By Butch Fernandez, February 5, 2020; Business Mirror

http://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/02/05/senators-mull-over-shift-from-neda-board-to-council/

The Senate started committee consideration on Tuesday of two related bills separately filed by Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Imee Marcos to convert the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) into a council “to be headed by the President.”

Gatchalian, chairman of the Committee on Economic Affairs, was earlier tasked to conduct hearings on Senate Bill 169, which he authored, and Senate Bill 1256 filed by Marcos, which have similar titles.

SB 169 carries the title “An Act institutionalizing the National Economic and Development Authority as the independent economic and planning agency of the Philippine government, defining its functions and amending Executive Order No. 230 series of 1987, as amended, appropriating funds therefor,and for other purposes.”

SB 1256 was titled, “An Act institutionalizing the National Economic and Development Authority as the independent economic and planning agency of the Philippine government, defining its functions and amending Executive Order No. 230, series of 1987, as amended, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purposes.”

The two bills were referred to the Economic Affairs Committee for public hearings to be presided by Gatchalian, who said they are looking to submit a consolidated version for plenary consideration “before we adjourn on March 18.”

“Repaso at refining na lang [We just need to review and refine it],” Gatchalian told BusinessMirror.

As proposed, the bill provides that in lieu of the Neda Board, “it will be replaced by a Council,” Gatchalian said.

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