By Rakki Raquinel and Rikki Lyn Dela Cruz
President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. urged Congress to pass 19 priority measures during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 25 July 2022.
These are the following as compiled by DNX based on the one hour, 14 minutes speech Marcos delivered before dignitaries and members of the Senate and House of Representatives gathered in joint session.
National Government Rightsizing Program
This pertains to entails rightsizing of government agencies, which includes the transformational initiatives and abolition of offices to improve the “government’s institutional capacity to perform its mandate and provide better services.”
It will have an extensive review of “functions, operations, organizations, systems, and processes.”
Budget Modernization Bill
It seeks to “strengthen fiscal discipline” through institutionalizing a cash-based budgeting system by limiting the obligations until the end of the fiscal year that can help the government in saving money.- Advertisement -
It ensures that every peso is spent wisely on the “actual delivery” programs and projects to the Filipinos.
Tax Package 3 Valuation Reform Bill
It provides the establishment and the development of real property by adopting valuation standards and keeping a database of transactions made in the country.
Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act
The law aims to modify the financial tax sector system towards a “simpler, fairer and more efficient tax system” to make changes in the tax collection of “capital income and financial services”.- Advertisement -
It will also ensure the adoption “regionally competitive tax system.”
The act seeks to implement the “e-Government Master Plan” that will digitalize services and processes to ensure efficiency and transparency.
Internet Transaction Act e-Commerce Law
The act otherwise known as ‘e-Commerce Law’ seeks to regulate activities and to protect users in commercial transactions made through electronic means.
Establishment of a Medical Reserve Core
It will be composed of qualified medical staff and will be under the Health and Management Bureau of the Department of Health (DOH).
National Disease Prevention Management Authority
It will establish the country’s own Center for Disease Control and Prevention which will be attached to the DOH.
Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery
It seeks to “provide financial assistance” to enterprises that are distressed which is essential towards economic recovery and growth through partnerships with different banks.
Creation of the Virology Institute of the Philippines – Virology Science Institute of the Philippines attached to DOST
It will create the Virology Science Institute of the Philippines and will be connected to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Department of Water Resources
The creation of the department will adopt the integrated water resource management as the framework for the policy-making and planning of the National Water Management.
Unified System of Separation, Retirement, and Pension
It grants a monthly disability pension based on the existing laws providing benefits for military and uniform personnel retired by reasons of disability.
The acts aims to promote the use of the internet and other information and communications technology (ICT) for citizens.
National Land Use Act
It will ensure the holistic and rational management and development of the country’s land and water resources by making owners maintain their lands’ productivity and sustainability, strengthening the Local Government Units (LGUs) to manage ecological balance within their jurisdictions, and providing for land use and physical framework planning as a mechanism in determining policies and principles for the implementation of this measure.
National Defense Act
The act seeks to amend the antiquated National Defense Act of 1935 to make the military structure of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) more responsive to the current and future non-conventional security threats to the country’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty.
Mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) and National Service Training Program (NSTP)
The initiative aims to reinstitute the ROTC program as a mandatory component of the Senior High School programs (Grades 11 and 12) in all public and private tertiary level educational institutions for the purpose of motivating, training, organizing, and mobilizing students for national defense preparedness which includes disaster preparedness and capacity building for risk related situations.
Enactment of an Enabling Law for the Natural Gas Industry
It will foster the development of the midstream natural gas industry in an attempt to strengthen the Philippine energy security by diversifying the country’s primary sources of energy and promoting the role of natural gas as a complementary fuel to variable renewable energy.
Amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA)
It plans to improve the implementation of the law’s provisions and enhance its effectiveness to address the high cost of electricity, alleged market collusion, and insufficient power supply.
This seeks to restructure the Energy Regulatory Commission to foster accountability and improve the commission’s government system in order to ensure consumer protection and enhance competitive operation of the electricity market
Amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law
It seeks to improve the implementation of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program and direct the desired outputs and outcomes in line with the country’s strategic developments by addressing the ambiguities in the existing law, address the bottlenecks and challenges affecting the implementation of the PPP Program, and foster a more competitive and enabling environment for PPPs.