Speaker Romualdez beams at record accomplishment of House in first 23 session days

September 29, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 261 views
Speaker Martin G. Romualdez: “The expeditious passage of the proposed 2023 budget is the product of the collective effort of the entire House, in transparent and open proceedings where the majority accorded ample opportunity for the constructive inputs of our friends from the minority bloc.”

SPEAKER Martin G. Romualdez on Wednesday took pride in the record accomplishments of the House of Representatives in the first 23 session days of the 19th Congress, which convened last July 25.

Romualdez told his colleagues that since the start of their session, “we rolled up our sleeves and worked hand in hand to ensure collective and responsive action upon all pending bills and resolutions, including priority bills in the legislative agenda of our President, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.”

“Our mission from Day One is clear: Help resuscitate the pandemic-battered economy and make economic transformation the main engine to uplift the lives of the Filipino people,” he said in remarks before the House adjourned its session for the first recess of Congress.

Before adjournment, the House approved on second and third and final reading the proposed P5.268-trillion “Agenda for Prosperity” 2023 national budget, the most important legislative proposal Congress tackles every year.

“With deep sense of urgency, combined with the detailed scrutiny from our colleagues in the minority, and the tireless and unceasing cooperation of our fellow civil servants from various agencies in the Executive Department, we were also able to hammer out in no time the best possible version for the approval on third reading of HB 4488, or the proposed spending plan for 2023,” the Speaker said.

Romualdez said the House wrapped up its plenary budget deliberations in just seven days.

He expressed confidence that “our good senators will also act with dispatch in having this most important piece of legislation approved in order for both houses to ratify the budget bill in time for signature of the President before the end of the fiscal year.”

On its last session day, the House also ratified two bicameral conference committee (bicam) reports – those on the proposed Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act and the postponement of the December 2022 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) – that will soon be transmitted to Malacañang for President Marcos’ signature.

Aside from the budget bill and the two bicam reports, comparative data from the House committee on rules showed that the House of Representatives passed on third reading 37 national bills, a 106-percent increase over the 18 measures approved on final reading by the 18th Congress and 517 percent higher compared to six measures approved on third reading during the 17th Congress over the same period.

The House processed a total of 427 measures, 96 percent more than the 218 tackled by the 18th Congress and 104% higher than the 209 measures discussed during the 17th Congress.

The number of bills the larger chamber handled per session day averaged 19, versus 11 in the previous Congress, or an improvement of 70 percent and 246 percent better than 5 recorded during the 17th Congress.

Romualdez recalled that shortly after the 19th Congress convened in July, the House adopted Concurrent Resolution No. 2, which supported the 2022-2028 Medium Term Fiscal Framework of the national government.

“The adoption by Congress of the MTFF concurrent resolution is a historic one. To my knowledge, this is the first time our legislators fully committed themselves to a medium-term fiscal plan that will serve as anchor for the annual spending and financial plan of the national government,” he said.

He said the MTFF would serve as Congress’s guide in preparing the annual budget and prioritizing other measures for the next six years.

“Yet, in that period, a greater number of measures – totaling 5,696 – were filed by our Members, showing clear passion and dedication to their constituents and their advocacies,” Romualdez said.

The Speaker added the House also adopted 20 resolutions, approved 37 measures on third reading, 11 bills approved on second reading, and reported out 63 committee reports.

He stressed that each colleague of his “exemplifies the fair and equitable response of the House of Representatives to the needs of the Filipino people, as we resonate to the clamor that in unity, there is strength.”

Romualdez also reported on last week’s visit to the United States of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., which he and House Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” A. Marcos joined.

“We are happy to report that we made a solid and strong investment pitch to members of the United States business community that the Philippine House of Representatives remains committed to enact laws that would help deepen cooperation with the United States, particularly in the areas of the supply chain, health and security, environment and climate change, energy security, and interconnectivity,” he said.

The Speaker exhorted House members to “continue to work hard, as we always do, for all the equally important pending measures that require our undivided attention.”