By Billy Begas
The House of Representatives will work double time next year to ensure that the country’s economic gains would translate to better living conditions for Filipino families.
Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez made the statement after Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said that “the worst is over for the Philippines and better years are expected.”
“This definitely inspires us to work double-time when we resume session next year, pushing us to legislate more laws needed to further boost the economy and improve the living condition of our people,” Romualdez said.
Despite the forecasted mild global recession in 2023, Diokno said the Philippines is still expected to have one of the highest growth rates among six Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member economies next year.
Diokno cited nine reasons for his optimistic economic projections, four of which were the actions taken by Congress: the early approval of the 2023 national budget, adoption of the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF) for 2023-2028, a more favorable economic environment that removed barriers to foreign investments, and a strong commitment to expand the Build, Build, Build program with enhanced private sector participation.
Romualdez extended his gratitude to his fellow Members of the House for acting swiftly on vital legislative measures.
To help sustain the economic growth trajectory, Romualdez vowed to pass the remaining 12 priority measures of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. next year.
Romualdez was referring to the priority measures identified by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) namely:
– The Enactment of an Enabling Law for the Natural Gas Industry,
– Amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA),
– The Unified System of Separation, Retirement, and Pension,
– The E-Governance Act and E-Government Act,
– The National Land Use Act,
– The National Defense Act,
– The National Government Rightsizing Program,
– The Budget Modernization Bill,
– The Department of Water Resources,
– Establishing the Negros Island Region,
– Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers, and
– The Establishment of Regional Specialty Hospitals.
Before the Christmas break, the House has already approved on third and final reading 19 of LEDAC’s Common Legislative Agenda.