House panels to hold hearings on key economic bills in 5-week recess

THE House of Representatives has instructed all standing and special committees to hold hearings on pending measures, particularly economic bills, during congressional break.

In her formal motion in the plenary, House Deputy Majority Leader and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin moved to allow all panels to continue with their mandate of producing vital pieces of legislation during the first recess of the 19th Congress.

“I move that we authorize all committees to conduct meetings and/or public hearings, if deemed necessary, during the House recess from September 29, 2022 to November 6, 2022,” Garin said.

“Is there any objection? The chair hears none, motion is approved,” House Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales responded in granting Garin’s motion.

Garin said Speaker Romualdez and House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe instructed House leaders to hold committee meetings during the break to ensure the expeditious passage of noteworthy and meaningful legislative measures, particularly those aimed at reviving the economy.

“The continuous hearings and deliberations of various measures even when Congress is in recess will help accelerate the passage of priority legislations,” she said.

Garin assured the public that the House leadership will continue to work hard and focus on shepherding the priority legislation of the Marcos administration to address and serve people’s needs in these difficult times.

“The Speaker wants to ensure a very productive House of Representatives during our break to address the country’s pressing concerns. This will help us craft and put into fruition the approval of priority bills of President Marcos to help us defeat various problems, including Covid-19,” Garin said.

Accomplishment

Speaker Romualdez on Wednesday night took pride in the record accomplishments of the House of Representatives in the first 23 session days of the 19th Congress, which convened last July 25.

Before adjournment, the House approved on second and third and final reading the proposed P5.268-trillion “Agenda for Prosperity” 2023 national budget, the most important legislative proposal Congress tackles every year.

The House also ratified two bicameral conference committee (bicam) reports—those on the proposed Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Act and the postponement of the December 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) to last Monday of October 2023. These two will soon be transmitted to Malacañang for President Marcos’s signature.

Aside from the budget bill and the two bicameral reports, comparative data from the House Committee on Rules showed that the House of Representatives passed on third reading 37 national bills, a 106-percent increase over the 18 measures approved on final reading by the 18th Congress and 517 percent higher than six measures approved on third reading in the 17th Congress over the same period.

The House processed a total of 427 measures, 96 percent more than the 218 tackled by the 18th Congress and 104 percent higher than the 209 measures discussed in the 17th Congress.