SPEAKER Alan Peter Cayetano and House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez led their colleagues in posting 82 percent attendance record during the first two months of the 18th Congress.
Cayetano and Romualdez were never absent during the first two months or from July 22 to September 23.
September 23 was the last day when a journal was posted on the House website and 234 House members attended the session.
Lawmakers held sessions until October 2, but journals for the last few session days after September 23 are not yet shown on the House website.
According to the journals of proceedings posted, it showed an average of 246 of the 300 lawmakers attending the session or 20 session days when Cayetano or the presiding officer ordered a roll call.
It was on July 22 or during the election of Speaker when the House of Representatives posted 297 lawmakers attending the session, the highest number of members present.
It was learned that only three House members were absent on the first day of session on July 22: Sultan Kudarat Rep. Bai Sakaluran, DIWA party-list Rep. Michael Aglipay and former Marino party-list Rep. Jose Antonio Lopez.
Last Sunday, Marino party-list Rep. Sandro L. Gonzalez announced that Macnell Lusotan shall assume his post as the second representative of the party-list after he is officially sworn in by Cayetano on November 4, when the House resumes its session.
Marino won two seats in the 2019 elections, but Lopez, resigned for personal reasons.
On July 23 or the second day of session, the second highest attendance of 268 was recorded, followed by 266 on August 13, 259 on August 27, and 257 on July 31.
The lowest attendance of 185 was recorded on August 20, a Tuesday or the day sandwiched by holidays when the House decided to convene.
August 19 was a local holiday in Quezon City, where the House is located, while August 21 was Ninoy Aquino Day.
Upon Cayetano’s instruction, Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero of 1-Pacman said House leaders led by Romualdez performed excellently in passing vital pieces of legislation to help President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte realize his vision of a better Philippines.
“The Speaker and all of us wanted to avoid the delay that we had this year in enacting the current national budget. It really took its toll on the economy and our people. It slowed down economic growth,” said Romero.
Ako Bisaya party-list Rep. Sonny Lagon, whose party-list is allied with the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) which Romualdez heads as President, commended his colleagues for their dedication to their legislative duties as shown by the impressive attendance record.
“Despite the spate of holidays, lawmakers chose to attend to their congressional work instead of going on extended break. This is due to the strong and competent leadership for keeping the House of Representatives on track in achieving its legislative agenda and priorities,” said Lagon.