The most influential member of the LEDAC is Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales

Finally after eight months, the President convened the 111th meeting of the Legislative-Executive Advisory Council (LEDAC), the first under his administration. A total of 23 priority bills excluding Responsible Parenthood and Freedom of Information bills were to be discussed today at the 1st LEDAC meeting . Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago thinks there is no need to hold LEDAC meetings. “I go there and fall asleep with my eyes wide open.”

I cannot help but feel disappointed that two important bills The Reproductive Health Bill and Freedom of Information Bill, were not given priority. They need more time, Malacanang said. Time to study? or more time to delay?

@sagadasun thinks that the most influential member of the LEDAC is Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. After all, the bishops cancelled their dialogue with the President. Still, the RH Bill was not placed as one of the priority bills. This was a campaign promise that brought him votes. He should give a time frame for the RH and FOI Bill.

I would have to agree with The Cusp that the President is playing it safe:

Now that he is president and enjoys heretofore unseen popularity ratings, he can afford to be more circumspect in his policy stance. After failing to reconcile his version of the RH bill with that of the bishops, P-Noy decided to yank it out of today’s announced priority bills following a brief conversation with a retired archbishop. It appears that the religious lobby has won.

Just like a contestant faced with increasing gains, P-Noy has chosen to be more conservative or risk-averse in his decisions. Normally, economists steeped in the neoclassical tradition would say that we are dealing with one person here who ought to have only one set of risk preferences. The president who considers himself an economist proves that that is not the case. He has exhibited different risk preferences in different situations based on his recent gains or losses.

The same type of behavior change is noticeable with respect to the FOI bill. Before he assumed office, candidate Aquino was all for measures that would improve transparency and accountability in government. Now as commander-in-chief he is becoming reticent regarding too much openess. Not even the revelations of corruption during the Garcia plea bargain hearings were enough to convince him that this is what is needed.

Yes, I will constantly remind him of his campaign promises until those bills are in the priority list.

It is not to say that the priority bills are not as important. I like the whistleblowers and money laundering bills which is needed to fight corruption.

The 23 measures are:

1. An act creating the department of housing and urban development (DHUD), defining its mandate, powers and functions, providing funds therefore and for other purposes;

2. An act rationalizing the night work prohibition on women workers, thereby amending articles 130 and 131 of Presidential Decree (PD) 442, as amended, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines;

3. An act enhancing the curriculum and increasing the number of years for basic education, appropriating funds therefore, and for other purposes;

4. An act providing a definite targeting strategy in identifying the poor, amending Republic Act (RA) No. 7875 otherwise known as the National Health Insurance Act of 1995 as amended, and for other purposes;

5. An act reorganizing the National Food Authority into the National Food Corporation and creating the Food Development and Regulatory Administration;

6. An act further amending certain sections of RA 6957, as amended by RA 7718, (authorizing the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure projects by the private sector), appropriating funds for the said purpose, and for other purposes;

7. Amendments to RA 9136 or the “Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001″

8. An act rationalizing the economic regulation of water utilities, creating the Water Regulatory Commission, and for other purposes;

9. An act rationalizing the grant and administration of fiscal incentives for the promotion of investments and growth, and for other purposes;

10. An act instituting a National Land Use Act, providing the implementing mechanisms therefore, and for other purposes;

11. An act to establish the archipelagic sea lanes in the Philippine archipelagic waters, prescribing the rights and obligations of foreign ships and aircrafts exercising the right of archipelagic sea lanes passage through the established archipelagic sea lanes and providing for the associated protective measures therein;

12. An act to define the maritime zones of the Republic of the Philippines;

13. An act to strengthen the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, extending the implementation of the modernization program of the AFP, instituting necessary reforms in the AFP, amending for the purpose certain provisions of RA 7898, otherwise known as the AFP Modernization Act and for other purposes;

14. An act resetting the date of the regular elections for elective officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), synchronizing the ARMM elections with the synchronized national and local elections of 2013, amending for the purpose RA 9333, titled “an act affixing the date for regular elections for elective officials of the ARMM pursuant to RA 9054″, amending RA 6734 (Organic Act of the ARMM);

15. An act penalizing anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant power, and anti-competitive mergers, establishing the Philippine Fair Competition Commission and appropriating funds therefore, and for other purposes;

16. An act strengthening the witness protection, security and benefit program, amending for the purpose RA 6981 otherwise known as the “Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act” and providing additional funds therefore;

17. An act providing for protection, security and benefits of whistle-blowers;

18. An act to provide for the National Defense of the Philippines, penalizing certain violations thereof, appropriating funds therefore, and for other purposes;

19. An act instituting reforms in land administration;

20. An act to promote financial viability and fiscal discipline in government-owned or controlled corporations and to strengthen the role of the state in its governance and management to make them more responsive to the needs of public interest and for other purposes;

21. An act amending certain sections of RA 9184, otherwise known as the “Government Procurement Reform Act”;

22. An act to further strengthen the anti-money laundering law, amending for the purpose RA 9160, otherwise known as the “Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001″, as amended, and for other purposes; and

23. An act defining terrorist financing as a crime and providing penalties therefore

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