Romualdez sworn in as majority leader

Martin Romualdez

A HOUSE leader yesterday said newly elected House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez of Leyte would help steer the House of Representatives to greater heights in the next three years.

Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu, the acting floor leader during yesterday’s opening of the 18th Congress, nominated Romualdez for the House Majority Leader position.

“I rise today to speak of a man who I believe will be able to steer this Chamber into great heights in the next three years. We live in exciting yet challenging times, with significant reforms being undertaken by the government in the hopes of bettering the lives of the Filipino people.  At the forefront of these efforts will be crucial legislation necessary for the realization of the objectives of the administration,” Abu told lawmakers in his nomination speech.

“To my colleagues in the 18th Congress, I vow to serve you all and the Republic of the Philippines,” Romualdez responded.

Abu said Romualdez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from the Ivy League school, in Cornell University, and a Certificate of Special Studies in Administration and Management from Harvard University. He also earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines (UP).

Abu noted that one of the laws passed by Romualdez was Republic Act (RA) No. 10754, which exempts more than 1.5 million persons with disabilities (PWDs) from the payment of 12-percent value added tax (VAT) on certain goods and services. It was enacted during the time of former President Aquino when Romualdez served as the House Independent Bloc Leader.

Abu said Romualdez has “the reputation of being a consensus builder, a tough, hardworking, but fair and — most importantly — generous (in mind, heart, and spirit, of course!) lawmaker.”

“I believe (Romualdez) possesses the qualities that we as an institution need in these crucial and critical three years,” Abu said.

He also credited Romualdez for being a dedicated family man. “He is a doting father to four children, and a loving husband to his wife, our colleague, Representative Yedda Marie Romualdez (of Tingog party-list).  I mention this, Mr. Speaker, because by virtue of being a family man, he will serve this Chamber and this country to the greatest of his abilities, and with outmost dedication and sincerity, because he believes in helping shape a better future for his children.”

“Mr. Speaker, it is with the firmest of conviction, and with great honor and pride, that I nominate the Honorable Ferdinand Martin Romualdez as Majority Leader of the House of Representatives for the 18th Congress,” said Abu.

In his first act as House Majority Leader, Romualdez moved for the election of his colleagues to other key positions with newly elected Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano of Taguig-Pateros presiding.

Named Deputy Speakers were Reps. Paolo Duterte of Davao City, Ferdinand Hernandez of South Cotabato; Evelina Escudero of Sorsogon; Loren Legarda of Antique; Conrad Estrella III of Abono party-list; Prospero Pichay Jr. of Surigao del Sur; Roberto Puno of Antipolo City; Eduardo Villanueva of Citizens Battle Against Corruption (Cibac).