Category Archives: Discuss-a-Bill

Proposed Amnesty for Unpaid Estate Taxes

We’ve been consulted on a number of real estate transactions that had to be shelved because of unsettled estate taxes. It’s not because the owners — who inherited the properties — have the intention of evading taxes; it’s just that a lot of people do not know about, or do not give much importance to, the settlement of estate taxes immediately after the death of the original owner. The rule is: if a real estate owner dies, the heirs (spouse, children, etc.) must file the appropriate tax return with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and pay the corresponding estate taxes. Unless the estate tax is paid and the BIR issues a Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR), the Register of Deeds will not allow the transfer of the title to the real estate. The difficiculty of complying with this requirement discourages transactions involving the property, like partition among the heirs and sale of the property itself. There are estate taxes that remain unpaid after decades, with the basic tax, plus interest, penalties and surcharges, potentially exceeding the value of the property. Continue reading

Discuss: Death Penalty Law (House Bill No. 1; Full Text)

[House Bill No. 1 seeks to reimpose the death penalty in the Philippines. As noted in the bill’s explanatory note, the “imposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes and the ode of its implementation, both subjects of repealed laws, are crucial components of an effective dispensation of both reformative and retributive justice.” To aid in the productive discussion of the subject matter, the complete text is reproduced in this post. Discuss using the comment section below.] Continue reading

Discuss: Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility Act (House Bill No. 2; Full Text)

[House Bill No. 2 seeks to amend Republic Act No. 9344, as amended by Republic Act No. 10630, and reverting the minimum age of criminal responsibility from fifteen (15) years old to nine (9) years old. It was filed at the House of Representatives (First Regular Session, 17th Congress); introduced by Cadiz Representative Fredenil H. Castro and co-sponsored by Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon D. Alvarez. To aid in the productive discussion of the subject matter, the complete text is reproduced in this post. Discuss using the comment section below.] Continue reading

PNoy Made a Mistake in Vetoing the P2,000 SSS Monthly Pension Increase?

Congress passed a bill proposing an increase in the monthly Social Security System (SSS) pension by P2,000. President Aquino vetoed the proposed law because, according to him, the increase will result to the bankruptcy of the SSS in the next 11 years. On the other hand, there seems to be nothing erroneous in the statements of Senator Cynthia Villar in her sponsorship speech of Committee Report 213 (incidentally, the speech also addresses the “scary” scenario that the SSS will go bankrupt). Incidentally, there’s another piece of legislation under watch by female employees — the 100-day maternity leave. Full text of the speech reproduced below. Feel free to express your thoughts on the matter through the comment section below. Continue reading

House Bill No. 4994: Bangsamoro Basic Law (complete text)

[For a meaningful and informed discussion on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law, here’s the full text of House Bill No. 4994, reproduced with permission from the Philippine e-Legal Forum. HB 4994 is now considered by the House of Representatives.] Continue reading

Legalize Marijuana in the Philippines?

Marijuana is legal in some US states. In the Philippines, as the law stands today, marijuana is illegal. It is a dangerous drug and the selling/use of marijuana is a criminal offense. Soon it would be completely legal to use marijuana in the Philippines. That is, if Congress passes a proposed bill and President Benigno Aquino signs it into law.   Continue reading

Anti-Selfie Bill or Protection Against Personal Intrusion

News articles label a proposed law as “anti-selfie” bill. The label, however, is not accurate. The proposal currently pending at the House of Representatives does not prohibit selfies per se — it declares illegal the act of taking photos, among others, of other people for commercial purposes. But it can seriously collide with ubiquitous recording technology and can adversely affect growing sectors like citizen journalism, blogging and online social networks. It is, therefore, important to understand what others call the “anti-selfie” bill and what it seeks to prevent. Read the full text below and help us discuss the pros and cons of this proposed law (use the comment section below). Continue reading

Discuss the Bus Drivers and Conductors Compensation Act (HB 3370)

In response to the increasing incidents of road accidents involving buses, House Bill No. 3370 was filed in Congress. It provides, among others, for a maximum 8 hours of work and a compulsory monthly salary for bus drivers and conductors. This is in lieu of the existing commission basis. Continue reading

Protecting the Whistleblowers

Government officials and employees, including the President himself, acknowledge that graft and corruption is rampant in government. “Graft and corruption become very prevalent in the country making the Philippines as one of the most corrupt countries in Asia.” This acknowledgment is contained in Senate Bill 1063, filed by Senator Manny Villar, proposing a “Whistleblower Act of 2010”. Graft and corruption, according to the Villar Bill, “will be lessened if not eradicated”. Continue reading