Speaker Martin Romualdez highlighted on Wednesday night, Sept. 28 the accomplishments of the House of Representatives so far in the first regular session of the 19th Congress.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez (Facebook)

This, after the House capped a grueling session that saw the passage of the P5.268-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) or proposed national budget on third and final reading.

The Wednesday session will also be the last for the chamber until Nov. 7 as the solons go on their annual All Saints Day-All Souls Day recess. The 19th Congress began last July 25, the day of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Romualdez addressed the chamber just before the adjournment of the session.

“Compared to the previous congresses, we had less calendar days prior to the first adjournment. 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,” he said.

“We have also approved a greater number of measures in the 31 days since the opening of the first regular session. We ratified two bicameral conference committee reports and adopted a total of 21 resolutions. Thirty-seven measures have been approved on third reading and today, we approved 11 additional measures on second reading – for a total of 71 approved measures,” added the Leyte 1st district representative.

“This is on top of the rigorous and intense plenary budget deliberations which we were able to conclude with expediency in just seven days, spending an average of 11 grueling hours per day,” he noted.

The plenary debates on the GAB was concluded Wednesday night, after which the solons successively approved the budget measure on second reading and then on third reading.

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All in all, the 2023 GAB–the first full annual outlay of the Marcos administration–took a grueling five weeks to pass.

Also on Wednesday, the 311-strong lower chamber also ratified the Bicameral Conference Committee reports on two bills of national importance, namely the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Bill and the bill postponing the conduct of the December 2022 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) to October 2023.

Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), went on to give special mentions to his colleagues who helped him and the rest of the House get the results that they did.

“Considering these initial legislative accomplishments in the first two months of the 19th Congress, let me acknowledge the enthusiasm of our Members, the relentless work of our deputy speakers led by Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Majority Leader Mannix Dalipe ably assisted by his senior Deputy Majority Leader Ferdinand Alexander Marcos, the chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, Congressman Elizaldy Co and his workhorse, our senior vice chairperson Congresswoman Stella Quimbo and all the vice chairs of the Committee on Appropriations for a job well done as well as the members, as well as the uncompromising stand on many issues by Minority Leader, Congressman Marcelino Libanan and his senior Deputy Paul Daza, to the leader of the Independent Bloc, Congressman Edcel Lagman, thank you for your insights and your good work in fiscalizing the budget,” he said.

“Truly, each and every member of the 19 Congress 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,” the Speaker added.

The solons’ recess officially begins on Oct. 1 and will end on Nov. 6.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/09/29/romualdez-delivers-1st-accomplishment-report-of-19th-congress/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=romualdez-delivers-1st-accomplishment-report-of-19th-congress)