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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau



17 January 2022 07:50:54 PM

As it resumed session on Monday, the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco passed on third and final reading several measures aimed at alleviating the lives of Filipinos amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these is House Bill 10541, which would grant tax exemptions and subsidies to the local film and music industries. The proposed “Film and Live Events Recovery Act” was unanimously approved with 195 affirmative votes. It would exempt locally-produced live events and local film productions from amusement tax. The bill would also lower the amusement tax to five percent of the gross receipts from admission fees, as well as suspend the power of local governments to levy the amusement tax for two years. This could still be extended for another two years, subject to the approval of the Department of Finance. House Members likewise unanimously passed with 200 affirnative votes HB 10560, expanding the coverage of the tertiary education subsidy to allow more underprivileged and academically competent Filipino students to study in private higher educational institutions (HEIs). For this matter, the measure would provide for the proportional budgetary allocation in the form of the voucher system for poor and eligible students. Other bills passed were : 1) HB 10555, mandating private HEIs to waive the college entrance exam fees to underprivileged graduating high school students and high school graduates belonging to the top 10 percent of the graduating class applying for college admission.; 2) HB 10561, establishing an enterprise-based education and training program; 3) HB 10568, increasing the discount rate and exempting from VAT the monthly electric and water consumption granted to senior citizens; 4) HB 10569, protecting the right of the people to freedom of religion; 5) HB 10576, defining the rights and fundamental freedoms of human rights defenders, declaring state responsibilities, and instituting effective mechanisms for the protection and promotion of the rights and freedoms; 6) HB 10579, strengthening the field offices of the Commission on Elections by upgrading and creating certain positions; 7) HB 10582, promoting rural financial inclusion and literacy; 8) HB 10610, fixing the validity period of the license to own and possess, registration, and permit to carry firearms outside of residence or place of business; and 9) HBs 10529 and 10530, granting Philippine citizenship to Wenyi Cai and Lipeng Zhang, respectively. Meanwhile, the House ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the disagreeing provisions of HB 10213 and Senate Bill 1382, providing for the development of the electric vehicle industry and establishing a regulatory framework for the manufacture and use of electric vehicles. The hybrid session was presided over by Deputy Speakers Kristine Singson-Meehan and Arnolfo Teves Jr.