HOUSE Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin G. Romualdez, who will most likely be elected Speaker of the House in the next Congress, on Saturday said he would push for the unity agenda of the administration of presumptive President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Romualdez, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) President, told members of the Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc. (PCFI) led by Deputy Speaker and 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero and to be succeeded by Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Zaldy Co that he would also prioritize measures to get the country out of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic and sustain its economic recovery.
“As part of the majority coalition, we shall be addressing the unity agenda of the administration. So we will be passing legislation amid the pandemic, and we hope that we are already in the endemic state,” Romualdez said.
“We hope to not only heal the nation but also heal the economy. These are the top priority programs of the majority in the incoming administration. And the key element here, of course, is unity. And we are here all together as we wind up in the 18th Congress. It brings me a lot of hope that this gonna be a shift – the unity we definitely need to move our country forward in the midst of these very big challenges,” Romualdez said.
Romualdez urged his colleagues to work as one, now that the elections are over.
“The elections are over, let us bond together as one. We are one country, we are fighting this pandemic, we are trying to arrest the flagging economy. Let us rally under one flag, we are all Filipinos, we are one Congress. I want to be a part of the team that keeps us united together in moving the legislative agenda of this country forward,” he said.
As their leader in the next Congress, Romualdez promised to give party-list groups and other colleagues the attention they deserve.
“The party-list business is a top priority because I get to sleep beside one,” Romualdez said, referring to his wife, Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez of Tingog party-list, which is on the way to winning two seats in the House.
“You have proven yourselves to be a most effective, hardest-working batch of legislators, that’s why I’m very proud to be here. Rest assured that you will be receiving that similar respect, if not more, in the incoming 19th Congress,” Romualdez told his colleagues from the party-list coalition.
Incoming Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos dropped by the meeting to congratulate Romualdez.
“I just came personally to congratulate our incoming Speaker of the House Martin Romualdez, and of course to solidify the alliance that we are forming in the 19th Congress not just with district congressmen but with party-list congressmen as well,” the son of presumptive President Bongbong Marcos said.
“And so I hope that as an incoming neophyte, I hope to learn from all of you. I hope that we all together unified can push the legislative agenda of our incoming President Bongbong Marcos,” Marcos said.
Aside from party-list lawmakers and neophyte House members led by Marcos,
other incoming lawmakers from the National Unity Party (NUP), PDP-Laban, Lakas-CMD, Nacionalista Party (NP), Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), as well as party-list and independent congressmen have endorsed Romualdez to be their leader in the next Congress.
For Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, Romualdez would be the next Speaker “not because he is a cousin of the incoming President but because of his legislative prowess, his mastery of the legislative grind or mill.”
“He gets things done, even the most difficult reforms like the Public Service Act for example. He has so many laurels to his credit. A Romualdez speakership will be an asset to a Marcos administration,” Salceda said.