Arroyo highlights House’s achievements in address before Congress break
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo highlighted the achievements of the House of Representatives in her speech on Friday before the session went into recess for the 2019 elections.
In her speech before 244 House members, Arroyo boasted that the last seven months — most of which were under her watch — was the most productive for the House.
“As we prepare to recess for three months, allow me to congratulate all of you on a most productive seven months for the House. Congratulations also to the House Secretariat for their full support for the Members of the House,” she said.
Among the enacted laws Arroyo mentioned include the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), measures helping coconut farmers and fisherfolks, the second tranch of the tax reform law or the Trabaho bill, and the expanded PhilHealth coverage.
“Two weeks ago, the people of the envisioned Bangsamoro region ratified in plebiscite the organic law we crafted. It promises to usher in a new and lasting era of peace and development for our countrymen in Mindanao, and especially our Muslim brothers and sisters,” she explained.
“In agricultural and other natural resources, we legislated programs to promote the coconut industry and coconut farmers, uplifting one of the poorest communities in the country,” she added.
Arroyo assumed the speakership after she was voted by the majority of the House members moments before President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 23, 2018.
She replaced Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, a known close ally of Duterte.
Aside from the bills, Arroyo also mentioned the recent ratification of the 2019 proposed national budget, which was stalled due to discussions on pork barrel insertions.
“This year’s budget is perhaps the most closely scrutinized budget proposal in the last 3 decades since our present system was out in the 1987 Constitution,” she noted.
“Both the House and the Senate should be congratulated for passing the budget in a process characterized by hard work and collective wisdom. The two bodies worked independently, in scrutinizing the budget, so in the end, it is a joint achievement,” she added.
The Senate and the House adjourned its session on Friday for the campaign period for the 2019 midterm elections. The session of both chambers will resume at 3 p.m. on May 20, 2018. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.