Senate, House Committees on Trade Seal Cooperation

The chairmen of the Senate and House Committees on Trade and Commerce have agreed to synchronize their respective legislative agenda, to hasten the passage of important measures that will help boost the economy.

In a meeting, Senator Bam Aquino and Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar agreed to pursue the same direction and fast-track the approval of measures that will help create jobs; boost micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs); and strengthen the government’s push for inclusive growth.

This marks the first time in the history of the two committees that their chairmen have agreed to harmonize their respective legislative agenda to speed up the passage of crucial bills into law.

“It is important for the two committees to pursue the same direction so that we can hasten the passage of bills that will support the MSME sector and open job opportunities,” Sen. Aquino said.

If these crucial bills will be enacted into law, the senator said it will be easier for the government to pursue its inclusive growth advocacy and make the country’s economic growth felt by every Filipino.

The two lawmakers forged the alliance after both saw the need for legislative measures to boost the economy and create additional jobs.

However, they both expressed concern that these bills will not gain ground and gather dust at the committee level.

“Now that the House and Senate have one legislative agenda in terms of trade and commerce, these important bills have a strong chance to be passed into law at the soonest possible time,” Aquino said.

Among the measures that will be prioritized by the two committees are the Go Negosyo Bill, the Fair Competition Bill, the Coastwise Trade Bill, the Exact Change Bill, and the Lemon Law Bill.

The two committees are also planning to pursue amendments in the Consumer Act and Price Act, where it was proposed that construction materials be put under price control during calamities.

The two lawmakers are also planning to conduct a joint oversight committee hearing regarding the challenges of financing small businesses.

Aquino and Villar both have extensive background in business before joining politics. Sen. Aquino is a multi-award-winning social entrepreneur, while Rep. Villar is the son of former senator Manny Villar and present senator Cynthia Villar, who are known as entrepreneurs.

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