Only a united lower legislative chamber can make it happen.
And only a dynamic, experienced, discerning leader can do the job.
While two top contenders for speakership of the House of Representatives cannot seem to trust each other on the planned sharing of the term of office of the next leader of the chamber, an emerging congressional leader from Eastern Visayas is showing that he could be the unifying force to rally Congress into fast-tracking not only the legislative agenda of the administration but also the entire national development objectives.
By committing congressional support for the overall goals of the administration, Leyte Rep.-elect Martin Romualdez is effectively saying that the times call for purposeful legislative action with the welfare of the people and the progress of the nation in mind.
Most certainly, the times demand no division and petty partisan interests prevail over the House agenda.
Romualdez has personally assured President Rodrigo R. Duterte of a “united" House of Representatives that would expedite the passage of all the Chief Executive’s priority bills, especially the 2020 national budget, and address the funding requirement of his flagship projects, including the ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.
Romualdez made the assurance Wednesday during a private dinner with the President and senator-elect Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go shortly after they attended the 122nd-anniversary celebration of the Presidential Security Group in Malacañang.
“I took the opportunity to report to him what was discussed and agreed upon earlier by the multi-party caucus. I assured him of a united House of Representatives,” Romualdez told reporters Thursday.
“I also told the President that my fellow congressmen, even before Congress opens a session on July 22, have begun working on the measures that needed to be discussed ASAP,” he said.
The president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats was referring to the multi-party caucus which he called Wednesday morning to discuss what congressional leaders from all political parties and influential blocs want to be prioritized in the 18th Congress.
The assembly, the first of a series of caucuses, drew the attendance of 40 congressional leaders representing PDP-Laban, Lakas-CMD, National Unity Party, Nacionalista Party, Liberal Party, and the Party-List Coalition.
“The congressional leaders were unanimous in saying that the 18th Congress will be a real working partner of President Duterte and the Executive Department. All vowed to work double-time to shepherd the approval of the President’s legislative agenda,” Romualdez said.
In his report to the President, the Leyte solon said the approval of the proposed 2020 national budget before the end of the year remains on top of the 18th Congress’ priority list.
He said House leaders have agreed on a self-imposed deadline in approving the 2020 National Expenditure Program by October.
“I informed the President that House leaders have already established a reliable communication line with Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez and other economic managers to ensure that the 2020 national budget will be approved before the end of the year,” Romualdez