Saturday, June 1, 2013
Sen. Manny Villar, chairman of the Committee on Trade and Commerce and on Economic Affairs, hails the passage of four bills sponsored by him during the last session days of the 15th Congress.
Voting 12-0, the Senate passed on Third Reading Senate Bill 3311, also known as the Food Safety Act, which improves the “farm to fork” food safety regulatory system.
“There should be clearly stated guidelines to make sure that food is safe before consumption. This bill includes these guidelines and if followed properly, will protect our people against food-borne illnesses,” Villar said.
The bill also brings local food products closer to the people by providing them easier access. It also sets up a system that will boost global competitiveness of these products.
The Senate also approved on Third Reading Senate Bill 3367 or the Toy and Game Safety Labeling Act.
The bill requires the proper labeling of toys to protect children against toy-related injuries or even death. Misbranded toys will be considered as banned hazardous substance and will be withdrawn from the market at the expense of the manufacturer.
Also approved was House Bill 480, which amends Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act. The consolidated bill under Committee Report 444 expands the list of basic necessities under the law to ensure that more goods will be saved from price gouging during calamities.
It puts locally-manufactured noodles and bottled water in the list of basic necessities to protect consumers against undue price increases during calamity, emergency, widespread illegal price manipulation and other similar situations.
Villar said the prevalent public consumption of instant noodles andbottled water has placed it in the ranks of basic necessities such as rice, corn, bread, fish, pork, poultry, beef, etc.
Also passed by the Senate on Second Reading was House Bill 6229 under Committee Report 600, which seeks to put order and cohesion in the current statistical system. This aims to provide timely, accurate and reliable data for the benefit and use of the government and the public.
“Figures and information assist leaders and policymakers in making sound decisions, hence the vital role of statistics. Shifting from a decentralized to centralized statistical system will ultimately address the problem of conflicting and erroneous statistics,” Villar said.
The bill advances the integration of the National Statistics Office, the National Statistics and Coordination Board, Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, and the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics, into a central agency to be created as the Philippine Statistical Authority or PSA.
The primordial responsibility of the PSA is to prepare a Philippine Statistical Development Program in response to the requirements of development planning and policy formulation.
In his stint, Villar was among the senators who filed the most number of bills and resolutions. He was the consistent Top 2 senator with 740 filed legislation in the 14th Congress and 717 legislation during the 15th Congress.
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