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Filing of bills under way

Efforts to lower income tax rates, revive the death penalty, institutionalize the Conditional Cash Transfer program, grant a P2,000 across-the-board increase in the monthly pension of Social Security System members, and amend the 1987 Constitution to pave way for federalism gained ground at the House of Representatives as filing of priority bills started yesterday.

Incoming House Speaker and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez led House members of the 17th Congress in filing their priority measures.

As a matter of courtesy, the House Bills and Index Service gave the first 10 slots for Alvarez and the next five slots for outgoing House Speaker R. Feliciano Belmonte Jr., who is expected to lead the House opposition bloc, according to Alfredo Recella, who heads the Legislative Calendaring Group of Bills and Index Service.

Alvarez sought to change the form of government from republican to federalism by amending the 1987 Constitution.

He also pushed for the passage of measures seeking to reimpose the death penalty to address the snowballing drug-related crimes in the country and to amend the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act to restore the minimum age of criminal responsibility to nine.

Belmonte is the principal author of the resolution seeking to amend the antiquidated economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution. (CHARISSA M. LUCI)