Speaker Martin G. Romualdez has been forging tighter coordination with Malacañang and the Senate to prevent even a single presidential veto of bills to be approved by the 19th Congress, leaders of the House of Representatives said Monday.
House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe, Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo, and House Assistant Majority Leader and Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Party-list Rep. Margarita Ignacia Nograles vowed to ensure the smooth and swift approval of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s legislative agenda and other pro-people measures.
Two months into his administration, Marcos vetoed five bills, while allowing 41 to lapse into law.
The vetoed laws include the establishment of the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone; the charter of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel; the grant of a franchise to the Davao Light and Power Company; the Philippine Transportation Safety Board Act; and Exempting from Income Taxation the Honoraria, Allowance, and Other Financial Benefits of Persons Rendering Services During an Election Period.
Dalipe said the closer coordination would smoothen the process and guarantee better linkages, synergy, and coordination to fast-track, facilitate, and harmonize the passage of vital measures.
“We are closely coordinating with Malacañang and the Senate so that we can avoid the vetoing of a measure, which is a waste of time and resources. Under the leadership of Speaker Martin, we are working with our counterparts to ensure the smooth passage of important bills,” Dalipe told the Ugnayan sa Batasan Majority News Forum.
“With the leadership of the Senate under (Senate President Juan Miguel) Migz Zubiri, Speaker of the House Martin Romualdez, our President, the honorable Bongbong Marcos, this would be better, we will be able to achieve more for the legislative agenda,” Dalipe said.
Quimbo, senior vice chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, disclosed that she attended the first Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) Technical Working Group (TWG) last Thursday to expedite the approval of President Marcos’ priority bills, and ensure that government resources will not be wasted.
Nograles said the supermajority in the House has been very supportive of Speaker Romualdez’s plan for a zero veto of bills to ensure that government resources are spent wisely and prudently.
She assured that well-crafted legislative measures will be passed by the House of Representatives where Cabinet members and other stakeholders will be given a chance to be heard.
During the LEDAC-TWG meeting, Quimbo said eight of the 19 legislative priority measures of President Marcos were already approved on the third and final reading by the 18th Congress.
She said these measures are eligible for swift approval under Rule 10, Section 48 of the House of Representatives. Quimbo said the use of this rule would greatly hasten consideration and endorsement by any committee of any covered bill and its eventual plenary approval.
“At the same time, eight measures out of 19 that had already been approved on third reading by the last Congress,” Quimbo said.
The 19 priority measures enumerated by President Marcos in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) were the Valuation Reform Bill, Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA), E-Governance Act, Internet Transaction Act, GUIDE bill, Medical Reserve Corps bill;
National Disease Prevention Management Authority bill, Virology Institute of the Philippines bill, Unified System of Separation, Retirement and Pension bill, Department of Water Resources bill;
E-Governance Act, National Land Use Act, Mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and National Service Training Program, Budget Modernization bill, National Government Rightsizing Program, National Defense Act;
Enactment of an Enabling Law for the Natural Gas Industry, Amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, and Amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer Law.
The eight measures approved by the 18th Congress were the Valuation Reform Bill, Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act or PIFITA, E-Governance Act, Internet Transaction Act, GUIDE, Medical Reserve Corps, National Disease Prevention Management Authority, and Virology Institute of the Philippines.
Under Rule 10, Section 48, House committees are authorized to dispose of priority measures already filed and approved on the third reading in the immediately preceding Congress.
Rule 10 provides: “In case of bills or resolutions that are identified as priority measures of the House, which were previously filed in the immediately preceding Congress and have already been approved on third reading, the same may be disposed of as matters already reported upon the approval of the members of the committee present, there being a quorum.”