House to focus on security, economy

THE HOUSE of Representatives will focus on bills that aim to strengthen national security and spur economic development, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said on Tuesday, ahead of the resumption of sessions in Congress next week.

“Our legislative focus… [are] on the dual imperatives of national security and robust development,” Mr. Romualdez said in a statement. “Peace is the cornerstone of prosperity, we aim to enact laws that fortify our national de-fense and enhance our international security posture.”

Passing House bills that strengthen the country’s security is critical to maintaining “sovereignty and stability” amid foreign, external threats, he said.

Strengthening peace and security is key to creating an environment capable of spurring economic growth, he added, explaining the need to prioritize security and economic bills.

“These, in turn, contribute to further stabilizing our nation by reducing poverty, creating jobs… which in turn diminishes the likelihood of social unrest,” he said.

The House is also looking to deliberate bills that could expand access to public healthcare for Filipinos. “We are committed to expanding access and… making healthcare affordable and accessible.”

Bills seeking to enhance the digital infrastructure of the country are also a priority, he said.

While the House already passed a measure seeking to open public utilities, schools, and advertising to foreigners, Mr. Romualdez said they also passed “more dynamic economic policies” that are geared towards attracting more foreign investment.

“We enacted pivotal tax reform designed… (to) simplify the tax code, encouraging investment,” he said. “These measures have laid the groundwork for a more robust economic framework, attracting foreign investments and stimulating local entrepreneurship.” — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio