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President hopes swift passage of key measures

The proposed 2020 national budget, tax and trade reforms, and return of the death penalty are among the administration measures President Duterte hopes the 18th Congress will swiftly pass.

Other measures seeking to create a Department of Disaster Resilience as well as another department for  overseas Filipino workers will also be part of the President’s legislative proposal to the next Congress, according to presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo.

“Our priority is to provide a comfortable life for Filipinos,” Panelo said ahead of the President’s fourth State-of-the-Nation Address today.

In seeking the passage of the proposed 2020 national budget, Panelo said the government hopes there will be no repeat of the reenacted budget early this year.

The Department of Budget and Management had earlier announced that it intends to submit the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 not later than the second week of August.

“We have experienced the impact of a reenacted budget as a result of a budget impasse and we hope that this would not happen again,” Panelo said.

“The welfare of the Filipino people is our utmost priority and therefore we call on the members of the Congress to act immediately so that government services will not be hampered,” he said.

Panelo also urged Congress to support the proposed revival of the death penalty in a bid to deter heinous crimes. He said the President, who has waged a relentless campaign against illegal drugs and criminality, has been pushing for capital punishment since Day One in office.

“We have seem a decline on crime volume since 2016 but  passage of the death penalty bill will hopeful effect real change and ultimate decrease if not alleviate heinous crimes,” he said.

“We hope that our allies in Congress would consider this piece of legislation as it would provide a safer and more secure environment for all,” he added. (Genalyn Kabiling)