New Senate committee chairpersons named

<p>File photo</p>

File photo

MANILA – The Senate on Wednesday began reorganizing key posts after the change in leadership, with former Senate president Juan Miguel Zubiri getting the economic affairs panel.

In the plenary session presided over by new Senate President Francis "Chiz” Escudero, several senators have been elected to lead major committees:

• Senator Sonny Angara, Committee on Justice and Human Rights;
• Senator Nancy Binay, Committee on Sustainable Goals;
• Senator Pia Cayetano, Committee on Energy;
• Senator JV Ejercito, Committee on Local Government;
• Senator Lito Lapid, Committee on Tourism;
• Senator Imee Marcos, Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement;
• Senate Majority Leader Francis Tolentino, Committee on Ethics and Privileges;
• Senator Raffy Tulfo, Committee on Public Services;
• Senator Joel Villanueva, Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development; and
• Senator Mark Villar, Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who has been selected as chair of the Committee on Accounts, will also lead the Committee on Trade and Industry, and the Committee on Higher, Technical and Vocational Education.

Senator Jinggoy Estrada has been chosen Senate Pro Tempore and Tolentino as majority floor leader on Monday.

"Everyone should have a committee and former Senate president Zubiri expressed to me their desire to have committees and to work. I wholly agree dahil kailangan naman talaga namin ng makakatulong (that we need to work together)," Escudero said in a news release.

"There are over 45 committees if I'm not mistaken, at 24 lang kami (and we are only 24)," the Senate chief said in a press conference held earlier.

He said announcements will be made in the coming days as the Senate continues its organizational processes.

Independent Senate

Meanwhile, Senator Nancy Binay urged the new leadership to ensure that the Senate remains independent.

“Unang una ang panawagan na hindi ma-compromise ng pagpapalit ng liderato ang independence ng Senado (First, I’m hoping the change of leadership would not compromise the independence of the Senate),” she said in a radio interview.

She said the Senate’s mindset is how to create laws beneficial to the public and for the good of the country and maintain its independence. (Leonel Abasola/PNA)