Congress resumes session today. From the tone set by Secretary Carandang of the Presidential Communications and Development Strategic Planning Office, the Palace will ask Congress to focus on 32 bills. The proposed measures include fiscal responsibility, rationalization of fiscal incentives, amendment to the procurement law, national land use and whistle blower bills.
For the longest time, people have been uneasy with the slow pace of the administration’s legislative agenda. In the first six months of office, the Administration focused on the general appropriations law.
What do these priority bills tell us? The priority bills point to structural changes in how the government works, and follows through on the agenda laid down by Aquino during his campaign. To follow his campaign metaphor, Aquino is patching up the house, fixing or improving the existing structure. To follow the software metaphor, it is an upgrade, a patch— not a new version.
The details of course have not been revealed. A reconvening of the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council is also a welcome sign. The Administration will be working with Congress to set the work agenda, and finalize which of these bills get top billing.
It isn’t sexy, and in fact quite boring. The list too isn’t final until LEDAC meets, but what is certain is that Aquino is now pushing for a legislative agenda, and the wheels of government turn once more.
Photo credit: Malacañang Photo Bureau