New House Speaker Romualdez’s key legislative achievements

July 25, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 656 views

NEWLY elected Speaker Martin G. Romualdez is behind enacting many laws in the 18th Congress, in which he served as House Majority Leader, and representing the 1st District of Leyte province.

Aside from shepherding plenary approval of bills that became laws as Majority Leader, he was the author of three annual national budgets and the two Bayanihan measures (Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or Bayanihan 1 and Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2), which were approved at the height of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The other laws that he pushed are the COVID-19 Vaccination Act of 2021, Malasakit Centers Act, Alternative Learning System Act, Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act or CREATE, Bureau of Fire and Protection Modernization Act, Salary Standardization Act of 2019, and Republic Act No. 11517, which empowers the President to expedite the processing and issuance of national and local permits, licenses and certifications in times of national emergency.

While focusing his attention largely on measures of national import, Speaker Romualdez worked on the legislation of local application that greatly benefited his constituents in the First District of Leyte, which he represents, and other areas in Eastern Visayas.

Among these pieces of legislation are Republic Act (RA) No. 11567, which renamed the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Tacloban City into Eastern Visayas Medical Center and increased its bed capacity from 500 to 1,500; and RA 11566, which converted the Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital in Palo, Leyte into a general hospital and expanded its bed capacity from 25 to 100.

The new House leader also made his mark in the 14th, 15th, and 16th Congresses by authoring at least six laws, including RA 10754, which increased the benefits and privileges of persons with disability.

Among his laws of local application was RA 10290, which established a national high school in Tacloban City; RA 10244, which created two additional Regional Trial Court branches in Leyte; and RA 9793, which increased the bed capacity of then-Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center from 250 to 500.

Romualdez finished his undergraduate studies with a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in 1985.

In 1988, he obtained a Certificate of Special Studies in Administration and Management from Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts.

He then proceeded to law school, earning his Bachelor of Laws from the College of Law of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, in 1992.

Romualdez was formerly a director of many big companies, including Equitable PCI Bank, PCI Leasing Corporation, and Philippine Commercial International Bank.

He serves as president of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), one of the biggest political parties in Congress and the country, president of the Philippine Constitution Association, president of Cornell Club of the Philippines, and president of Manila Golf and Country Club.

He is the chairman of Upsilon Sigma Phi, a UP (University of the Philippines) fraternity, and a member of the Rotary Club of Manila and Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

He holds the “Auxiliary Commodore” rank in the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

He is married to Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez of party-list group Tingog. They have four children.