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House of Representatives under Speaker Martin performs beyond expectation

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News have it that more than 600 bills approved by the House of Representatives remain pending in the Senate, as its achievements were laid out by House Speaker Martin Romualdez during a speech he delivered before Congress adjourned on December 13.

The rather surprising news was broken by Romualdez, who stated that a total of 663 House bills “have been approved by the House of Representatives and are now awaiting action by our Senate counterparts.”

The most important bill passed by Congress, he says, was the P5.768 trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) for 2024.

According to Romualdez, “since the start of the 19th Congress, this chamber has filed 9,763 house bills; 1,576 resolutions; and one petition, or a total of 11,340 measures. Of these filed measures, 34 have been enacted into law, eight have been transmitted for presidential action, seven bicameral conference committee reports have been ratified, 11 local bills have been passed by the Senate without amendments, and we have concurred to the amendments made by the Senate on six other local bills of our colleagues.” Five are pending before their respective bicameral conference committees.

“Further, 663 House Bills have been approved by the House of Representatives and are now awaiting action by our Senate counterparts. Of the 121 session days this 19th Congress — which is 64 percent higher than the number of session days in the same period during the 18th Congress — we have processed an average of 28 legislative measures per session day,” he stated further.

“We have also approved on third reading 46% more house bills and adopted 49% percent more resolutions compared to the first 18 months of the 18th Congress,” he added.

When Congress resumes sessions on January 22, 2024, Romualdez said the House will begin tackling proposals for charter change, with particular focus on rewriting certain provisions in the Constitution which tend to limit foreign investments in the country.

“Next year, after our Yuletide break, we will focus our attention on studying and reviewing proposals that deal with restrictions blocking the entry of foreign capital and investments in the Philippines. These include deliberation on all proposed measures related to constitutional change. This Congress will champion the cause of revisiting our present constitution. A cause that is key to unlocking the vast potential of our Philippine economy. Gagawin nating lahat para buksan ang ating ekonomiya sa puhunan. Pag-aaralan natin ang lahat ng paraan kung paano makikinabang ang ordinaryong tao sa pag-amyenda ng konstitusyon,” Romualdez explained.

Speaker Romualdez also reported that Congress was able to pass all the priority bills mentioned by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. during his second State of the Nation Address (Sona) last July 2023, and those under the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) list, saying: “during the second (Ledac) meeting in July 2023, 20 legislative measures were identified and set for legislative approval before the year ends. The House of Representatives has passed all the twenty measures as early as September 2023, or three months ahead of schedule. Of these 20 Ledac identified measures, four have been enacted into law.”

The Speaker added: “In his second State of the Nation address last July 2023, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. mentioned 17 priority measures needed to sustain our economic recovery and improve the living conditions of many of our countrymen. It is with great pride and honor to report to this august chamber that we passed all of these 17 Sona priority measures, seven months ahead of the president’s next State of the Nation Address in July 2024.”

Congratulations to the House of Representatives for a job well done. And swiftly too.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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