Belmonte stresses a need to re-focus on economic gains

and opportunities for continued development
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. said today that Congress is ready to welcome
President Benigno Aquino III or his State!o!the "ation Address #S$"A% &eore the 'oint
session o the ()
Congress on *onday, July +,.
Physical and other related preparations are in ull swing or this constitutional e-ent
in the nation.s political lie, during which the President will deli-er his report to the
Filipino people on issues o national concern, according to Belmonte.
/he Speaker made his rounds 0ednesday and has &een on top o preparations,
while assuring the people that his leadership in the 1ouse will not &acktrack on its
legislati-e priorities in the wake o current contro-ersies which he descri&ed were 2part o
the pain we must endure in instituting genuine reorms in the pursuit o transparency, good
go-ernance and all!inclusi-e growth3.
Corollary to the President.s S$"A message, Belmonte underscored the -itality o
local go-ernments. acti-e participation and role in national de-elopment.
/he 1ouse leader stressed the need or e-ery Filipino to 2ha-e a sense o urgency in
taking ad-antage o the opportunities that &eckon on us today3 rather than dwell on
missed opportunities o the past.
Belmonte stressed the need to re!ocus on gains and urther de-elop all our
resources. 1e said creati-ity and inno-ation implemented at the national and local
go-ernment le-els should 2catalyse the pro-ision o &etter ser-ices to the Filipino people
and achie-e an all!inclusi-e growth.3
2/he attainment o all!inclusi-e growth remains a challenge or us all,3 he declared,
adding that &ased on the latest orecasts, the nation will continue to e4pect a &uoyant
economy in the wake o recent natural calamities.
Barely a week &eore the opening o the second regular session o the ()
the Speaker came up with a doa&le list o legislati-e priorities touching on -ital realms o
economic de-elopment, in-estments and inance, inrastructure, education and human
de-elopment and good go-ernance, among others.
Aside rom his personal ad-ocacy to amend the restricti-e economic pro-isions in
the Constitution as key to ma4imi5e the inlu4 o direct oreign in-estments in the country,
the Speaker also re-ealed a &rieer on a package o reorms that the 1ouse is working on.
NR # 3540C
JULY 27, 2014
2/his reorm package is intended to impro-e the &usiness climate, create 'o&s,
reduce po-erty, and oster transparency and accounta&ility, all rom the perspecti-e o our
'ourney towards inclusi-e growth,3 he stressed.
/he &rie list includes6 a% measures to strengthen and enhance the unctions o the
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas7 +% up!dating the /ari and Customs Code to acilitate and
cur& a&uses and corruption in the Bureau o Customs7 8% /he proposed amendments to the
Foreign In-estment Act to acilitate the lowering o minimum paid!in capital or oreign
equity, and remo-ing di-estiture requirements or oreign in-estors7 9% pursue a
Competition Policy to complement ongoing market!oriented reorms and institutionali5e
an eecti-e domestic competition regime at all industry le-els.
2At the same time, we shall rationali5e and promote transparency in the grant o
iscal incenti-es, ocusing on the o&'ecti-e o trade acilitation and in-estment promotion
without pre'udice to iscal prudence,3 the Speaker added.
1e, likewise reiterated his commitment to pass the proposed Freedom o
Inormation Act to 2oster greater transparency and accounta&ility in the go-ernment.3
:elati-e to inrastructure de-elopment, Belmonte assured that, together with their
senate counterparts, 2we intend to pursue urther reorms that will impro-e the state o
inrastructure in the country, including the cost and adequacy o power and water, as well
as transportation and logistics.3
Inrastructure!related policy reorms include6 (% proposed amendments to the B$/
;aw to acilitate greater in-ol-ement and participation o the pri-ate sector in meeting
inra requirements7 +% re-iew and study on possi&le amendment to the Ca&otage ;aw to
li&erali5e transhipment ser-ices7 8% a re-iew o the <PI:A to= determine what
amendments are necessary to truly achie-e a sta&le, relia&le, aorda&le and transparent
power supply market.
In the area o equita&le and sustaina&le water management system, Belmonte said
the 1ouse will pursue the measure strengthening the regulation o water utilities through
the "ational 0ater :esources Board, ena&ling it to work &etter towards the de-elopment,
conser-ation and protection o water resources.
And nota&ly, as what happened in pre-ious years, the 1ouse is committed to
passing the >eneral Appropriations Bill on time 2to acilitate the time roll!out o programs
and pro'ects o the go-ernment3 Belmonte assured. #8=% dpt