House Speaker Martin G. Romualdez on Wednesday afternoon said congressional spouses play an important role in nation-building.
“As our spouses are our partners in life, they have a huge influence in what we do, what we believe in, what we fight for, and what we will accomplish for our community and our country,” he told members of the Congressional Spouses Foundation, Inc. (CSFI) chaired by his wife, Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez, chairperson of the House Committee on Accounts.
“And in the case of the Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc., their influence is directly translated into action. They have their own initiatives that are parallel to our own, and they implement socio-civic projects that meet the short and long-term needs of our constituents,” the Speaker said.
Romualdez administered the Oath of Office to the regional heads of CSFI, namely Arlyn Grace V. Guico (Region 1), Maria Sol A. Fernandez (II), Victor Anthony S. Silverio (III), Maria Cristina R. Puno (IV-A), Eva Christie Fatima H. Villegas (IV-B), Anjeanette T. Fuentebella (5), Angelica G. Alvarez (VI), Nixon T. Dizon (VII), Roger T. Mercado (VIII), Keenah V. Dalipe (IX), Yevonna Yacine B. Emano (X), Bernadette S. Barbers (XIII), Giselle Mary L. Maceda (NCR), Soledad J. Go (CAR), Indira Maila P. Adiong (BARMM), and Edna M. Marcoleta (Party-list).
The Speaker also administered the Oath of Office of CSFI’s Board members, namely Rosario V. Maceda (Corporate Secretary and Legal Counsel), Evelina G. Escudero (Treasurer), Michelle Tiangco (Assistant Treasurer), Elisa Olga T. Kho (Auditor), and Amy R. Alvarez (Assistant Auditor).
In her speech, Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez underscored the important roles spouses play in the effectiveness of lawmakers in doing their jobs at the House of Representatives, largely contributing to even the success of representatives in the area of legislation.
The lawmaker spoke as the new chairperson of the CSFI during the organization’s First General Assembly attended by her husband, Speaker Romualdez and other members and officers of the organization.
“I am honored to be the Chairperson of this distinguished association consisting of the people whom I believe has the most influential role in Congress,” Rep. Yedda Romualdez said. “Our roles as spouses are extremely consequential and substantive in ensuring that our partners become most effective in fulfilling their duties in office and even boost the morale of their staff.”
The event was also attended by CSFI President-designate and former Deputy Speaker Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas, who also spoke before the attendees, and former Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero.
“I would like to welcome everyone to CSFI’s first organizational meeting as we elect our new set of officers for the 19th Congress. Thank you all for your presence and for participating in CSFI’s First General Assembly,” Rep. Yedda Romualdez said.
The CSFI was founded on April 21, 1988 by a group of congressional spouses led by the late Cecilia Blanco Mitra, wife of the late Speaker Ramon Mitra, Jr. during the 8th Congress.
The intention was to support the legislative initiatives of the House Members through the implementation of meaningful socio-civic projects that will meet the needs of their respective constituents.
“Being a member of Congress myself as well as the spouse to the Speaker of the House, I am deeply aware that it is important to keep a constructive working relationship with our spouses,” Rep. Yedda Romualdez said.
“I understand that juggling our responsibilities as parents, husbands or wives, while also taking care of our own careers and other obligations is not a job for everyone. That is why I have a deep found respect for this group, and wish for us to support each other as we fulfill our many roles,” Rep. Yedda Romualdez said. “It is my hope that while we conduct our socio-civic and other developmental initiatives here in CSFI, that we will also find the encouragement and inspiration that we need from each other as we do our part in building stronger and better communities for each of our districts.”
Speaker Romualdez cited the role of the House members’ spouses during CSFI’s first assembly and organizational meeting and the oath-taking of its new officers.
“We are gathered here today to witness a very important event of a very important organization that plays a significant role, as our ‘significant others,’ not only in the success of our legislative initiatives and our socio-civic endeavors, but in nation-building as well,” he said.
He said he was honored to administer the oath to the organization’s officers led by his wife.
The House leader paid tribute to his wife, who he said “is both a ranking leader of my home and my workplace.”
“And as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Yedda also gets to be an officer of the Congressional Spouses Foundation. As such, she puts on a different hat, one that I believe she will enjoy the most because the mission and vision of your organization deeply align with hers,” he said.
He congratulated the new CSFI officers.
“May you lead this organization to new heights as you carry out more meaningful projects that will benefit the people,” he said.