MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte voiced with optimism on Thursday that Congress would heed his appeal to enact his administration’s remaining priority measures.
Duterte said in a statement at Malacañang Palace that his administration’s primary initiatives would bring the country “real” improvements.
The government’s priority bills, according to Duterte, are Packages 3 and 4 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program, as well as modifications to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, the Foreign Investments Act, and the Public Service Act.
“I would like to emphasize the need for fruitful collaboration [with both] Houses of Congress to ensure the passage of the remaining priority legislation of this administration,” he remarked during the ceremonial signing of 16 legislative bills into law. “The Filipino people eagerly await these genuine reforms, and may these laws come to fruition soon.”
Duterte made the request while commending senators and congressmen for working together to approve 16 legislative measures aimed at improving the quality of life for all Filipinos.
Thirteen of the 16 laws signed by Duterte seek to establish new public hospitals and expand the bed capacities of existing hospitals throughout the country.
“The signing of these 16 laws today is a testament to the cooperation between Congress and this administration in providing our people with equitable and sustainable service, especially in the areas of quality healthcare and education,” Duterte said.
Discussing the predicament of medical front-liners
Duterte stated that implementing the health-related measures would improve the country’s medical system in the face of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
He said that the development of additional public hospitals would produce good medical services more accessible to Filipinos, particularly those living in remote areas.
He went on to say that extending the bed capacity of existing public hospitals would add to the country’s inventory of “much-needed” hospital beds as it fights Covid-19.
Duterte guaranteed medical workers that the government would enforce newly adopted and existing healthcare legislation to ensure that the Covid-19 response efforts are “inclusive and seamless.”
“As we pass these health-related bills into law, let me assure our dedicated medical front-liners [that] this administration cares about your plight and we continue to work with Congress to equip you with proper and functional medical supplies and logistics,” Duterte said.
‘Healthy, productive’ nation
Duterte also sought public trust and cooperation in pursuit of a “harmonious, organized, and progressive society backed by active, responsible, and law-abiding individuals.”
He further said that the joint efforts of government agencies will result in a “healthy and productive” country.
“Let me assure our kababayans (countrymen) that this administration will continue forging people-centered policies geared towards sustainable development,” he said.