Up for consolidation are House Bills 2232, 3212, 5411, and 7000. The committee chaired by Rep. Jesus Nonato Sacdalan named Rep. Rene Relampagos as TWG head.
The House bills seek to recognize the BSP as an independent, voluntary, and autonomous organization. They also aim to institute a new charter for the BSP.
In filing HB 5411, AKO Bicol Party-list Reps. Rodel Batocabe, Alfredo Garbin Jr., and Christopher Co reasoned that recognizing the BSP’s independence shall help install a more concrete institution to make it more attuned to the changing times and the growing challenges in the society.
Meanwhile, Rep. Strike Revilla, principal author of HB 2232, said the BSP may be more developed to achieve its goals in the guidance and moral, civic and social development of children and youth in this rapidly changing world.
Relampagos, main author of HB 7000, said his proposal reflects the inputs of the BSP especially on restructuring its powers, duties and functions as a non-government entity auxiliary to the Philippines. He likened it to the newly enacted charter of the Philippine Red Cross under Republic Act No. 10072.
Rep. Evelina Escudero, main author of HB 3212, said recognizing the autonomy of the BSP necessitates a repeal of Commonwealth Act No. 111, also known as “An Act To Create A Public Corporation To Be Known As The Boy Scouts Of The Philippines, And To Define Its Powers And Purposes.”
With this, the BSP shall be given the freedom to be more responsive and adaptable to its internal needs, as it sees fit as a formal and organized corporation, said Escudero.
Under Section 3 of Commonwealth Act 111, the purpose of the BSP as a corporation shall be to “promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods which are now in common use by boy scouts.”
BSP Senior Vice President Roberto Pagdanganan expressed strong support for the four bills. He emphasized that the Supreme Court ruling in 2011, which stated the BSP is a public corporation and its funds are therefore subject to audit by the Commission on Audit, must be rectified. He said the BSP is a private corporation.