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No break for House panels while Congress in recess

The House of Representatives under Speaker Martin G. Romualdez on Wednesday night authorized all standing and special committees to hold hearings during the congressional break starting Thursday.
A HOUSE UNITED. Members of the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Martin Romualdez, celebrate after approving on third and final reading the P5.268 trillion proposed national budget for 2023 Wednesday evening. Ver Noveno 

In her formal motion in the plenary, House Deputy Majority Leader and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin moved to allow all panels to continue with their mandate of producing vital pieces of legislation during the first recess of the 19th Congress.

“I move that we authorize all committees to conduct meetings and/or public hearings, if deemed necessary, during the House recess from September 29, 2022 to November 6, 2022,” Garin said.

“Is there any objection? The chair hears none, motion is approved,” House Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales responded in granting Garin’s motion.

In an interview, Garin said Speaker Romualdez and House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe instructed House leaders to hold committee meetings during the break to ensure the expeditious passage of noteworthy and meaningful legislative measures, particularly those aimed at reviving the economy.

“The continuous hearings and deliberations of various measures even when Congress is on recess will help accelerate the passage of priority legislations,” she said.

Garin assured that the House leadership will continue to work hard and focus on shepherding the priority legislations of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. “to address and serve the needs of the people during these challenging and difficult times.”

“The Speaker wants to ensure a very productive House of Representatives during our break to address the country’s pressing concerns. This will help us craft and put into fruition the approval of priority bills of President Marcos to help us defeat various problems, including COVID-19,” Garin said.

Romualdez on Wednesday night took pride in the record accomplishments of the House in the first 23 session days of the 19th Congress, which convened last July 25.

The Speaker told his colleagues that since the start of their session, “we rolled up our sleeves and worked hand in hand to ensure collective and responsive action upon all pending bills and resolutions, including priority bills in the legislative agenda of our President, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.”

“Our mission from Day One is clear: Help resuscitate the pandemic-battered economy and make economic transformation the main engine to uplift the lives of the Filipino people,” he said in remarks before the House adjourned for the first recess of Congress.

Before adjournment, the House approved on second and third and final reading the proposed P5.268-trillion “Agenda for Prosperity” 2023 national budget, the most important legislative proposal Congress tackles every year.

The House also ratified two bicameral conference committee (bicam) reports — those on the proposed Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act and the postponement of the December 2022 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) to last Monday of October 2023 – that will soon be transmitted to Malacañang for President Marcos’ signature.

Comparative data from the House committee on rules showed that the House passed on third reading 37 national bills, a 106-percent increase over the 18 measures approved on final reading by the 18th Congress, and 517 percent higher compared to six measures approved on third reading during the 17th Congress over the same period.

The House processed a total of 427 measures, 96 percent more than the 218 tackled by the 18th Congress and 104% higher than the 209 measures discussed during the 17th Congress.

The number of bills the larger chamber handled per session day averaged 19, versus 11 in the previous Congress, or an improvement of 70 percent and 246 percent better than five recorded during the 17th Congress.

Romualdez recalled that shortly after the 19th Congress convened in July, the House adopted Concurrent Resolution No. 2, which supported the 2022-2028 Medium Term Fiscal Framework of the national government.

“Yet, in that period, a greater number of measures—totaling 5,696—were filed by our members, showing clear passion and dedication to their constituents and their advocacies,” Romualdez said.

He said the House also adopted 20 resolutions, approved 37 measures on third reading, 11 bills approved on second reading and read out 63 committee reports.

 

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