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Legislative Wish List July 23, 2007

Posted by Janjan in All, Armchair Politics, Legally Opinionated and Jurisprudent.

I hereby append my concurring opinion to Atty. Jaime Soriano’s manifesto:

Legislative wish list

Tomorrow, the Fourteenth Congress of the Philippines begins its regular session with the State of the Nation address of the President.

Thereafter, both the Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to pass legislations that would address the pressing needs of the country or perhaps improve the lives of the Filipino people.

Hopefully in the next three years of the Fourteenth Congress, it enacts legislative measures along these lines:

1. A enabling law that would finally define, prohibit and dismantle political dynasties in the country’s political environment as mandated by the Constitution.

2. A law that would strengthen political parties by prohibiting and punishing political turncoats, granting state subsidy and funding of major political blocks, and assuring transparency in electoral campaign spending and contribution.

3. A law that would at least lessen, if not eliminate, red tape in government particularly in the delivery of frontline public services whereby the general public availing of the services of government is treated as kings and queens by the bureaucracy.

4. A law that would define the appropriate land use classification of every piece of the country’s territory taking into account local and regional profiles and settings and make land as a real engine for economic growth.

5. A law that would impose heavy taxation on idle lands to serve the ends of the economy, the environment and social justice. When land is unproductive, its economic and environmental functions are stifled. What is worse is when landowners derive undue profits from their idle possessions through sheer speculative activities.

6. A law that would grant the Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on Audit quasi-judicial powers or even the authority to prosecute all cases involving government officials and employees that violate laws within their ambit.

7. A law that would exempt from income taxation employees earning below the yearly poverty threshold as determined by the National Economic and Development Authority, and not merely based on existing minimum wage structures as proposed, and lift taxes or prohibit imposition of charges on small time deposits and investments.

8. A law that would ensure prosecution of tax cheats by prohibiting taxpayers from entering into a compromise with the Bureau of Internal Revenue or the Bureau of Customs after deliberately evading the payment of taxes or duties.

9. A law that would automatically give scholarship to any or all students who demonstrated excellent academic performance in any school of their choice within the Philippines, private or public.

10. A law that would support, finance, subsidize, or give incentives to Filipino inventors and their inventions.

Of course, this list can go on and on as if there is a shortage of laws in this country. But the truth is there are tens of thousand of law in the country’s statute books. Many of them are in fact good laws which have long been forgotten or rarely being implemented.

Keen political observers in fact would often say that this country does not need more laws. What it needs is the difficult task of better and more effective means of demanding obedience to existing laws.

Perhaps, one of the important­ things that this present Congress should also do is to take an inventory of all the laws of the Republic and start proceeding with the tedious task of codifying them for better implementation.

What Greek philosopher Arcesilaus observed as early as before the birth of Christ, when he said: “Where you find the laws most numerous, there you will find also the greatest injustice” should also provoke the thoughts of Filipino solons.

It is hoped that the people of this beautiful country still finds sense in the existence of Congress.



1. The Unlawyer » The 14th Philippine Congress Opens Today - July 23, 2007

[…] The Magnificent Atty. Perez has his own legislative wish list to present to the members of the 14th Congress. Elsewhere, The Composed Gentleman says the President may emphasize some points she raised at last year’s SONA: “What about the super regions that have to be developed in North Luzon, Metro Luzon, Central Philippines and Mindanao? Arroyo will again emphasize how these super regions will advance economic and market potentials beyond what each region can bring about. […]

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