SPEAKER Lord Allan Velasco asked for the cooperation and support of the members of the House of Representatives as well as employees in building a stronger institution.
Addressing the employees during the culminating activity of the HRep Month celebration, Velasco said he is envisioning the House as a stronger, more inclusive and united institution.
“I am confident that by working together, by supporting one another, and by believing in each other, we can build a stronger 18th Congress that will help the nation rise from the present crisis,” Velasco told House employees as he addressed them for the first time since he assumed the speakership post.
Meanwhile, the new Speaker has commended House employees for their continuous delivery of services to lawmakers and the public even in the midst of the pandemic, saying such commitment spoke clearly of their dedication, competence and professionalism.
“Some employees are even braving the commute to report for work every day, from our very dedicated Accounting and HR staff to security personnel. They are our version of essential frontliners,” he said.
The Speaker gave assurances that the House will continue to make adjustments in the delivery of public services by “striking a balance between our health and safety, and the performance of our duty to serve our people.”
To date the House of Representatives has recorded at least 85 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 10 legislators. Almost all of them have recovered except for two lawmakers and three employees who succumbed to the disease.
Amid the health threat posed by COVID-19, the HRep Month was celebrated in a simple manner and all of the activities during the month-long celebration were held via videoconferencing app Zoom.
Velasco said the activities for the HRep Month have rightfully focused on the welfare and well-being of House employees.
In 2000, lawmakers adopted House Resolution No. 89 declaring October 16-22 as House of Representatives Week. The annual celebration was then extended for the whole month of October since 2008.