Villafuerte’s warning: Political discord risks breaking supermajority coalition
MANILA, Philippines — National Unity Party (NUP) president and Representative Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte Jr. warned fellow lawmakers against engaging in trivial political discord, saying such disputes could risk fragmenting the supermajority coalition in both chambers of Congress.
Villafuerte underscored the significant role that unity has played in supporting President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s successful first year in office.
“Only through greater unity under Speaker Martin can we remain true to our commitment to the President’s legislative agenda to improve the lives of all Filipinos,” the Camarines Sur representative said in a statement.
Villafuerte said that under Romualdez’s leadership, the House of Representatives has succeeded in passing the majority of priority bills that form part of Marcos’s Agenda for Peace and Prosperity. This feat has been critical in maintaining a harmonious working relationship between the Malacañan Palace and the Congress.
“Our nation’s leaders would break faith with this broad and deep public support for national unity were we to waste our time with vacuous political discord that could only break apart the supermajority coalition in both the House and the Senate—and wreak havoc on the ‘Agenda for Peace and Prosperity’ of President Marcos to improve the lives of all Filipinos,” he said.
The former Camarines Sur governor noted the legislative performance under Romualdez’s leadership. During the first regular session of the 19th Congress, the House passed 31 priority measures endorsed by Marcos for immediate legislative approval.
Under Romualdez, the House processed 9,600 measures in the first regular session, consisting of 8,490 bills; 1,109 resolutions; and one petition. Out of these, 577 measures were passed. This translates to an average of 30 legislative measures processed per session day, which is a tenth higher than the output of the 18th Congress.
Before adjourning sine die last week, the House had passed 33 of the 42 priority bills that the President and the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council had drawn up. Villafuerte co-authored 14 of these priority measures.
Reaffirming his call for unity, Villafuerte said that the NUP — the second largest power group in the House, next to the Romualdez-led Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) — continues to support the alliance with Lakas-CMD and Romualdez’s speakership.