Party-list Reps. Jesulito Manalo of Angkla, Anthony Bravo of COOP-NATCCO, and Cecilia Chavez of Butil and former Reps. Catalina “Baby” Pizarro of ABS and Mariano “Nonoy” Piamonte of A-Teacher, expressed belief that Romualdez has the capability to effectively implement the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte in the next three years.
They said Romualdez, a lawyer and president of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), will be a good leader and a consensus policy maker to ensure that important pieces of legislation are passed into law for the benefit of the people.
“We support Romualdez as Speaker in the 18th Congress. We have worked with him in Congress and he is not only a principled and compassionate leader but a unifying presence who can actively steer PRRDs legislative agenda for change and development in the country,” they said of Romualdez, a three-term Leyte congressman.
Romualdez earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and studied law at the University of Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City.
He holds a Certificate for Special Studies in Administration and Management from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass, USA. During his stint as congressman of his district in Leyte, he supported the massive investments in infrastructure that spurred progress and development.
He championed small businesses and industries in his district and the plight of disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors of society, persons with disabilities (PWDs), senior citizens, the sickly and the poor. One of his benchmark legislations during the 16th Congress was the passage of House Bill (HB) No. 1039, a law exempting PWDs from paying value-added tax on certain goods and services. This was signed into Law last March 23, 2016 and is now known as Republic Act (RA) No. 10754 or an act on expanding the benefits and privileges of people with disabilities. Earlier, a lawmaker said the impressive and untainted track record of Romualdez as public servant will work to his advantage in the race for the speakership.
“Mabuting tao si Martin. He has no corruption issue and that will work to his advantage. Wala tayong nabalitaan diyan kay Martin na hindi maganda,” said Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice, a member of the House oppositionist Magnificent 7 after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, chairperson of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), endorsed Romualdez as the next Speaker.
House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, who chairs the House committee on public accounts, said the endorsement of Mayor Sara of Romualdez will make for a more productive and responsive House of Representatives supportive of the President’s legislative agenda.
“We need a competent and honest man as Speaker like Congressman Romualdez. He has good public relations and no derogatory issue. Congress will be very interesting with his leadership. He is good, responsible, very bright and intelligent,” said Suarez of Romualdez who served as the head of the House independent bloc of the previous 16th Congress.