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‘Great performance’

Martin Romualdez
Majority Leader Martin Romualdez

– House achievements cited

MAJORITY Leader Martin Romualdez said the House of Representatives has shown a great performance in terms of legislative work despite the threat from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Martin Romualdez
Majority Leader Martin Romualdez

According to Romualdez, , under the leadership of Speaker Lord

Allan Velasco, the House of Representatives stayed true to its commitment to pass President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s legislative agenda despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the change in leadership and the other disasters that hit the country this 2020 the Lower Chamber was able to process 688 measures or an average of 115 per session from October 12 to December 16, 2020.

Romualdez lauded Speaker Velasco for leading the House to solid efficiency despite the few session days left when he assumed office last October, as manifested in the passage of key measures like the P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget which was passed on final reading on October 16.

“Despite this challenging year, we remain unfazed and true to our mandate to enact laws that will improve the lives of the Filipino people. The accomplishments that we have this year would not be possible with without the hard work of our Speaker, our colleagues both in the majority and minority, as well as our staff,” Romualdez, who chairs the powerful House Committee on Rules, said.

From July 22, 2019 to December 16, 2020, the House processed a total of 2,598 measures during 74 session days, 40 of which were enacted into law, 16 transmitted to the President, and 453 approved on third and final reading.

The average number of measures processed per session day was 35, while the total number of bills and resolutions filed during the same period was 9,743.

“During the Second Regular Session, the Act Providing for COVID-19 Response and Recovery Interventions and Providing Mechanisms to Accelerate the Recovery and Bolster the Resiliency of the Philippine Economy was enacted into law. This is a manifestation of our continued commitment to excellence in service amid this pandemic,” Romualdez added.

“We will not stop working until all the priority measures of the Duterte administration are realized and until the needs of the Filipino people are addressed. We assure the public that their representatives are doing their best to provide them with quality legislation and timely service, and that no resource is wasted,” he also said.

Before the Holiday break, the House passed on final reading House Bill 7904 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act; House Bill 8136, or the proposed Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act; HB 6656 which would extend the availability of the 2020 appropriations until December 31, 2021; HB 8063, which extends the availability of Bayanihan 2 funds under Republic Act (RA) No. 11494 from December 19, 2020 until June 30, 2021.

The other notable bills passed on final reading during the Second Regular Session were HB 7302 or an Act Rationalizing the Disability Pension of Veterans; HB 7068 or the Tax Amnesty Act; HB 5989 which creates the Department of Disaster Resilience; HB 7679 which recognizes abandoned children with unknown parents as natural-born citizens of the Philippines; HB 7406 which strengthens and modernizes the Bureau of Fire Protection.

Likewise, it approved on final reading HB 7440 which improves the confirmation process for imperfect land titles; HB 7762 which institutes policies for the protection and promotion of the welfare of workers or independent contractor in the film, television, and radio entertainment industry; and HB 7805 which provides protection to consumers and merchants engaged in internet transactions.

HB 7836 which raises the age for statutory rape 12 to below 16, and HB 7951 which provides for the protection of the remittances of overseas Filipino workers were also passed on final reading during the Second Regular Session.

In addition, the chamber passed on second reading HB 8097 which grants additional benefits to solo parents and HB 8145 which extends the implementation of the lifeline rate and amends the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.