President lauds Speaker for ably leading House in nation-building
MANILA, Philippines — In what seems like an exchange of praises between two branches of government, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. thanked his cousin Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez for ably leading the House of Representatives as the chamber passed a resolution lauding the Chief Executive for supporting Congress.
In a statement on Monday for Romualdez’ 60th birthday, Marcos said that the Speaker has done a good job of leading the House, which has played an important part in nation-building.
“We of course thank you for all the good work that you have done in leading the House of Representatives and the very important part that the House of Representatives, under your leadership, has played in our effort of nation building,” Marcos said.
“And let’s hope to keep that working relationship strong and vibrant, and I look forward to the years to come where we can do even more good work together,” he added.
The President also joked that Romualdez would once again provide them with good meals that would make it hard for them to maintain their weight.
“But on a more personal note, I’m sure that we will have a fine celebration on your birthday and I am certain that once more, you will continue to provide all of the goodies and treats that are making it difficult for us to keep our weight. But that is not a complaint, that is a reminder that they’re much appreciated,” he said.
“In any case it’s our turn to provide you with treats on your birthday. Happy birthday, Martin,” he added.
The House meanwhile adopted House Resolution (HR) No. 1463 during Monday’s session, which expresses the chamber’s gratitude for Marcos’ support.
According to the resolution, Marcos also played a part in the many achievements set by the House in the 19th Congress — like the passage of key laws that contribute to the President’s legislative agenda.
“The House of Representatives has already achieved unprecedented accomplishments halfway through its term, particularly in upholding the principles of integrity, transparency, and accountable governance, pursuing impressive economic growth, and lifting Filipinos from poverty,” HR No. 1463 said.
“The House of Representatives recognizes President Marcos’ esteemed ability to steer and inspire this august chamber to move forward as a dynamic, efficient, and focused government arm upon which the entire Filipino nation rests its trust, hopes, and aspirations,” it added.
This exchange of pleasantries between Marcos and Romualdez comes as observers claim that cracks have started to surface on the Uniteam, the campaign team of the President and Vice President Sara Duterte who ran together in the 2022 national elections.
The issues came after the House eventually decided to remove the confidential fund requests of Duterte’s offices for 2024 — that of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education (DepEd), worth P500 million and P150 million, respectively.
According to the House leadership, they decided to move these funds and other CF allocations of civilian agencies to defense-oriented offices, or those securing the West Philippine Sea (WPS). After this move from the House, supporters of the Vice President including her father, former president Rodrigo Duterte, lambasted the House.
According to the older Duterte, the House is the most rotten government organization as it supposedly has a pork barrel being distributed to lawmakers. The House has denied this, with Secretary General Reginald Velasco stressing that having pork barrel was already disallowed and that only funds for extraordinary expenses are present.
Just last November 7, Uniteam supporter and Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was removed from her deputy speaker post, after she failed to sign a House resolution seeking to uphold the dignity of the House after being attacked by former president Duterte.