MANILA -- The Senate on Wednesday announced that it has rescheduled the resumption of its sessions scheduled November 13-16 in light of the upcoming 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

Senate Secretary Lutgardo Barbo said that the move was done in compliance "with the security measures to be enforced during the conduct of the 31st ASEAN Summit."

Barbo, however, expressed concern about the workload of the Senate as a legislative body.

“Its functions on investigations and public hearings are necessary in the lawmaking process. May importanteng proposals pa na dapat tapusin (There are important proposals that need to be finished),” Barbo said in a press statement.

Barbo said the Senate would resume plenary deliberations on the proposed 2018 General Appropriations Act on November 16 and 17.

Aside from the 2018 budget and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bills, senators would also tackle other priority bills including the following:
• SBN 1183 or the proposed Balik Scientist Act
• SBN 679 or the proposed Magna Carta for Scientists, Engineers, Researchers and other Science and Technology Personnel in the Philippines
• SBN 1317 or the proposed Occupational Safety and Health Standards Act
• SBN 98 or the proposed bill increasing the Quarters Allowance of Officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
• SBN 13 or the proposed Salary Standardization Law of 2016
• SBN 136 or the First 1,000 Days Act, SBN 986 or the proposed amendment to the Motor Vehicle User's Charge Act
• SBN 1058 or the Allowable Systems Loss Act of 2016
• SBN 1597 or the proposed Student Fare Discount Act, among others

Malacañang earlier suspended work in government offices within the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Complex, Pasay City, from November 8 to 15. (PNA)