Sotto more than satisfied with Senate performance

CALOOCAN CITY, Dec. 24 (PIA) -- Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday said he was more than satisfied with the performance of the Senate, given the challenges it faced during the year.

"Who could ask for more? We tried to tackle as much as we could. There are still some that need our attention but it was important to focus on the passage of the national budget for next year and to extend the validity of Bayanihan 2 and the 2020 national budget beyond their original deadlines," Sotto said.

The Senate adjourned its session December 19, 2020 to go on a month-long break for the Christmas holidays and will resume its session on January 18, 2021.

Data from the Senate-Legislative Bills and Index Service showed that 18th Congress had 1,957 bills and 598 resolutions filed from July 22, 2019 to December 16, 2020.

Of the total measures, the Senate acted on 281 bills and adopted 80 resolutions. The upper chamber worked for the passage of 40 bills into law.

Topping the list of the Senate's accomplishments was the timely passage of the P4.5 trillion 2021 General Appropriations Act. Sen. Sonny Angara, chairman of the Committee on Finance, said the budget for next year focuses on strengthening the government's COVID- 19 response, providing assistance to victims of calamities, and supporting the country's economic recovery, among others.

Early this year, the Senate sought the immediate passage of Bayanihan to Heal As One Act. Upon its enactment in March, Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan Act granted the President additional authority to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

It also passed the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2) as a mitigating measure against the pandemic and worked to extend its validity until June 30, 2021, including the extension of the validity of the unspent funds under the 2020 national budget.

This means that unspent funds for both the Bayanihan 2 and the 2020 national budget would be available next year instead of reverting them to the National Treasury.

Other bills that were enacted into law were R.A. No. 11462 (Postponement of the Barangay/SK Election), R.A. No. 11463 (Malasakit Centers Act), R.A. No. 11466 (Salary Standardization Law of 2019), R.A. No. 11467 (Excise Tax on Alcohol Products), R.A. No. 11468 (National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims), R.A. No. 11470 (National Academy of Sports Act), R.A. No. 11476 (GMRC and Values Education Act), R.A. No. 11479 (Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019), R.A. No. 11480 (Lengthening the School Calendar), as well as bills providing franchises, conversion of roads, creation of engineering districts and upgrading of hospitals.

The Senate also approved on third reading SBN 1357 or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE), a landmark bill which seeks to spur growth of the business sector and drive up investments as well as rationalize and reform the tax incentives being offered by the government, SBN 1931 or the Confirmation of Imperfect Titles, SBN-1927 or the Cash Assistance for Filipino Farmers, SBN 1092 or the Teaching Supplies Allowance Act, SBN 1373 or Prohibiting and Declaring Child Marriage as Illegal, SBN 643 or the Night Shift Differential Pay, among others.

Before it adjourned its session, the Senate had approved on second reading SBN 1945 which seeks to strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering Act, and SBN 1877 or the Extension of Lifeline Rate. (PIA NCR)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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