PDP-LABAN Lakas-CMD President and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez (center, seated), PDP Laban President and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi (left, seated), incoming DILG Sec. and former MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos (right, seated) celebrate with the newly elected officials of PDP Laban at Edsa Shangrila Hotel in Mandaluyong City. Photo by VER NOVENO

PDP-Laban: Romualdez for Speaker

May 19, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 355 views

As Speaker

OFFICIALS and members of PDP-Laban on Thursday affirmed their support for House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin G. Romualdez to be the incoming Congress’ next Speaker.

Led by PDP Laban President and Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi, the party’s officials and members made their affirmation of support for Romualdez during a lunch meeting at EDSA Shangri-La Hotel hosted by San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan Rep. Rida Robes.

The affirmation is a follow-up to the statement made last Saturday by PDP-Laban that their party was supporting Romualdez for the speakership.

The House leader thanked PDP-Laban members for their support.

“I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to my colleagues. Your gesture today (Thursday) will strengthen our efforts to unify the House and the people we all represent behind the incoming administration of presumptive President Bongbong Marcos,” Romualdez said.

Romualdez said the next Congress will prioritize the passage of presumptive President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s legislative agenda.

“More importantly, we are trying to ensure that the priority legislation of the incoming President, President-elect BBM will be aided and supported with measures that will allow him to pursue his agenda for the people,” Romualdez told reporters in an ambush interview.

Romualdez said the next Congress is eyeing the passage of Bayanihan-type of legislation to be called Bayan Bangon Muli (BBM) and resetting of the scheduled December barangay elections to save P8 billion that can be used to fight the pandemic.

“It was presumptive President Marcos’ initials, BBM or Bayan Bangon Muli bill stimulus package that will allow the incoming President to harness the resources available during the closing period of 2022 and [pass] measures that are needed for the pandemic, hopefully endemic stage of this COVID,” Romualdez said.

“Isa po sa hinaing (ang resetting of barangay polls) ng barangay chairpersons na na-met natin sa Liga ng mga Barangays, so we shall consider that,” Romualdez said.

He added that the 18th Congress still has a pending task to fullfill, which is to canvass and proclaim the winning president and vice president.

The Leyte lawmaker has been meeting with members of the incoming House members.

On Tuesday, Romualdez met with Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, who was reelected representative of the lone district of Marinduque, and with former President and returning Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Wednesday. Velasco and Arroyo declared their support for Romualdez.

His endorsers now comprise an overwhelming majority in the incoming House of Representatives.

In announcing his party’s support for Romualdez on Saturday, Secretary Cusi said: “Our 62 newly elected PDP Laban representatives are throwing their full support behind Romualdez because we believe in his capacity to unite and lead Congress for the passage of significant laws and initiatives for the benefit of the Filipino people.”

He said the majority leader’s track record “speaks for itself.” He described him as “one of the most-hardworking” lawmakers.

Cusi cited Romualdez’s role in the passage of important laws like Bayanihan 1 and 2 and COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act, which are responses to the health crisis; and Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act and amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act and the Public Service Act, which all aim to bring in more foreign investments. By RYAN PONCE PACPACO