In the aftermath of the House leadership shakeup, House appropriations chairman Karlo Nograles on Tuesday disclosed that a transition team has already been formed by the camp of new Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to smoothen things out with former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
In an interview, Nograles said the transition team is composed of Deputy Speakers Raneo Abu, Fredenil Castro, Miro Quimbo, Iloilo Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr. and Bohol Rep. Arthur Yap.
Nograles said the legislative agenda laid out by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in his third State of the Nation Address would be supported and followed by the new House leadership.
“If we have the majority of the House of Representatives supporting a new Speaker, and the new Speaker is supportive of the present administration, then, kung ano man ang nasabi ni President Duterte sa kanyang State of the Nation Address (whatever President Duterte said in his SONA), members of the House of Representatives will support,” Nograles said.
In his SONA, Duterte called on Congress to speed up the passage of social welfare measures, as well as bills seeking to help augment government coffers for the delivery of social services.
Among the measures the Chief Executive mentioned in his speech was the Universal Health Care Bill, which the House has already approved on third and final reading. It is still pending, however, at the Senate.
Duterte also said he intends to sign the second part of his tax reform package within the year.
Arroyo was elected as the new House Speaker after getting a total of 184 votes. Only 12 lawmakers abstained from voting.
The lower chamber held a special session immediately after Duterte’s third SONA to formally install Arroyo as its new head. (PNA)