Cayetano credits term as Speaker for legislative achievements cited in Duterte's SONA

Published July 27, 2021, 4:45 PM

by Ben Rosario

Former speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano credited his term as House of Representatives head for most of the legislative achievements that earned commendation from President Rodrigo Duterte during his State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 26.

Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano

“Most of the legislative achievements that Duterte mentioned were either filed by former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who was his running mate in 2016, or enacted during the latter’s term as the head honcho of the House of Representatives,” a press statement released by Cayetano’s office said.

Cayetano served as speaker in the first 15 months of the 18th Congress while incumbent Speaker and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco will lead the Lower House until the end of June, 2022.

In his SONA, Duterte lauded Congress for its help in passing legislative priorities of his administration.

Cayetano said it was during his term in 2018 that Congress raised the salaries of personnel of the uniformed service.

Duterte also cited the passage of Bayanihan 1 and 2 that contained the social amelioration program and government’s response against the adverse effects of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The two measures were also deliberated and passed during Cayetano’s watch.

The Coconut Levy Law and the Salary Standardization Law were also mentioned by Duterte in his SONA.

Cayetano said the Coco Levy law was signed by Duterte on February 26, 2021 while the SSL on January 8, 2020.

The chief executive also mentioned the establishment of the Department of Disaster Resilience as another legislative accomplishment.

Cayetano said the DDR measure was filed by “his former runningmate Cayetano” Duterte prided himself for extending the validity of passports from five to ten years.

“The extension of passport validity from the previous five-year renewal period was one of the reforms pushed for by Cayetano during his stint as head of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA),” the former speaker’s press statement read.

Duterte also asked Congress to prioritize the passing of a bill creating the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos.

“Kailangan po ito (This is needed) because they are suffering,” the President said, adding that he has certified the legislation creating the new agency as urgent.

According to Cayetano’s office the Lower House passed its version of the bill while Cayetano was still the speaker.