Duterte priority bills passed

December 13, 2018
House of Representatives
PRODUCTIVE LEADERSHIP. On the same day of the martial law extension approval, former President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced that in less than six months the House of Representatives had already passed the entire legislative agenda prioritized by the President in his 2018 State of the Nation Address. In her closing remarks, Speaker Arroyo emphasized that her concern was not her legacy, but to support the legacy of President Duterte. “[The] country has a good policy framework in place supported by good legislation,” she said. To ensure this, the Speaker now seeks to pivot from mere policies to implementation. She called on the House members to be prepared to provide support to the implementing departments and agencies. Speaker Arroyo told the legislators to enjoy the Christmas break with the assurance that they have accomplished so much in only a short time. Photo by Pecto Camero

THE House of Representatives successfully passed before the Christmas break all the priority bills of President Rodrigo Duterte, which he enumerated during his last State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stressed this in her Christmas message during Wednesday’s session, the last day of session before Congress goes on a one-month break.

In just five months since Arroyo assumed leadership of the Lower House, the former President has steered the House of Representatives to passing all of the priority legislative measures of President Duterte.

Speaker Arroyo said she owed such feat to the hard work and dedication of her colleagues at the House who had tirelessly worked with her to pass all of the 15 priority measures of the President.

The House leader pointed out that she was not concerned about her legacy but her aim was to carry out the legislative agenda of the President.

“More important for me, shortly after I assumed the Speakership, I told you, my colleagues, that my goal is to implement the legislative agenda of President Duterte. And you have seen that the legislature that the House has prioritized this past six months were the priority bills announced by the President in his 2018 State of the Nation Address,” Arroyo said.

“My concern is not my legacy as Speaker. My concern is to support President Duterte’s legacy in the year that I have as Speaker. And as of yesterday, the House can report with confidence that we have already passed the President’s entire legislative agenda as he announced in his 2018 State of the Nation Address,” she added.

Among the President’s priority bills are the Bangsamoro Basic Law, Endo or the Security of Tenure Act, Utilization of the Coco Levy Act, National Land Use Act, Creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience, Rice Tariffication, Trabaho Bill or TRAIN 2, Mining Taxes, Alcohol Taxes, Tobacco Taxes, Reform in Property Valuation, Reform in Capitol Income and Financial Taxes, Tax Amnesty Program, Universal Health Care and Revision of the Constitution.

In just 41 days since she assumed the speakership, Speaker Arroyo said, the House has processed about 1,361 bills, approved 492 measures of which 95 had passed into law.

There are 39 bills ready for the President’s signature; 27 with ratified bicameral reports; 25 on bicameral conference committee; 22 approved on second reading plus 38 resolutions approved.

Known for being a workaholic, Speaker Arroyo said her leadership style as Speaker is similar to when she was President from 2001 to 2010.

“It’s an honor to be House Speaker, and a position that I do not take lightly. And I thank you all for your support and cooperation. As you have seen, my leadership and management style as Speaker is still similar as when I was President. The key words are hard work; selectively hands on, especially in shepherding the 2018 SONA bills,” the Speaker said.