NEDA bills tackled by House committee Tuesday

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THE House Committee on Economic Affairs will tackle on Tuesday the bills expanding the independence of National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

House Bills 8124 and 8189, authored by Deputy Speaker Arthur C. Yap of the third district of Bohol and Rep. Weslie T. Gatchalian of the first district of Valenzuela City, seek to institutionalize NEDA as a “new and truly independent department.”

The bills will also “enhance decentralization and strengthen the autonomy of units within the various regions of the country to accelerate their economic and social growth and development,” the legislators stated in the explanatory notes.

At present, NEDA operates under Executive Order 230, series of 1987, implemented by President Corazon C. Aquino.

The proposed measures will reorganize the National Economic Development Board (NEDB) to include the President, the secretaries of NEDA, Finance, Budget and Management, Interior and Local Government, Trade and Industry, Public Works and Highways and the Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

The Board, as reconstituted by Administrative Order No. 8, series of 2017, currently also includes as members the Executive Secretary, Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries of Energy, Transportation, and the chair of the Mindanao Development Authority.

Both versions will also constitute new inter-agency committees that will function as the primary advisory bodies to the NEDB.

This shall include the Economic Development Committee (EDC), Science, Technology and Innovation Committee (STIC), Environment and Sustainable Development Committee (ESDC), and Governance Committee (GC).

This is in addition to existing committees under NEDA, such as the Department Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), Infrastructure Committee (InfraCom), Investment Coordination Committee (ICC), Social Development Committee (SDC), Committee on Tariff and Related Matters (CTRM), Regional Development Committee (RDCom), and National Land Use Committee (NLUC). — Charmaine A. Tadalan