preservation. The bill repealing TRAIN Law’s regressive provisions is another bill that we believe would benefit Filipinos. Lastly, we also recommend passage of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill that seeks to overhaul and improve the state of our agriculture.
Agham Youth National Chairperson
LUKE WESLEY BORROMEO
“A bill regulating medical professional fees and health service fees should be a priority. There must be some degree of certainty on the pricing of these services so the public will not be caught by surprise when they avail of these services. It will also guide health insurance companies in the costing of premiums. These services are too important to be left to market forces.
On another note, the Anti- dynasty Bill should be a priority to pave the way for the realization of the spirit and intent of the Constitution. One of our problems is that political and economic powers are concentrated in a few families. An Anti-dynasty Law shall help ensure that political power is not concentrated in or monopolized by the same few families.”
Philhealth Senior Vice President for Legal Sector
Atty. RODOLFO B. DEL ROSARIO, JR.