Lower chamber morphs into ‘House of Reforms’

October 29, 2019
Alan Peter Cayetano & Martin Romualdez

HOUSE leaders credited the leadership tandem of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez for transforming the House of Representatives into the “House of Reforms.”

Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, Ako Bisaya party-list Rep. Sonny Lagon and Deputy Speaker and 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero said the 18th Congress performed excellently in passing vital pieces of legislation to help President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte realize his vision of a better Philippines.

Salceda cited the significant improved ranking of Philippine competitiveness in the World Bank (WB) ease of doing business survey where the country leaped from 124th to 95th or right at the top 50% of the 190 countries surveyed.

“The improvement is by no means a ceiling for the Philippines. Through the efforts of Speaker Alan and Majority Leader Martin, the House of Representatives has become a House of Reforms,” said Salceda, who chairs the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Lagon credited the Cayetano-Romualdez leadership with the swift passage on third and final reading of the remaining comprehensive tax reforms package (CTRP) of President Duterte, including House Bill (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).

“These measures will help attain a much better economy by hitting A credit rating before President Duterte steps down from power in 2022. We will work hard to further promote the country as a viable investment destination. President Duterte’s good governance, strong anti-corruption drive and sound economic policies have resulted in the surging economy that earned the Philippines an upgrade to BBB+, the country’s highest credit rating in history from Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P). This will help reduce the cause of the country’s borrowing,” said Lagon, whose party-list is allied with the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) which Romualdez heads as President.

“The House of Representatives will continue to prioritize the passage of bills aimed at sustaining the country’s economic growth momentum,” said Lagon who earlier commended his colleagues for their dedication to their legislative duties as shown by the impressive 82 percent House attendance record during the first two months of the 18th Congress.

Romero, president of the 54-strong Party-list Coalition Foundation, Inc. (PCFI), said the Philippines’ leapfrog into the circle of nations with the best ease of doing business systems in place and the positive peace and order situation will boost investors confidence, which will make economic progress “sweet and very long” for the country.

“The Philippines is now open for business,” declared Romero. “This jump into the circle of top 50 percent world economies with good investment climate means the Philippines is becoming globally competitive and would redound to more local and foreign entrepreneurs opening new businesses and create more jobs.”

“This time, the ordinary Filipinos, particularly our marginalized and poor countrymen, will feel and benefit from the fruits of economic progress,” the House official stated.

Romero, who before entering politics was one of the country’s most successful young entrepreneurs, credited President Duterte for pursuing the correct formula towards achieving economic advancement.

The House official recalled that Duterte took an uncompromising stance against criminality to improve peace and order.

Romero said the Chief Executive quickly launched moves to reform the economy with executive and legislative actions, such as the passage of Republic Act (RA) No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018.

“The WB survey is a huge boost to investment confidence towards the Philippines.  This will have a long, lasting effect on our competitiveness in the world arena,” Romero said.

Cayetano got 64% approval and 62% trust ratings based on September 2019 Ulat ng Bayan Survey of Pulse Asia

The Speaker also received another “good” +49 net satisfaction rating based on the third quarter 2019 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

According to SWS survey, some 64 percent of Filipinos said they are satisfied with Cayetano’s performance, while 14 percent said they are dissatisfied.