Lawmakers said they remain focused on efforts to improve the lives of Filipinos as they called for an end to “useless” political bickering.
Santa Rosa City Rep. Dan Fernandez, Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Majority Leader and Zamboanga Rep. Jose Manuel Dalipe, and Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said the House of Representatives is committed to passing the legislative agenda of the administration and supporting the unity agenda of the President.
“We can achieve these goals, which we all want for our people, if we do away with political bickering. We should instead work together and keep a laser focus on what needs to be done to ensure a vibrant and prosperous future for all Filipinos,” Fernandez said.
Dalipe said the House of Representatives will stay the course in its commitment to pass the priority measures of the President and the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) and ignore all forms of distractions that will only slow them down in fulfilling their mandate.
According to Dalipe, the House under the leadership of Speaker Martin Romualdez, will work double harder to carry out their mandate to pass laws that are direly needed to jumpstart the country’s economy and uplift the lives of the country’s poor.
He noted that Romualdez managed to secure multi-partisan support that saw the passage of priority measures at a record-breaking pace.
“The House of Representatives will not be slowed down by premature partisanship. All these political rumblings are unnecessary distractions that will only brake our momentum in ensuring the swift passage of President Marcos’ priority measures and those that were approved by LEDAC. We have a commitment to the Filipino people that we will do even better on this second regular session,” Dalipe said.
Vice President Sara Duterte on Thursday issued a statement saying Romualdez, who was her campaign manager, had nothing to do with her decision to run in ths 2022 polls.
The Vice President later joined Lakas-CMD as its chairperson, with Romualdez as party president. She resigned from the political party last month.
Fernandez said while he and his colleagues in the House of Representatives join the Vice President in expressing full support to the Marcos administration, this support “can be better fleshed out if it is devoid of political bickering.” (See full story online at manilastandard.net)
“We appeal to Vice President Inday Sara, who ran and won on a platform espousing unity, to join the President in translating this call for unity into action,” he added.
Gonzales, for his part, said the leadership of Romualdez has laid the foundation of a productive House in the 19th Congress through the passage before sine die adjournment of 33 out of 42 bills in the priority list of the administration.
“One thing is clear: Speaker Martin has created an atmosphere of certainty and trust. His strong, compassionate leadership brought all of us together to work on a single vision: to pass measures focused on achieving a prosperous, inclusive and resilient Philippines,” he said.
“I hope that with his guidance, we continue to uphold the oath we swore to the Filipino people,” said Gonzales, who represents Pampanga’s third district.
“Our record speaks for itself. We are comprehensively addressing the everyday issues our people face: from the high cost of commodities to unemployment and other economic challenges. We are focused on matters
that are important to our people and to the Marcos administration,” he added.
On the final week of the session, before sine die adjournment, the House passed on third reading two additional priority measures: the proposed Bureau of Immigration Modernization Act and the Philippine Salt Industry Development Act.
Other urgent bills that have been previously approved on third and final reading included the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund, Magna Carta of Seafarers, E-Governance Act / E-Government Act, Negros Island
Region, Virology Institute of the Philippines, Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act, National Disease Prevention Management Authority or Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Medical Reserve Corps, Philippine Passport Act; Internet Transaction Act / E-Commerce Law, Waste-to-Energy Bill; Free Legal Assistance for Police and Soldiers, Apprenticeship Act, Build-Operate-Transfer Law, Magna Carta of Barangay Health Workers, Valuation Reform, Eastern Visayas Development Authority, Leyte
Ecological Industrial Zone, Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery, National Citizens Service Training Program, and National Government Rightsizing.
Most of the 33 House-approved priority bills are pending with the Senate.
A total of 8,426 bills and 1,098 resolutions were filed with the House during the first regular session of the 19th Congress. Of those, 567 were approved.
“Right now, the House is in the thick of preparations for President Marcos’ second State of the Nation Address as we also prepare to receive from Malacanang next year’s proposed National Expenditure Program. Our hands are full in the House of Representatives so we
cannot afford to squander our time on useless partisan bickering,” Dalipe said.
Pimentel echoed Dalipe’s concern for the House to ensure that the lower chamber continues to work smoothly and in sync with the legislative agenda of President Marcos.
“The tensions have already been defused following the leadership movements in the House. Let us not exaggerate this anymore. We have so much work to do in Congress to be able to fulfill the President’s agenda of economic renewal and prosperity for all
Filipinos. As noted by the Vice President, political disagreements stand as part and parcel of the democratic process,” Pimentel said.
“Let us leave it at that and focus instead on realizing our collective goal of providing a safe, comfortable life for every Filipino,” he added.
In his defense of the Speaker, Barzaga said Romualdez never said a bad thing about the Vice President despite being the obvious subject of her vicious insinuations following the alleged attempt to oust him.
“The Speaker worked hard for then Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s vice presidential bid because he genuinely believed that she would make a difference. Their rift is sad news and I hope that it will be mended soon,” Barzaga said.