Martin assures fair allocation of House panel, budget

Martin Romualdez

LETYE Representative-elect Martin Romualdez yesterday assured the newly constituted Party List Coalition (PLC) of fair and equitable distribution of committee posts and budget allocations should he become the Speaker of the incoming 18th Congress.

Romualdez, President of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) and Lakas Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), also recognized the invaluable contribution of the party-list bloc in ensuring the swift passage of President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s legislative agenda this 17th Congress, adding the group will continue to be a powerful partner for reforms next Congress.

“The party-list group comprises 20% of the House of Representatives. We will work for their proper representation in various committees, budget allocations, and among others.

“These are the things we will thresh out,” Romualdez told reporters after attending the post-proclamation meeting of the PLC at the Marco Polo Hotel in Pasig City where he and other aspirants in the speakership race was given a chance to present their programs.

Initially, Romualdez is being backed by at least 126 lawmakers who signed the manifesto of support for his speakership bid.

Romualdez, the former House Independent Bloc Leader of the previous 16th Congress, said he hopes to get the support of the PLC.

“Malaking bagay ‘yan (support of PLC).  You have to remember that party-list group represents many sectors and marginalized sectors, and they are the very …sectors na kung minsan naiiwanan. Kaya masyadong importante itong grupo, I took time to go here,” said Romualdez.

The Leyte congressman-elect said he expects the party-list bloc in the incoming 18th Congress to continue with its crucial role of ensuring the swift passage of Malacañang’s priority measures.

“The party-list bloc is our partner for change and reforms to carry the speedy passage of President Duterte’s legislative agenda,” said Romualdez, one of the strong contenders in the speakership race.

I-Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero was elected President of the Party List Coalition (PLC) and invited Romualdez, reelected Rep. Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano of Taguig-Pateros to Thursday’s event.

Romero said the group will choose later the candidate for Speaker they would support, adding the bloc will also give similar audience to reelected Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez and Davao City Representative-elect Paolo Duterte.

“Matagal pa naman ang botohan. After this (hearing the advocacies of the candidates), we will decide soon,” said Romero.