By Wilnard Bacelonia

Senate President Francis Escudero (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)

MANILA – The Senate is now consolidating the status of bills being prioritized by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. even during the sine die break, according to Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

In an interview with ANC on Monday, Escudero said they are also checking the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) bills, including priorities of the Senate and its individual members, and the priorities of the House of Representatives, which they are targeting to pass before the year ends and the campaign season for the 2025 mid-term elections begins.

“We’re trying to consolidate during the recess the status of those bills, the priorities of the Senate as an institution, the priorities of the members individually, and when I meet with Speaker (Martin) Romualdez, I’ll ask him about the priorities of the House as well and the priorities of the individual members of the Congress before we adjourn because we will have a year left and campaign season will start in October,” Escudero said.

“So, I would like to put them all together and come up with a Senate Agenda and hopefully present it before the public.”

Escudero said the Senate has so far approved roughly half of the 20 LEDAC priority measures, but highlighted the need to prioritize the proposed amendments to the Republic Act (RA) No. 11534 or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act as a top priority.

“A priority among the LEDAC measures I believe would be anything that has got to do with the economy and on top of that list would be the CREATE Law – the one that seeks to provide and rationalize fiscal incentives – which businessmen from all walks of life have been waiting for. And that’s something the President has been expecting to offer during his foreign travels and trips, so there’s something that he can offer foreign investors to be attracted once again to our country,” he said.

“This not only an administration’s priority. This is a priority for our economy, actually,” he added.

Escudero said Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is now “on top of it” as chairperson of the Ways and Means panel.

The new Senate President also cited as priorities the proposed revisions to the RA 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law, and the revival of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

Escudero assured there will be no “half-baked” legislations under his watch and all proposed measures will all “go through the process of the legislative mill and answer all possible concerns of various sectors before being passed, instead of passing a faulty or defective piece of legislation.” (PNA)