Leni leads House ‘graduates’ at 16th Congress closing rites
VICE president-elect Leni Robredo on Monday night led the “graduation” ceremony of around 290 representatives on the last day of the third regular session of the 16th Congress.
Robredo is among the first termer district representatives who received a plaque for graduation after the 16th Congress adjourned its third and final regular session Monday night.
At least 67 district and party-list representatives were among the third-termers who received a graduation medal as they reached their term limit as congressmen/women.
The outgoing representatives gave outgoing Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. a standing ovation after his speech.
“I am deeply grateful for your cooperation and support. I will always treasure your friendship and the camaraderie we shared in the service of the people,” Belmonte said in his speech.
Belmonte also congratulated the representatives who won in the May 9 elections – vice president-elect Robredo, and senators-elect Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.
“I have so far spent a total of 15 years in Congress surrounded by the best and the brightest. Through five Congresses, I was in the company of true visionaries, of statesmen, of principled reformists, of genuine revolutionaries, of talented strategists, of articulate debaters, of skilled politicians, and of dedicated advocate,” Belmonte said.
Belmonte said under his speakership, the 15th and 16th Congresses were able to pass 719 Republic Acts, 1,922 bills on third reading, adopted 1,870 resolutions, and delivered 978 privilege speeches.
Belmonte said Congress was able to pass the Philippine Competition Act, the Cabotage Law, the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. Charter, the Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act, the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, the Department of Information and Communications Technology Act, the Go Negosyo Act, the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act, the K to 12 Program Act, the Ladderized Education Program Act, the Iskolar ng Bayan Act, the Open Distance Learning Act, the Open High School System for Out of School Youth Act, and the Unifast Act.
Belmonte said he also welcomed the incoming administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
“We welcome the incoming administration of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte with high hopes and unwavering faith in our collective love for the Filipino nation. Whatever changes or reforms the incoming administration may pursue, we hope that it will further strengthen and continue the reforms initiated by the Aquino administration,” Belmonte said.
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