Martin Pray PRAYERS FOR A CARING PUBLIC SERVANT — House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez offers prayers for the eternal repose of the soul of his late Chief of Staff Rachel Rodeles-Santiago at the Loyola Memorial Chapel and Crematorium on Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City. Rachel was a caring wife ,mother, daughter, friend, boss and was Chief of Staff of Tingog Party List Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez. Looking on is Rachel’s husband Edmar Santiago (right). Photo by VER NOVENO

Romualdez: Mission accomplished

August 4, 2021 People's Tonight 307 views
House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep Martin Romualdez (left) warmly welcomes newly appointed Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) Secretary Baby Pascual (3rd right) during a short meeting at the Majority office in the House of Representatives. Romualdez and Pascual discussesd reforms being implemented by the PLLO chief. Photo by VER NOVENO

AS the House of Representatives suspended its session for the impending enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin G. Romualdez on Wednesday said the leadership of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco delivered on its promise to pass most of the priority measures enumerated by President Rodrigo “Rody” Roa Duterte in his final State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“Under Speaker Velasco’s leadership, we stayed true to our mandate and successfully passed most of the administration’s priority measures, as spelled out by President Rodrigo Duterte in his SONA. Of the twelve bills mentioned, only two are pending in the House and are expected to be prioritized once we resume sessions,” said Romualdez, chairman of the House committee on rules, said.

Romualdez was referring to the bills on the Unified Military and Uniformed Services Personnel Separation, Retirement, and Pension Act to manage the escalating pension costs of military and uniformed personnel (MUP) and free legal assistance to members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) facing charges arising from the performance of their official duty.

“Despite the challenges brought about by this pandemic, we accomplished our mission with the excellence and hard work of our fellow lawmakers, staff, and employees,” stressed Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD).

“We hope these measures will become laws by June 2022 so our kababayans could finally reap the benefits of these measures that seek to uplift their lives,” added Romualdez, a lawyer from the University of the Philippines (UP) and president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) or the oldest and most respectable association of legal luminaries in the country.

In his SONA last July 26, President Duterte asked the 18th Congress to pass his 12 priority bills before his term expires in June 2022.

President Duterte pushed for the passage of MUP, which is up for second reading approval in the House of Representatives and free legal assistance for police and soldiers, which is under committee deliberation in the chamber.

Meanwhile, Romualdez said the House of Representatives has transmitted to the Senate the following SONA-priority bills: the Foreign Investments Act (HB00300), Public Service Act (HB00078), Creating the Department of Filipinos Overseas and Foreign Employment (HB05832), E-Governance Act (HB06927), Creating the Department of Disaster Resilience (HB05989), and the proposed law Establishing Evacuation Centers in Every City and Municipality (HB08990).

Romualdez said the Retail and Trade Liberalization Act (HB00059) and the modernization of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) (HB07406) are currently under the bicameral (bicam) conference deliberations.

“The House also passed on third and final reading last Wednesday (July 28), the bills that would create the Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HB09560), and the Virology Institute of the Philippines (HB09559),” said Romualdez on the twin bills that were also included in the SONA-priority measures.

“Rest assured that we will work tirelessly to pass the remaining vital bills in the House once we return from the ECQ. In the meantime, let us cooperate with the IATF and authorities in ensuring that our lockdown would be worthy by getting vaccinated, observing strict health protocols, staying home, and taking care of one another,” Romualdez added.