Out of 40 national laws to have passed through the 16th congress, 36 lapsed into law from July 17 to 22 after former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and President Rodrigo Duterte neither signed nor vetoed the bills.
Here are new, interesting laws that stood out:
1. Stricter Anti-Carnapping Law
Republic Act 10883 or “An act providing for a new anti-carnapping law of the Philippines” now considers carnapping a non-bailable offense and will require Land Transportation Office to keep a record of all cars and owners.
The new law increased the imprisonment time from a maximum of 17 years and four months, to around 20 to 30 years in jail.
If the person resorted to violence, their sentence would be extended from 30 years and one day up to 40 years. If the victim is raped or killed, the carnapper would be given a life sentence in prison.
Any person involved in the concealment of the crime will be imprisoned from six to 12 years and fined with the cost of the car or any part involved in the crime.
2. Mandatory subtitles
Republic Act 10905 or “An act requiring all franchise holders or operators of television stations and producers of television programs to broadcast or present their programs with closed captions option, and for other purposes” requires TV stations to provide subtitles for the deaf community.
However, it exempts franchise holders or TV station operators and program producers who release public service announcements under 10 minutes or if providing text caption would prove to be economically burdensome. It also exempts programs aired between 1 am to 6 am, or are already textual in nature.
Those who fail to follow will either be fined with at least P50,000 but not more than P100,000 or be imprisoned for at least six to twelve months, or both. License or permit to operate may also be revoked.
3. Keeping Filipinas from becoming mail order brides
Republic Act 10906 or “An act providing stronger measures against unlawful practices, businesses, and schemes of matching and offering Filipinos to foreign nationals for purposes of marriage or common law partnership, repealing for the purpose republic act no. 6955, also referred to as the 'anti-mail order bride law'" penalizes any person who has in any way engaged in business to exploit Filipinas to offer to foreigners for marriage.
If found guilty, they will be penalized with 15 years of imprisonment and be fined with at least P500,000 thousand pesos but not more than P1-million.
Anyone who has cooperated in the illegal act will also suffer the same penalty. However, those who operate in more than two people will be penalized with 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of at least P2-million but not more than P5-million.
Any person who has served as an accessory to the crime will be imprisoned for 10 years and a fine of at least P100,000 but not more than P500,000.
Meanwhile, foreign offenders will be deported to their home country and if the offender is under the employment of an establishment, then the person in-charge who participated in the act will be facing penalties.
In turn, proceeds and penalties will be seized by the government. Victims will also receive assistance from the respective government agencies and commissions.
4. No more candies or inexact change
Once Republic Act 10909 or “An act prohibiting business establishments from giving insufficient or no change to consumers and providing penalties therefore” takes effect, you can now sue the establishment for not giving you your due change.
Establishments are also required to stick price tags with the exact price the consumer has to pay.
Failure to comply will result to a fine of whichever is higher in amount: P500 or 3% of gross sales for first offense, P5,000 or 5% of gross sales for second offense, and P15,000 or 7% or gross sales and a three-month suspension of operations.
The last offense will result to a fine of P25,000 and total closure of the establishment.
5. Longer prescription for crimes of graft and corruption
Republic Act 10910 or “An act increasing the prescriptive period for violations of Republic Act no. 3019, otherwise known as the 'anti-graft and corrupt practices act' from fifteen (15) years to twenty years, amending section 11 thereof” amended the prescription of offenses, also known as the statute of limitations, from 15 to 20 years.
This means it’s still possible to carry out judgment on individuals guilty of graft and corruption within 20 years.
6. Anti-age discrimination for employees
Republic Act 10911 or “An act prohibiting discrimination against any individual in employment on account of age and providing penalties therefore” prohibits employers from withholding promotion or deny training opportunities, compensation and privileges from employees on the basis of age.
Recruitment and employment agencies are also prohibited from refusing to help individuals regardless of age from seeking employment and labor organizations are prohibited to refuse employees of membership because of their age.
Violators will be fined at least P50,00 but not more than P500,000 and/or be imprisoned between three months to two years.
However, this law will only be effective on August 16.
7. No more texting while driving
Republic Act 10913 or “An act defining and penalizing distracted driving” will mean that any person who is using their phones in non-emergency cases and/or needs it for work will be penalized with a fine of P5,000 for first offense, P10,000 for second offense, and P15,000 and suspension of license for three months for the third offense.
The law added that the fine may be increased, along with ultimately suspending the driver’s license if properly disseminated to the public.
Meanwhile, those who are driving public utility vehicles, school buses, or carriers with flammable or toxic material within a 50 meter radius from school premises will be fined with P30,000 and have their licenses suspended for three months.
8.) Mandatory speed limiters
Republic Act 10916 or “An act requiring the mandatory installation of speed limiter in public utility and certain types of vehicles” will require all covered public transportation vehicles to have a speed limiter.
Vehicles without speed limiters before the passage of the law will have to comply within 18 months after it takes effect.
The absence of a speed limiter will not be allowed for registration or be given a franchise permit, and the owners or operators for the vehicle will be fined with P50,000.
Meanwhile, the driver’s license will be suspended for one month and the franchise permit for three months for the first offense.
Sanctions for succeeding offenses will be license suspension for three months and franchise suspension for six months on top of imposed fines at the second offense; and revocation of license and franchise suspension for at least a year, and an imposed fine for the third offense.
Offenders caught tampering with speed limiters will be imprisoned for six to 36 months and fined with P30,000.
-- With reports from Anna Mogato