THE House of Representatives will expedite the passage of 12 economic measures sought by the Department of Finance (DoF) to help the government jumpstart the economy following the damage done by the pandemic, a senior legislator said Tuesday.

Majority Leader Martin G. Romualdez said he has been instructed by Speaker Lord Allan Q. Velasco to prioritize the 12 bills, five of which are in the interpellation stage in plenary, and the rest in committee.

“I have explicit instructions from Speaker Lord Allan Velasco. We have to prioritize these 12 bills that were endorsed by DoF Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III as part of the legislative priorities of the DoF,” Mr. Romualdez said. “These legislative imperatives are needed to help ensure that the economy recovers quickly from the corona-induced crisis in a strong, sustainable, and resilient manner.”

The priority measures include House Bill (HB) No. 7749 or the proposed Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery act, which is in plenary. Its purpose is to strengthen the capacity of government financial institutions to provide assistance to micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises.

Other priority measures in plenary are HB 7425 or the proposed Digital Transactions Value-Added Tax act, HB 7406 or the proposed Bureau of Fire Protection Modernization Program act, HB 6135 or the Fiscal Mining Regime, and HB 7425 or the proposed Internet Transactions Act/E-Commerce Law.

Priority measures that have yet to make it past committee are the Military and Uniformed Personnel Services Separation, Retirement, and Pension bill,  the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization bill, the Coconut Farmers Trust Fund bill, the Department of Water Resources and Water Regulatory Commission bill, the Warehouse Receipts bill, the National Disease Prevention and Management Authority bill, and the National Land Use bill.

“I have no doubt that the House will be able to pass all these measures before the onset of election fever next year,” Mr. Romualdez said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza