SENATOR JINGGOY EJERCITO ESTRADA PRIORITY BILLS THIS YEAR
When Senate resumes its regular sessions on January 23, I’m hoping that Senate Bill No. 1480 which seeks to upgrade the 28-year-old disability pension of disabled veterans will finally make headway in the current 19th Congress. The measly amount of P1,000 to P1,700 monthly pension for military veterans and their dependents under the existing provisions of RA 6948 is contemptible given the high cost of living today. Several attempts were made in previous Congresses to pass this bill but for some reason, it failed to breeze through. This time, however, I’m optimistic that this measure will gain the support of my colleagues in both Houses and correct the grave injustice to our disabled veterans by providing them the dignity, respect, and care that they truly deserve. Following my sponsorship of the bill last November 22, it is now in the period of interpellation in the Senate and I’m hoping to steer its approval before we adjourn sine die.
Under my stewardship, the Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development will seek to institute policies that will lead to the development of competent caregivers in the country and ensure their decent employment in which they will be protected from abuse, harassment, violence, and economic exploitation. I filed a bill similar to Senate Bill 1440 (proposed Caregivers Welfare Act) during the 16th Congress and this time around, I’m confident that we will be able to pass this into law which is rather significant as there has been a considerable rise in the demand for home-based caregivers in the country in 2021 due to COVID-19.
Ang mga caregivers, kagaya rin ng ating mga kasambahay, ay malaki ang kontribusyon sa araw-araw nating pamumuhay dahil hindi lamang ang kanilang hindi matatawarang kaalaman at kakayahan ang kanilang ibinabahagi sa kanilang pagseserbisyo. Buong puso rin ang kanilang paglilingkod sa ating mga mahal sa buhay. Kaya’t nararapat lamang na bigyan sila ang karampatang pagpapahalaga at proteksyon laban sa mga pang-aabuso.
I have already started the public hearing on the proposed Reservist Employment Act or Senate Bill No. 1228 under the labor committee. The proposed measure intends to provide the same level of protection and support to our reserve force in recognition of their important contribution to nation-building and in honor of their selflessness in offering their precious time, skills, and service to the country. They provide the base for the expansion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the event of war, invasion, or rebellion and also assist in relief and rescue during disasters or calamities.
Last December 6, I filed Senate Bill No. 1601, or the proposed Act Further Strengthening Professionalism and Promoting the Continuity of Policies and Modernization Initiatives in the AFP. The measure seeks to limit the three-year fixed term for AFP officials. The lower house version had been approved on third and final reading and I expect this to be taken up by the Senate as well as it had been certified as urgent by the President last December 9,
In the weeks ahead, I will seek the convening of the Congressional Oversight Committee on the AFP Modernization Act to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the status of our defense force’s modernization program. As Chairperson of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification, and Reconciliation it is my duty to oversee the implementation of the law, whether it is aligned to the current needs and situation, and ensure the sufficient capability of the military.#