Monday, September 15, 2014
MANILA-The Bangsamoro Basic Law draft is drawing a strong bipartisan support in the Senate, according to Senate President Franklin M. Drilon, with more than half of the senators including the four members of the minority group signing as co-authors of the bill.
“The BBL draft is getting broad support from both parties in the Senate. The minority bloc led by acting minority leader, Senator Vicento Sotto III signed as co-authors of the proposed measure,” said Drilon.
The BBL draft will be filed today. It will then be referred to the Senate Committee on Local Governance headed by Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the Senate Committee on Peace, Unification and Reconciliation chaired by Senator Teofisto Guingona III.
Drilon welcomed the minority bloc's acknowledgement of the BBL as a crucial instrument of peace and progress: "It only shows that the desire of peace knows no political color.”
"It is good to know that the majority of the senators support the quest for peace. The concept of having a new organic act that will establish the new Bangsamoro political entity seems acceptable to them,” said Drilon.
“With more people working on the BBL, we can better scrutinize every detail of the bill and ensure that every single word in the proposed measures will be reviewed, examined and debated upon,” underscored Drilon.
The Senate leader thus encouraged his colleagues to take an active role in the crafting of the BBL and devote time and effort to scrutinize the bill.
“We cannot afford to err on this most-sought piece of legislation. Our people won’t forgive us if we fail to pass it on time. It is therefore incumbent upon us to make sure that the efforts exerted by both panels will not be put in vain, by ensuring that the BBL we will debate upon will be in accordance with the Constitution and can withstand judicial scrutiny,” he emphasized.
Aside from Sotto and the minority bloc senators Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito and Gregorio Honasan, the other lawmakers who signed as co-authors include Senate Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Majority Leader Allan Peter Cayetano, Sen. Loren Legarda, Sen. Guingona, Sen. Francis Escudero, Se. Bam Aquino, Sen. Sonny Angara, and Sen. Pia Cayetano.
Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, the Vice Presidential spokesperson for political concerns, said that Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has decided to postpone his live address on issues raised in recent Senate hearings and instead see to the needs of the victims of typhoon Luis in Cagayan and Isabela.
“There will be an appropriate time to address the issues raised during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing. The Vice President believes the needs of the typhoon victims are immediate and should be attended to,” Remulla said.
“Work continues for the Vice President amidst accusations against him and his family. Right now, his priority is the welfare of the people of Cagayan and Isabela who are suffering from the onslaught of typhoon Luis,” he added.
The Vice President is now in Cagayan to personally assess the damage caused by the typhoon. He is currently in Peñablanca and will proceed to Iguig, Amulong and Alcala.
Binay is also expected to extend help to typhoon survivors in Isabela, his home province.
The Senate today approved on third and final reading a bill which seeks to regulate and modernize the practice of chemistry in the Philippines.
Sen. Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV, author and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 914, also known as the Chemistry Profession Act of 2014, said that the existing Republic Act 754 which was enacted in 1952 needed to be reformulated in order to make the law more responsive to the recent developments in Science and Technology.
Trillanes said that during the 15th Congress, the bill was passed on final reading in the House of Representatives but had not been approved in the Senate due to time constraint.
“Significant changes brought about by the rapid developments in chemistry, science and technology, the rise of international standards, global competition, as well as concerns for the environment, climate change and sustainable development necessitate changes in the chemistry law so that it wil1 be more responsive to these modern developments,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes said the bill also aimed to update the definition of chemistry and the scope of its professional practice, rationalize the relationship between chemistry and its allied professions and bring the practice of chemistry in line with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Modernization Act of 2000 (RA 8981), as well as national concerns related chemistry, such as toxic and hazardous and nuclear waste Act (RA 6969) and dangerous drugs Act (RA 9165).
He said the bill called for the creation of the Professional Regulatory Board of Chemistry which will supervise and regulate the practice of the chemistry profession in the Philippines. The board shall also determine the requirements and evaluate the qualifications of the applicants for registration and renewal of license of registered chemists and registered chemical technicians.
Under the proposed legislation, the board shall be composed of a chairperson and two members under the administrative control and supervision of the PRC to be referred to as the Commission. Members of the board shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines.
Trillanes said that a person who wished to practice chemistry and chemical analysis must obtain a certificate of registration and pass the licensure examination given by the Professional Regulatory Board of Chemistry.
“Chemistry plays an important role in every aspect of life -from scientific or academic endeavor to its application in everyday life. Without the proper regulation of its application and practice, it has the potential to become a threat to the safety of the public,” Trillanes said. (Olive Caunan)