June 19, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Bills on self-reliant defense posture program, chemical weapons prohibition hurdle 3rd reading

VOTING 194-3, the House of Representatives (HRep) under the leadership of Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez approved on third and final reading House Bill (HB) 9713, or the proposed “Philippine Self-Reliant Defense Posture Program Act,” a Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) priority measure. 

The bill seeks to strengthen the development of the country’s national defense industry by aiming for self-reliance in defense materiel manufacturing and related services. It provides that enterprises engaged or proposing to engage in the manufacture, servicing, and operations of materiel for the government may be registered with the Board of Investments and avail of incentives. 

If enacted into law, financial products from government financial institutions would accelerate the industry’s development. The government would also assist in promoting the export of domestically-made materiel in local markets and abroad by providing financial and marketing assistance. 

The HRep also unanimously approved on third and final reading HB 9571, or the proposed “Chemical Weapons Prohibition Act,” with 197 affirmative votes. 

Authored by House Committee on Public Order and Safety chairperson and Santa Rosa City Rep. Dan Fernandez, Antipolo City Rep. Romeo Acop and PATROL Party-list Rep. Jorge Bustos, among others, the bill prohibits developing, manufacturing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling, or maintaining any chemical weapon, as well as engaging in any other acts prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), to which the country is a state party. 

HB 9571 would designate the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) as the Philippine National Authority on the CWC. 

In addition, foreign nationals, government officials and employees, and officers of partnerships, corporations, associations, and other legal entities who violate any of the bill’s criminal or administrative provisions would be subject to penalties and sanctions. 

Deputy Speakers Antonio “Tonypet” Albano and Yasser Alonto Balindong presided over Tuesday’s plenary session.