Politics notwithstanding, the House of Representatives has delivered President Rodrigo Duterte’s legislative agenda after processing a total of 220 measures in 20 session days, House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez said on Monday.

Romualdez: House delivers Duterte’s legislative agenda ‘despite politics’

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Politics notwithstanding, the House of Representatives has delivered President Rodrigo Duterte’s legislative agenda after processing a total of 220 measures in 20 session days, House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez said on Monday.

These include the record time third and final reading approval of the proposed P4.1 trillion national budget for 2020 and tax reform measures to promote the country as a viable investment destination, according to Romualdez, who chairs the powerful House committee on rules.

Romualdez praised the “sterling leadership” of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and assured the public that the House leadership would continue to perform better.

“The House as an institution performed its tasks commendably and with distinction to deliver the legislative agenda of the President. We answered the challenges and demands of our duties and

responsibilities,” he said.

“This will usher us to a good start. Through the collective hard work and determination of House members under the leadership of Speaker Cayetano, we are always focused and committed to pass quality legislation at all times to make better the life of Filipinos,” said Romualdez.

Cayetano posted an impressive 64 percent approval and 62 percent trust ratings based on the September 2019 Ulat ng Bayan Survey of Pulse Asia.

Before Congress went on a month-long Halloween break last October 2, the House of Representatives processed 220 measures or an average of 11 measures per day during the 20 session days.

From July 22 to October 8, 2019, Romualdez said the House of Representatives received a total of 5,566 measures and 70 committee reports.

Of these, Romualdez said 5,121 are bills and 445 are resolutions.

The House of Representatives also approved a total of 18 bills on third and final reading, he said.

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Risa seeks inquiry on PNP, PDEA’s ‘dramatic, traumatic misencounter’

Senator Risa Hontiveros is set to file a resolution seeking a Senate investigation, in aid of legislation, on Wednesday’s “misencounter” between the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

“We need to look into this further. It is very alarming that this is not the first time that such a ‘misencounter’ has happened,” the senator said.

“The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) did admit that this has happened numerous times. These ‘misencounters’ should be rare, not common,” Hontiveros said.

The shooting incident occurred along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, killing two policemen.

According to the Quezon City Police District Station 6, the QCPD’s District Special Operations Unit conducted a buy-bust operation near Ever Gotesco Mall. However, the DSOU officers were not aware that they were transacting with PDEA’s Special Enforcement Service (SES) agents.

“How could this have happened, at all, in the first place?” Hontiveros said.

“Why did the shootout take place for as long as an hour? Hindi ba pwedeng magkalinawan, even within the first few minutes, that a misencounter breaks out?” the senator added.

“There was a dramatic lack of coordination between the PNP and PDEA. Someone somewhere must have been grossly negligent. Ang laki ng intelligence funds nila pareho pero ganyan ang nangyari,” Hontiveros said.

She noted that in 2021, the PNP was given an intelligence fund of P856 million while PDEA was given P500 million.

Hontiveros said she hopes that the Board of Inquiry formed by the PNP will get to the bottom of what happened.

Lapid wants to punish sons, daughters who abandon elderly, sickly parents

Senator Lito Lapid has filed a bill that proposes to criminalize the act of “deprivation of support” to incapacitated parents.

Senate Bill 2061 “reinforces the duty of children to take care of their elderly, sickly or otherwise, incapacitated parents.”

The bill states that children shall, within their means and capacity, maintain support for their father or mother, who by virtue of being over sixty (60) years of age or suffering from a disease or disablity, are rendered incapable of supporting themselves.”

The bill also cites Article 195 of the Family Code which says parents and their children are obliged to give support to each other.

“This means that the obligation to support cuts both ways— parents must support their children, especially during the years of their minority and dependency; on the other hand, children who are already capable must take care of their elderly, disease or disability-stricken parents who are in need,” Lapid said.

Unfortunately, abuse against an elderly, disabled, or otherwise incapacitated parent, which includes physical, sexual, psychological, emotional and financial abuse, abandonment, neglect and serious loss of dignity and respect, has become an “invisible issue” in the Philippines, according to Commission on Human Rights.

“Nakakalungkot isipin na ang mga magulang na nagpakapagod noong panahong malakas pa sila para masuportahan ang kanilang mga anak, ay kaya na lamang tiisin at abandunahin sa panahong matanda na sila,” Lapid said.

Any person, who despite having the capacity, but neglects to maintain support to his or her parent shall be liable for deprivation of support to parent and shall be punishable by imprisonment of arresto menor as the minimum and arresto mayor as the maximum.

There are also respective fines of not less than P200,000 but not more than P500,000, at the discretion of the court.

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