The House of Representatives adopted on Wednesday night a resolution commending Speaker Lord Allan Velasco’s competent, constructive, and decisive leadership during the Second Regular Session of the 18th Congress, which House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said had led the chamber in passing laws responsive to the unprecedented times.
MOTION APPROVED. House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez delivers his speech during the sine die adjournment at the plenary of the House of Representatives. Romualdez said House Speaker Lord Alan Velasco approves his motion to allow all standing and special committees to hold hearings during the congressional recess this month until resumption in July 26 for the opening of the Third Regular Session and the final State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte. Ver Noveno

Acting on the request of his colleagues during the House Committee on Rules’ regular meeting last Tuesday and upon approval by Velasco, the plenary also adopted Romualdez’s motion to allow all standing and special committees to hold hearings during the congressional recess this month until resumption in July.

Romualdez, chairman of the House Committee on Rules and representative of Leyte’s first district, said the conduct of committee hearings even during the Congress recess will allow lawmakers to continue performing their mandate of conducting public hearings or inquiries in aid of legislation.

“The sine die adjournment will not stop the House from working under the Velasco-led leadership,” Romualdez said.

He said allowing House panels to hold meetings was aimed at producing noteworthy and meaningful proposed legislations even on recess.

“We will not be distracted and we will not lose track on shepherding priority legislation that will answer and cater to the needs of the welfare of the people especially in this challenging and difficult time. We must work doubly hard to craft and put into fruition the passage of the priority measures, including bills relative to the fight against the pandemic,” said Romualdez.

In his sponsorship speech of House Resolution 1838, Romualdez emphasized Velasco’s “exemplary display of management with compassion” as he strongly ensures the health and safety of House members and employees from the threat of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) by implementing a quarterly real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests and bi-weekly antigen (AG) tests for all members and employees of the chamber, taken at the beginning of their work shift, including official guests who enter the house premises.

Romualdez added that Velasco also made sure that COVID-19 vaccines were available to House members and employees, including their dependents.

The resolution was co-authored by House Minority Leader and ABANG LINGKOD party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano.

Among the other measures prioritized by Velasco were RA 11519 or the “Bayanihan To Recover As One Act,” and RA 11520 which extended the availability of last year’s national budget until Dec. 31, 2021.

During the Second Regular Session of the 18th Congress, Velasco spearheaded the approval on third and final reading of the remaining priority bills certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte which include HB No. 8999 or the “Medical Reserve Corps  Act,” which makes it necessary to maintain a strong, proactive, and responsive healthcare system at all times especially during a public health crisis; and bills seeking to further amend Commonwealth Act 146 or the “Public Service Act,” as amended; RA 7042 or the “Foreign Investments Act Of 1991,” as amended; and RA 8762 or the “Retail Trade Liberalization Act Of 2000,” which lowers the required paid-up capital for foreign retail enterprises to allow more foreign investments and hasten the country’s economic recovery from the stagnating effects of COVID-19.

The House closed the Second Regular Session of the 18th Congress on Wednesday evening, and is scheduled to return to the Batasang Pambansa on July 26 for the opening of the Third Regular Session and the final State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte.

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