The Senate is expected to approve at least four key priority measures of the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) days before the 19th Congress adjourns next week.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, in a statement, said the priority measures are the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act, the Regional Specialty Centers Act, and the Maharlika Investment Fund Act, which has been certified as urgent by Malacañang.

Apart from the said priority bills, the Estate Tax Amnesty Act is also set to be approved on third reading, Zubiri said.

“With the Senate being composed of twenty-four republics, we have to hear everyone’s perspectives out, toward the betterment of our measures. Thankfully, we have all developed a great working relationship with one another, and we have been able to give due time for everyone to carefully debate and deliberate on all the measures that go through our committees and the plenary,” the Senate President said.

Congress is set to adjourn sine die on June 2, 2023.

Zubiri said that if four of the priority bills were signed into law, the First Regular Session would have produced seven priority measures of the administration, including the SIM Registration, the Act Postponing the Barangay Elections, and the AFP Fixed Term Law, which have already been passed into law.

A fourth measure that seeks to condone unpaid loans and their penalties obtained by agrarian reform beneficiaries is still waiting for the President’s signature.

Earlier, the House of Representatives approved 31 of 42 priority bills, including the four that were also passed by the Upper Chamber.

Of the House-approved measures, 27 are still lending with the Senate.

For his part, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte expressed optimism that senators will support the passage of a bill lowering the optional retirement age for government personnel from 60 years to 56 years.

Villafuerte was referring to House Bill No. 206 that was approved on third and final reading at the Lower House in January.

The bill, a consolidation of 13 related measures, makes retirement compulsory at 65 years.