‘House did not fail Duterte’

Rodrigo Duterte

THE House of Representatives has successfully passed the legislative priorities of President Rodrigo Duterte and will continue to work harder to do more.

House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez as he announced various bills that were already passed on third reading and those that are set to be approved when session resumes next month.

Romualdez said the House was able to process a total of 220 measures in 20 session days.

These include the proposed 2020 P4.1 trillion national budget and tax reform measures which were passed in record time on third and final reading.

“Through the sterling leadership of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, we want to assure the public that the leadership will continue to perform better,” Romualdez said.

“The House as an institution performed its tasks commendably and with distinction to deliver the legislative agenda of the President. We answered the challenges and demands of our duties and responsibilities,” Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), added.

Just recently, Speaker Cayetano, got an impressive 64 percent approval and 62 percent trust ratings in the September 2019 Ulat ng Bayan Survey of Pulse Asia.

Before Congress went on a month-long Halloween break last October 2,
the House processed 220 measures or an average of 11 measures per day during the 20 session days.

From July 22 to October 8, 2019, Romualdez said the lower chamber received a total of 5,566 measures and 70 committee reports.

Of these, Romualdez said 5,121 are bills and 445 are resolutions.

The House of Representatives also approved a total of 18 bills on third and final reading.

Notable among the bills approved on third and final reading are House Bill (HB) No. 4228 or the 2020 national budget, HB No. 1026 or a measure imposing additional excise taxes on alcohol, tobacco and vape products, HB No. 300 or amendment to the Foreign Investment Act of 1991, HB No. 304 or the Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA), and HB No. 4157 or the Corporate Income Tax and Incentive Rationalization Act (CITIRA), said Romualdez.

“We also immediately passed on third and final reading bills under the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) to help reach the A credit rating goal of the Duterte administration. We are a notch away from ‘A’ territory rating after a vote of confidence by Standard & Poor’s (S&P), upgrading the country’s credit rating from ‘BBB’ to ‘BBB+’ with a stable outlook because of the robust economic growth,” Romualdez added.

During the same period, the House of Representatives approved 38 bills on second reading and adopted 14 resolutions, three of these were concurrent resolutions and the remaining 11 were regular resolutions.

Approved on second reading was HB No. 4933 or the proposed law seeking to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections (BSKE) from May 11, 2020 to December 5, 2022.

The House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms-approved version was to reset the BSKE from second Monday of May 2020 to May 2023 until the plenary amended it to December 5, 2022, said Romualdez.

HB No. 4696 or An Act Mandating the Integration of the National Building Code of the Philippines as a major subject in BS engineering courses and inclusion as a topic in professional licensure examinations was also approved on second reading, he said.

Romualdez also said that the House of Representatives adopted House Joint Resolution (HJR) No. 19, which seeks to extend the validity of the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) and Capital Outlays (CO) of the 2019 national budget to December 31, 2020.