Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. urged the House of Representatives to remain committed to working on measures that would sustain the country’s economic growth.
He made the appeal in reaction to the World Bank’s decision to upgrade its economic outlook for the Philippines for this year from a range of 5.4 to 5.6 percent to a full six percent.
This came after Speaker Martin Romualdez said the House would not allow distractions in formulating policies for the benefit of the Filipino people.
Romualdez issued the statement as the World Bank projected a 6% gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the Philippines this year.
“Let’s ignore any political noise that comes our way. Let’s remain focused on helping President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and our Speaker Martin Romualdez in keeping the economy on the high growth path by enhancing conditions that would attract investments and create job and income opportunities for our people,” Gonzales Jr. said.
The head of the Party-list Coalition also expressed confidence that the House under Speaker Romualdez will maintain its “remarkable synergy” with the Executive branch into the second regular session and for the rest of the 19th Congress.
“We were elected to uplift the lives of our constituents and so far, the House has followed President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s Agenda for Peace and Prosperity to a tee,” Ako Bicol Rep. Zaldy Co, chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, said.
“The House members who are true to this cause won’t let any political noise derail the remarkable synergy that the legislature and executive currently have,” he added.
The record number of bills and resolutions passed by the House during the first regular session of the 19th Congress can be attributed to the “laser-focused” discipline of Romualdez in ensuring the passage of priority legislation, Camiguin Rep. Jurdin Jesus M. Romualdo said.
This “very evident passion” lawmakers see in the House leader in his work ethic, Romualdo said, “is what they try to emulate,” which is why the larger chamber was able to process a total of 9,600 measures — 8,490 bills, 1,109 resolutions, and one petition.
“The only politics Speaker Romualdez engages in is the politics of completion, the accomplishment of the legislative goals the Marcos administration set, which he excellently executes by faithfully fulfilling his mandate both as an ordinary lawmaker and as a great leader of the House of Representatives,” he said.
Gonzales expressed confidence that the country “could do better than the World Bank forecast” for its GDP.
He said the first nine months of President Marcos in office “were a high growth period,” noting that the economy grew by 7.6 percent and 7.2 percent in the third and fourth quarters of 2022, and by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of this year.
“So barring calamitous man-made and natural events, we should be able to do six percent and even beat the World Bank forecast this year,” he said.
The Pampanga lawmaker said economists are wont to say that a country has to be on a high economic growth path for several years to successfully reduce poverty among its population.
“The President has repeatedly declared that he wants to get poor Filipinos out of poverty. The Speaker and the House have been trying to help him achieve his goal. Let us all join hands in realizing this vision,” he added.
Co said that proof of this synergy is the House passage on third and final reading of 33 out of Malacañang’s 42 priority measures as spelled out by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).
This list of measures was carefully curated by President Marcos himself with the help of lawmakers like Speaker Romualdez.
“This cooperation, unity, and synergy between two of our top leaders is the best asset of this current administration. No question about it,” Co said.
He noted that Romualdez and the rest of the 300-strong House of Representatives know that the work of the administration in giving Filipinos a more comfortable life is far from over.
“With President Marcos about to deliver his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) next month, I expect the Speaker to already know whether or not more priority measures will be announced by the Chief Executive. I would even bet the Speaker is already paving the way for meaningful discussions on these measures, even during this congressional break,” Co said.
Romualdez, Leyte’s 1st District representative and President of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party, made this call to his colleagues during the sine die adjournment of the First Regular Session last May 31.
“Let us continuously improve and optimize the conduct of our work for the benefit of the Filipino people,” he said.
“Congratulations to everyone for this impressive performance. You did not take your jobs lightly. You conducted yourselves with a sense of pride, professionalism, and responsibility. You have carried out your individual roles with zest, making sure that you serve as effective voices of your respective constituents,” Romualdez said.