THE 17th Congress ended with flying colors, Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said in her valedictory.
Speaker Arroyo joined other 73 members of the House in finishing their last and final term.
The House of Representatives adjourned sine die its regular session, with Speaker Arroyo thanking her colleagues for their tireless work and dedication and support for her leadership which resulted in achieving genuine milestones that will benefit both the present and next generation of Filipinos.
She thanked her colleagues for all the support they have given to her as House Speaker the past year.
“It was my relationship with you, characterized by solidarity and unity, driven by our common resolve to work towards the good of our people, which I relied upon to fulfill my role in this institution. I thank you for giving me the honor and privilege of serving you,” Speaker Arroyo said.
Arroyo cited that from the start of the Third Regular Session on July 23, 2018, a total of 250 House bills have been passed into law. The new laws were among the 880 measures the House approved, which in turn were among the almost 2,500 measures processed in the 17th Congress.
“All these translate to our having processed 45 measures a day – a testament to the tough work ethic of the members of the House,” she said.
The 880 measures approved include all the bills highlighted by President Rodrigo Duterte in his 2018 State of the Nation Address.
“For early on, I defined our principal objective in no uncertain terms as to push for the legislative agenda of President Duterte. Our House focused on the passage of priority bills, especially those he highlighted in his 2018 SONA,” Speaker Arroyo said.
The Speaker stressed she is biased when it comes to fiscal health because the restoration of the country’s fiscal health during her administration provided the platform for the Philippines to eventually regain its investment grade rating internationally, as well as the infrastructure program that built more and better.
“A healthy fiscal position and increased infrastructure, those were my core economic policies as President, and they are among the core economic policies of this Administration as well. Those were the economic policies that reduced our poverty level from 39% when I assumed the Presidency, to 26% when I left the Presidency. It was all anchored on fiscal reform. Now, we have President Duterte’s fiscal reform, which has brought our country’s credit rating to just a notch below A, and which is poised to take our economy to the next level in terms of development as an upper middle income country,” she said.
The Speaker also recognized the sterling assistance provided by the House Secretariat – from its leadership to its ranks, whose expertise and experience have been most instrumental in what House members have accomplished.