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Allies: GMA succeeded as Speaker because she did away with ‘unnecessary probes’

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House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo‘s policy to do away with “unnecessary investigations in aid of legislation” was the reason the House of Representatives was able to pass all of President Rodrigo Duterte’s legislative agenda in less than a year, her allies said on Friday.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said in an interview that more than 700 resolutions for investigations were filed at the House but only 14 were allowed to be taken up by the committees.

Salceda said this enabled lawmakers to concentrate on their real job — to create and pass new laws for the benefit of the people.

“We had 744 resolutions for inquiry in aid of legislation, ilan lang pinatulan doon, 14. So we virtually had a suspension, a moratorium on inquiries so we can focus on legislation rather than investigation,” Salceda said.

Salceda added that Speaker Arroyo practiced what he said was “management by sitting in” in which she sat in all the committees to make sure differences are settled so that the bills are passed on time.

“Legislation during her time was very efficient. She removed all obstacles in the process of legislation which is a lot of inquiries. 744 inquiries, e di naubos oras namin. She removed that,” he said.

In less than a year, the House of Representatives passed all of the President’s priority bills namely, the Organic law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, Coconut Farmers & Industry Development Act, Rice Tariffication Act, Enhanced Universal Healthcare Act, Tax Amnesty Program, Revision of Constitution, National Land Use Act, Creation of Department of Disaster Resilience;

End of Endo/Contractualization Act, TRAIN 2 – Trabaho Bill, Fiscal Regime for the Mining Industry, Increase on the Excise Tax on Tobacco Products, Real Property Valuation and Assessment, Traffic Crisis Act, Reform in Capital Income and Financial Taxes, Excise Tax Rates on Alcohol, Lowering of Age of Criminal Liability, Mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), Foreign Investments Act, Retail Trade Liberalization Amendments and Public Service Act.

Deputy Speaker Sharon Garin of partylist AAMBIS OWA, for her part, said Arroyo’s exceptional work ethic enabled them to do their job with speed, dedication and resolve.

“During the term of Speaker GMA, we passed more than 250 laws. It was a working Congress, we have achieved a lot. You could see the performance. Everybody was trying to be at par with Speaker GMA kasi when your Speaker is GMA, that’s enough motivation for you to work and study as hard as she does,” Garin said.

House members led by Majority Leader Fredenil Castro and Minority Leader Danilo Suarez also lauded Speaker for her exceptional performance as leader of the 17th Congress in the House of Representatives.

“Speaker GMA is one of the most brilliant political and academic minds in recent Philippine history. The achievements of the House of Representatives under her leadership as Speaker is a shared effort,” Castro said.

Suarez said: “I would like to thank our venerable Speaker, Hon. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for her dedication and competence in leading the members of Congress towards the achievement of the priority legislative measures of this administration.”

“I have said it at the start of her term as Speaker that she is exemplary and hard-working leader since she served as President of the Republic,” he said.

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