Salceda on Speaker Romualdez jump in trust ratings: “High marks for good work”

April 30, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 482 views

HOUSE committee on ways and means chairman and Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda on Sunday said that he attributes the double-digit jump in the trust ratings of Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez in the Tugon ng Masa (TNM) Q1 2023 survey of Octa Research to the House’s “obvious and effective efforts to be responsive to what affects the lives of working Filipinos.”

Salceda said the Speaker “has shown the House to be a more dynamic partner of the Executive in getting things done.”

“We’ve been a dynamic partner, in the sense that we tackle more priority legislation faster, and we practice our oversight functions more often and with greater intent. That means we partner with the executive in crafting better rules and regulations to existing legislation, and we work to implement programs better,” Salceda said.

“Our hearings are also not grandstanding for the media. We produce results,” Salceda added.

According to the Tugon ng Masa (TNM) Q1 2023 survey of Octa Research, 83% of adult Filipinos trust President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., with 87% for Vice President Sara Duterte, 50% for Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, 55% for Speaker Romualdez, and 39% for Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo.

The same survey shows that 80% of adult Filipinos are satisfied with the performance of Pres. Marcos, 84% for VP Duterte, 53% for SP Zubiri, 59% for Speaker Romualdez, and 41% for CJ Gesmundo.

Among the officials covered by the survey, Romualdez scored the biggest increase in trust rating, or +17% compared to the TNM October 2022 survey. He also earned the highest gain in performance rating, or +15%, for the two survey periods.

The TNM national survey is an independent and non-commissioned poll conducted regularly by Octa Research. The Q1 2023 survey was conducted from March 24-28, 2023 based on interviews with 1,200 male and female respondents aged 18 years old and above from Class AB, C, D, and E.

Salceda cited, for example, the House’s work with to lower food prices through hearings with the Department of Agriculture and economic agencies to produce better rules and enforcement and fight cartels.

“Onion prices are down from a high of P700 per kilo to just around P125-175. At one point, farmgate went down to the P50 level. We caught the cartels and had them detained in the House.”

“In my committee, we’ve been trying to solve VAT issues with our exporters, and I’m happy to report that the solutions are now on the BIR commissioner’s desk for numbering. Essentially, more expenses will be eligible for VAT zero-rating. Logistics will also be considered exporters, effectively. So logistics expenses will no longer charge for VAT from exporters. We are also simplifying the process of VAT refunds. And, soon, we hope to resolve the VAT issues for domestic market enterprises in ecozones,” Salceda added.

“The Water Resources Management Office has also been created, and that is the work of the DENR in partnership with the House – which has been hearing issues on the water crisis through legislation creating the Department of Water Resources,” Salceda, who chairs the technical working group (TWG) on the issue, added.

“It’s also the Speaker’s close involvement in solving issues like the Mindoro Oil Spill, security issues in Negros Oriental, and disaster response in places like Davao de Oro,” he said.

“Meanwhile, under his leadership, we committee chairpersons have been burying our heads in the work. The result of that is the First Regular Session of Congress has come up with about 350 bills ad resolutions on third reading – a pipeline for the Senate to act on,” Salceda said.

“And we have not been afraid to work on potentially controversial pieces of legislation, such as charter change and the sovereign investment fund. People can ultimately see that, that we are after what’s needed, not what’s popular. And I think that earns the House leadership a certain respect,” he said.

Salceda also said that the House, ‘surprisingly,’ has been able to work “both critically and constructively with executive agencies.”

“We have been able to freely criticize them in a way that leads to results. I guess when you are the President’s first cousin, you do not need to be preoccupied with proving your loyalty to keep your Speakership. And that dynamic allows the whole House to do what we need to do, sometimes including being critical of some agencies when criticism can lead to better results,” Salceda explained.

“Ultimately, of course, in a democracy, it’s simple. High marks for good work. The Speaker does his homework well, so he gets high grades from the people,” Salceda concluded.