Drilon seeks more LEDAC meetings

Published October 16, 2020, 5:27 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) should help improve the coordination between the Executive and Legislative department by conducting more meetings with congressional leaders as often as needed to ensure the smooth passage of important bills that have been passed both by the Senate and House of Representatives.

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Franklin Drilon made the call Friday as he pressed Economic Undersecretary Jose Miguel dela Rosa to initiate a meeting with the leaders of both chambers at least once a month to discuss all legislative agenda, including the President’s priority measure.

Senator Franklin Drilon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Drilon noted the last time the LEDAC held a meeting was in September 2017 and no other meetings have happened since then or in the last three years.

“I would strongly suggest Mr. Dela Rosa that you initiate a monthly meeting once a month, among the two chambers. Alam mo, marami kang magagawa dun, kapag nagka sundo ‘yung dalawang kapulungan mabilis ang trabaho (You know, you can do so many things, if you are able to make the two chambers agree, the job would be faster),” Drilon said during the Senate Committee on Finance hearing on the proposed P4.16-million budget of the LEDAC for 2021.

“Of course, it’s up to the President, whether or not he would approve or veto the measure, but at least the work output is something you can be proud of,” Drilon said.

However, Dela Rosa, NEDA undersecretary for corporate affairs, pointed out they have indeed been doing consultations with their counterparts in the Senate and the House, including the Office of the President (OP).

“Yes, Mr. Chair, we hear that loud and clear. In fact the technical working group (TWG) has been doing its work. We have been doing consultations with our partners in the Senate and the House, including the OP,” the NEDA official said.

Dela Rosa assured Sen. Imelda “Imee” Marcos that they are meeting with members of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) to discuss pending bills and resolutions.

He told the committee that the LEDAC was able to conduct at least four meetings in 2016 to 2017.

But Marcos and Sen. Richard Gordon noted that the LEDAC’s performance has been dismal over the last few years, noting how it conducted meetings so “sparingly” that it resulted to the presidential veto of many important measures. 

“The concern of the Senate is that there has been very, very few meetings and that is why, it would appear that the President does not love you,” Gordon told Dela Rosa in jest.

Drilon recalled that when he was the Senate President, he and other members of the Senate would meet with the leadership of the House to talk about their priorities. As a result, he said, they were able to pass a number of laws.

“Maybe you can look at that.  I know it is extremely difficult for the President to preside over the LEDAC meeting because he has his own schedule, but maybe you can initiate that,” he stressed.