Solons say House a pivotal partner of PBBM admin

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

October 27, 2023, 4:33 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – Lawmakers on Friday said the House of Representatives has been a "pivotal partner" of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s administration in its agenda to keep the country's post-pandemic economy on a high-growth track to ensure more jobs and better living conditions for Filipinos.

Camarines Sur Representatives Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte Jr., Miguel Luis Villafuerte, and Tsuyoshi Anthony Horibata said the chamber under the leadership of Speaker Martin Romualdez has been "highly productive" in crafting a substantial number of social protection measures to support President Marcos' commitment that no Filipino would be left behind on the road to progress.

The lawmakers cited the chamber's final approval of the 20 priority measures identified by the President at the end of September, or three months ahead of the December deadline.

“Under the Speaker’s leadership, the bigger chamber has likewise passed a substantial number of measures meant to further stimulate the economy post-pandemic, and create more jobs and livelihood opportunities in step with the Marcos administration’s goal of inclusive high growth," Horibata said.

LRay Villafuerte said aside from the approval of the priority bills, the Speaker has also actively participated in the President's successful investment missions overseas, which have generated a combined PHP1.4 trillion approved investments.

They said this amount would "translate into quality jobs" for Filipinos and "greater economic activity" nationwide that could sustain the country’s growth momentum.

Villafuerte said the House has also helped the President strengthen the protection of the country’s “sovereign maritime territory” through the realignment of confidential government funds in the 2024 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) to the respective outlays of the Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and other agencies dealing with West Philippine Sea concerns.

"The House had been converted into a hardworking, highly productive chamber on Romualdez’s watch," Villafuerte said. “The once-criticized legislative body has won public approval as one of the government’s top performers.”

Apart from the GAB, other bills identified as priority measures that were passed by the House are the proposed National Employment Action Plan; the proposed Automatic Income Classification Act for Local Government Units; the Public-Private Partnership bill introducing amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer; and the proposed Salt Development Industry Act.

Also included are the proposed measure promoting the ease of paying taxes; the proposed Real Property Evaluation and Assessment Reform Act; the proposed Magna Carta for Seafarers; and the proposed Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act.

Other measures are the Waste-to-Energy bill; the measure creating the National Disease Prevention Management Authority; the proposed amendments to the Banking Act or the Fund Secrecy Law; the bill creating the Medical Reserve Corps; and the measure establishing the Virology Institute of the Philippines.

Completing the list of the Marcos administration’s priority bills are the proposed E-Governance Act; the proposed New Philippine Passport Act; the proposed National Government Rightsizing Act; the proposed National Scamming Act; the proposed National Citizens Service Training Program Act; and the proposed Military and Uniformed Personnel Pension System Act. (PNA)