Speaker thanks Romualdez for House’s outstanding performance

SPEAKER Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday night heaped praises on his colleagues led by House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez for their outstanding performance, resulting to an all-time high public satisfaction rating of 63% by the House of Representatives in the fourth quarter Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

In his speech before adjourning the session for Holy Week recess, Cayetano commended his colleagues in the 18th Congress for their overwhelming support in their shared vision of realizing President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s legislative agenda.

Specifically, Cayetano thanked Romualdez, the chairman of the House committee on rules, and the Deputy Speakers for their solid performance in ensuring that Filipinos will have a more comfortable and safer life.

“Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we achieved in the past few months,” said Cayetano.

The House of Representatives recently gained an all-time high public satisfaction rating of 63% in the last quarter SWS survey.

From the 57% satisfaction rating of the House of Representatives in September 2019, it rose to +63 in December due to improvements in public satisfaction ratings in Mindanao, Balance Luzon, and the Visayas, combined with a steady score in Metro Manila

One of Romualdez’s main workhorses to get the job done in the plenary is House Deputy Majority Leader and Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Wilter “Sharky” Wee Palma II who is aided by hardworking House officials led by Deputy Secretary General for Operations Atty. David Robert Amorin and House committee on rules Director IV Jennifer “Jef” Baquiran. Cayetano also thanked the opposition members, the administration members, the majority and minority blocs, the Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao blocs, as well as those who provided the quorum and those who questioned the quorum.

“We’d also like to thank the minority, sapagkat hindi naman ito magagawa ‘pag wala kayo. And to be fair, minsan mahaba lang, pero you make legislation better. The interpellations, the suggestions, forced us to think and forced us to come up with better legislation,” Cayetano added.

Citing the statistics from the House committee on rules chaired by Romualdez, he said that a “record-breaking output” was achieved by the House of Representatives during the first six months of the 18th Congress.

The number of measures approved on third reading increased by more than 400 percent compared with the output of the 17th Congress for the same period, while the total measures approved on second reading as well as the number of committee reports filed have also increased by 300 percent, he highlighted.

Meanwhile, the number of measures processed and total measures approved during the said period increased by 180 percent and 178 percent respectively.

In terms of approved bills in the committees and in the plenary, the records show that there were 175 measures approved as of December 2019 compared with only 63 in the first six months of the regular session of the previous Congress.

Among those measures passed are priority bills mentioned by the President during his State of the Nation Address in 2019, including the establishment of the National Academy of Sports System, which was approved by the bicameral conference committee this week, and the creation of the Department of Filipinos Overseas and Foreign Employment, which was recently approved on second reading.

The proposed amendments to the Public Service Act, which will allow foreign nationals to own and operate public utilities in the Philippines and attract more foreign investors, was also passed on third reading yesterday, March 10, while the proposed GMRC and Values Education Act, principally authored by Cayetano, was ratified by both the Senate and the House of Representatives last week.

A number of tax reform measures that are responsive to the President’s agenda were also passed by the House of Representatives during the said period, namely: the Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act; the Corporate Income Tax and Incentive Rationalization Act; and the Real Property Valuation and Assessment Act.

In a period of six months, there were at least seven laws signed into law. These include: the P 4.1-trillion General Appropriations Act of 2020; Salary Standardization Law of 2019 (SSL V); Malasakit Center Act; Postponement of the Conduct of the 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections; the law increasing the excise tax rate on alcohol beverages and electronic cigarettes; the law extending the availability of the 2019 Appropriations to December 31, 2020; and the law designating the third Sunday of November every year as the National Day for Road Crash Victims and Their Families.