HOR ready to deliberate Duterte’s list of priority measures

Published July 28, 2020, 11:38 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The House of Representatives is committed to exhaustively deliberate on bills seeking to breathe life into the death penalty for drug-related crimes, and approve President Duterte’s long list of priority measures he mentioned during his fifth State-of-the-Nation Address.


House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez on Tuesday (July 28) expressed the Lower Chamber’s readiness “to take on the challenge” after Duterte asked Congress to a pass a number of measures, including a bill re-imposing the death penalty by lethal injection for drug-related offenses; and the bills  creating the Department of Filipinos Overseas (DFO), and the Department of Disaster and Resilience (DDR).

 “We, in the House of Representatives, are committed to deliver to the President the measures needed to support his vision for the nation in the years to come,” Romualdez said in a statement, even as he assured that the death penalty measures will be “deliberated on thoroughly.”

“Despite the uncertain times brought by the global pandemic, we will ensure that the administration’s priority bills will be realized with efficiency for the welfare of the Filipino people,” he said.

He noted that the House of Representatives already approved on third and final reading the bill creating the DFO, and the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives Enterprises Act (CREATE).

Romualdez said as directed by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, he “will be working closely” with Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri to discuss and consolidate the Chief Executive’s latest  SONA priority measures and those that were outlined in his 2019 SONA.

“Of course this will be done without sacrificing the quality of debates and discussions in both the committee and plenary levels,” Romualdez assured.

The House leader earlier said the 301-man  Lower Chamber will prioritize the approval of the passage of the 2021 national budget and coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) roadmap for recovery.

Romualdez, co-chairperson of the the Defeat COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee (DCC), said they “will not be discouraged by the long list of tasks ahead,” and “will continue its deliberations on priority legislation the President mentioned in his SONA last year”, including the creation of the Department of Water Resources and Services and the creation of the Water Regulatory Commission, as well as additional benefits for Solo Parents.

Included in the Chief Executive’s SONA legislative priorities this year were the Bayanihan To Heal as One Act 2, the National Housing Development bill, the Rental Housing Subsidy bill, the bill amending Republic Act (RA) No. 10912 or the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016, the proposed  Medical Reserve Corps Act; and measures that would institutionalize the National Disease Prevention and Management Authority.

Also outlined in Duterte’s SONA were the Unified System of Separation Retirement and Pension for Uniformed Personnel, the Modernization of the Bureau of Fire Protection; and establishment of education centers in every city and municipality.

The President also called on Congress to approve the National Land Use Act; measures creating the Boracay Island Authority; the Coconut Levy Act, the Coconut Farmers Trust Fund; the Rural Agricultural and Fisheries Development Financing System Act; as well as the Internet Transactions Act.