Turnover of House Speakership untimely

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TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang underscored that the turnover of the Speakership of the House of Representatives On October 14, 2020 or any time before the end of the year will be untimely and will have an impact on the approval of the proposed P4.5 trillion national budget next year.

Mangaoang, who chairs the House committee on national cultural minorities and indigenous peoples, said that both House Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco are his close acquaintances that is why he has no problem on who between the two contending lawmakers will be the Speaker.

However, he claimed that the proposed turnover of the Speakership post from incumbent Speaker Cayetano to incoming Speaker Velasco on October 14, 2020 might be premature because of the suspended sessions and its possible impact to the approval of the proposed national budget when the same will be subjected to the bicameral conference committee.

The Kalinga lawmaker, who is a member of the Villar-controlled Nationalista Party (NP), pointed out that once that there will be a change in the House leadership as agreed upon by the contenders before President Rodrigo Duterte, chances are the members of the House contingent to the bicameral conference committee will surely be replaced by the incoming Speaker that will surely affect the priorities of the present leadership as contained in the proposed budget.

According to him, what is best is to allow the present leadership to hold on until December or until such time that the national budget will be passed by the bicameral conference committee and ratified by both chambers of Congress so that there will be no unnecessary delays in the approval of the budget at the earliest possible time to prevent further delays in the priority projects that had been put in place in the budget.

Mangaoang stated that there will likely be a slight change in the committee chairmanships and the composition of the House contingent in the bicameral conference committee, thus, the implementation of the change of leadership right in the middle of the game might further complicate the situation that could lead to the eventual operation of the government through a re-enacted budget which should not be the case because of the presence of important appropriations in next year’s budget that are important in intensifying the efforts of concerned government agencies to fight the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the different parts of the country.

He said that most congressmen are keeping their fingers crossed that the change in the House leadership will be put on hold until the end of the year so that the present leadership and the concerned committees will be able to effectively and efficiently perform their duties and responsibilities in working out the passage of the budget without compromising the priority projects of the administration, especially the ones that had been funded to combat the spread of the deadly virus.

Before the suspension of the session of the House last Tuesday, the House of Representatives approved the national budget on second reading while proposed amendments to the same should be submitted by the lawmakers to the assigned committees by November 5, 2020. By HENT

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