On the first week of ANGKLA Representative Jesulito A. Manalo’s assumption of office for his second congressional term, ten (10) proposed measures of ANGKLA were immediately filed. They are a composite of bills for the benefit of the maritime industry as well as the other equally significant members of society.
The list of ANGKLA’s first 10 bills and a synopsis of each are provided below:
1. HB 456 – The Maritime Safety, Security and Prevention of Ship-Sourced Pollution Act of the Philippines – ensures full and effective implementation and enforcement of several International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued conventions to promote maritime safety and security.
2. HB 457 – The Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers - safeguards the fundamental labor rights and privileges of Filipino seafarers employed on-board international and domestic fleets, by fortifying the implementation of the strict standards set by the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) of 2006.
3. HB 458 – Amending Section 84 of RA 8424 (NIRC) (re Estate tax rate) – proposes the imposition of a fair rate of estate tax against the current high estate tax rate, to avoid incidents of tax avoidance of the estate tax and ensure the heirs of decedents are able to still enjoy a good portion of their inheritance.
4. HB 459 – Anti-Colorum Act – enforces a stricter and more effective mechanism for the issuance of certificates of public convenience, including penal provisions against abusive owners and operators of public transport to promote absolute road safety for the riding public.
5. HB 460 – Amending Section 22 of RA 9295 or the Domestic Shipping Development Act of 2004 (on Local Classification Society) – espouses the adoption of a single classification society for domestic vessels to assist MARINA in implementing a rigid maritime safety system in the classification and inspection of our domestic vessels.
6. HB 1025 – The Public Land Transportation Industry Modernization Act – modernizes public land transport system, through the creation of a stronger and more proficient LTFRB.
7. HB 1026 – Amending Section 99 of RA 8424 (NIRC) (re Donor’s Tax) – proposes the imposition of a reasonable rate of donor’s tax against the current high tax rate to encourage a fair distribution of wealth and somehow help bridge the prevailing problem of economic inequality.
8. HB 1027 – Amending Section 7 of RA 7471 re Philippine Overseas Shipping - promotes the development of Philippine shipping, encouraging its improvement and expansion through fiscal incentives.
9. HB 1028 – OFW Dependents Educational Scholarship Act of 2016 – establishes an educational scholarship program for the immediate dependents of sea-based and land-based OFWs, who died or suffered total and permanent disabilities while working abroad.
10. HB 1029 – Philippine Ship Registry System Act – organizes a comprehensive and orderly ship registry system, to strengthen our country as a maritime nation, with the proposed provisions of providing simplified system and good tax incentives, to encourage more ships to register under our flag.
More House Bills will be passed by ANGKLA in the next coming days. Surely, once session commences on 25 July 2016, this sole maritime party of the country, through Rep. Manalo, is ready and eager to get back to work towards pushing for the passage of as many of its proposed significant measures into laws.