HOUSE leaders yesterday said the new leadership under Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez got off to a good start during the four-day special session following the passage on third and final reading of the proposed P4.5 trillion national budget and a bill granting anti-red tape powers to President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte he can use in a national emergency.
Cavite Rep. Elpidio “Pidi” Barzaga Jr., San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida “Rida” P. Robes, and Ang Probinsyano party-list Rep. Alfred C. Delos Santos credited the new leadership for delivering on the twin measures that President Duterte wanted approved.
“The performance of the new leadership during special session was very commendable. This is a very encouraging sign in our mission to approve the legislative agenda of President Duterte. The Velasco-Romualdez leadership has got off to a good start,” Barzaga, chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, said.
Robes said she is “extremely delighted that the leadership impasse in the House of Representatives had been resolved peacefully and amicably by our two honorable leaders, Lord Allan Velasco and former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.”
“I look forward to a renewed, more united and inclusive leadership at the House of Representatives led by Speaker Velasco with Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez. I believe that Speaker Velasco and Majority Leader Romualdez are both righteous and committed to steer the House of Representatives to new heights to become a more effective and responsive institution to serve the Filipino people especially in these trying times,” Robes stressed.
For his part, Delos Santos said the leadership will continue to work for a better 2021 as he praised his colleagues for passing the 2021 national budget on third reading.
“We are very happy that it already finished the third reading. Our goal is always to fast track the process to help out fellow Filipinos. Alam naman po natin na these are not normal times, and gusto po nating matugunan agad yung mga pangangailangan ng mga kababayan natin,” Delos Santos, ally and friend of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) led by Romualdez as President, stated.
Due to the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic, Delos Santos said the whole world has found itself in the new normal.
He said this has resulted in a lot of modifications in priorities, including legislative policies.
Delos Santos noted that the whole government cannot afford a reenacted budget especially with the drastic change brought about by the pandemic.
“Syempre marami po talaga kasing pagbabago na kailangang gawin lalo na’t nandito pa ang COVID. We want to assure na lahat ng government agencies natin ay may sapat na resources for them to be able to function in the new normal,” Delos Santos said.
Delos Santos said his stance will always be pro-people and responsive to the current needs of the country.
“Lagi at lagi naman po simula noong naluklok tayo sa Kongreso, gusto lamang po talaga natin magsilbi sa mga kababayan natin, lalo na sa mga probinsyano,” said Delos Santos.
“Being one myself, alam natin kung ano yung mga pinagdadaanan nila, at yung mga trabaho na sinusulong po natin sa plenary, lagi po talagang para sa mga Pilipino at gusto po natin talagang tumugon sa pangangailangan ng mga kababayan natin ngayon. Kaya po sobrang natutuwa akong magiging responsive sa predicted needs ng Pilipinas yung budget na na-approve para sa 2021. Marami pong naging deliberasyon kasama ang iba’t ibang government agencies para dyan, kaya masaya po tayong hindi ito mawawalang bahala,” Delos Santos stressed.