August 8, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 363 views

A stronger and more resilient economy with special focus on the creation of jobs and livelihood opportunities for Filipinos.

This is the administration’s roadmap presented by Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez to fellow lawmakers in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

In his statement at the plenary session of the 44th AIPA (ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly) general assembly, Romualdez also highlighted the crucial role of the partnership between Congress and the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in achieving such a goal.

Romualdez urged fellow ASEAN lawmakers to use the occasion as a platform not only for dialogue but, more importantly, to share best practices among member parliaments.

“Following the lead of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., we have adopted a Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy that aims to support economic recovery while ensuring fiscal sustainability,” the House leader said.

“Together with the Executive, we have focused on creating more job opportunities for Filipinos and improving their employability. Productivity-enhancing investments have been promoted while exercising prudence in fiscal management,” he added.

The lawmaker stressed that the country’s leaders adopted such a policy, recognizing that the pandemic has exacerbated income insecurity, especially for those without any access to social protection, and those working in the informal economy.

“Retooling and re-skilling to sharpen the competence of our job seekers has been our priority, together with the development of sustainable technologies to create more green jobs,” Romualdez said.

Under his leadership, Romualdez said the House of Representatives has passed 33 out of 42 priority measures adopted as the Common Legislative Agenda of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) by the end of the First Regular Session.

“Towards the end of 2022, we have taken pride in our accomplishments of the 19th Congress in its first five months, acknowledging the swift but thorough passage of a substantial number of the President’s legislative agenda, including our priority measures in the House,” he said.

“The results thus far have inspired confidence for us to pursue this further until our development goals are met,” Romualdez added.

Among others, Romualdez cited the approval of the Maharlika Investment Fund bill hailed by President Marcos as essential “in order to establish a sustainable national investment fund as a strategic mechanism for strengthening the investment activities of top performing government financial institutions, and thus pump-prime economic growth and social development.”

He also noted the timely signing of the P5.268-trillion 2023 General Appropriations Act, which is “the most important and potent tool that the President, his economic team, and the entire government can use to accomplish the goals of the prosperity roadmap.”

Such sharing of best practices among ASEAN parliaments, according to Romualdez, will help build regional solidarity and cooperation which is vital to help build back a more resilient and sustainable ASEAN community.

In addition, Romualdez said AIPA represents an effective platform for dialogue on inter-parliamentary concerns and diplomacy based on equal partnership, mutual respect, and mutual benefit.