The Senate adjourned its session on Wednesday, October 19, to go on a legislative break on the same week it commemorates the institution’s 100th years of service to the Filipino people.
The legislative break, the first in the 17th Congress, will last until the Senate will resume its sessions on November 7, Monday.
Upon resumption, the Senate is expected to turn its attention to the passage of the 2017 General Appropriations Act or the P3.35 trillion national budget for next year.
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III earlier said that he has agreed with House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that Congress will focus and cooperate on passing the 2017 budget before the year ends.
The 2017 GAA, the first national budget under the Duterte administration, is also the largest of its kind in Philippine history.
“We will exert our best efforts to timely conduct our hearings and ensure the early passage of this most important piece of legislation” Pimentel said.
The Senate will also work on its pending priority legislation such as the proposed bill on emergency powers for the traffic crisis, the bill on ending “endo” or labor contractualization, the SIM Card Registration Act, Amendments to the Bank Secrecy Law, and the bill on adjusting the indexation of income tax rates, among others.
The Upper Chamber earlier approved on final reading Senate Bill No. 1112 which seeks to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on October 2016 to October 2017. The measure was sponsored by Senator Sonny Angara and co-sponsored by Senators Leila De Lima, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Alan Peter Cayetano and Joel Villanueva.
Meanwhile, the Senate on Monday formally kicked-off its celebration of the Senate Centennial Anniversary in a series of rites to be led by Pimentel.
Pimentel unveiled the official marker of the 17th Congress after a eucharistic celebration in the Senate building. An exhibition of a marching band and parade was held in the afternoon. A concert featuring “Rivermaya” and fireworks capped the centennial celebration.
The Senate Centennial Anniversary commemorates the full century of the Senate of the Philippines as a democratic institution since it was establishment on October 16, 1916 during the American period.