DURING the time of House Speaker Jose de Venecia in Congress, he used to reserve low-numbered House Bills No. 1 to 10 for himself, although he has not decided yet on what bills to file corresponding to these priority numbers.
It is the same in the 19th Congress, where Leyte First District Rep. Martin Romualdez, a cousin of the sitting President, has filed House Bill No. 1. Co-filers are Tingog Partylist Reps. Yedda Romualdez and Jude Acidre, and presidential son Ilocos Norte First District Rep. Sandro Marcos.
House Bill No. 1 is entitled "Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery or Guide Act.” The proposed law aims to help President Bongbong Marcos achieve his dream for a robust, efficient MSME sector (micro, small and medium enterprises).
Specifically, the measure mandates public financial institutions, such as Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines, to expand their loan programs for MSMEs especially those most affected by the pandemic. If the big businesses were negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, I suppose the smaller businesses even suffered a lot more.
According to Joey Concepcion, an expert on business entrepreneurship, PBBM recognizes that micro, small, medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are crucial in the nation's economy as they comprise 99 percent of all business establishments in the country and generate 62.6 percent of jobs for Filipinos.
There is a valid reason for Marcos to prioritize agriculture and food security in the first few months of this administration. High inflation and dwindling supply of food should be top priority issues in any administration, and PBBM is on the right track to train the government's focus on these.
Also in the list of Marcos' priorities are economic recovery from the pandemic, public health, energy supply, jobs and reduction of poverty.
Details of what the government will do along these lines are contained in the "comprehensive, all-inclusive plan for economic transformation" but what we are informed so far are the ambitious percentages of economic growth targets given by Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno. Without concrete plans on how to achieve these ambitious goals, the people will be at a loss on how to digest these economic gobbledygook.