Kabayan party-list Rep. Ron Salo believes that newly installed Speaker Lord Allan Velasco can be the unifying force that the 301-strong House of Representatives needs moving forward.
“I have no doubt that Speaker Lord Allan Velasco will be able to unify and rally the members of the House of Representatives for the swift approval of crucial legislative measures, including the General Appropriations Act (GAA),” Salo said.
“This will enable the country effectively address the dire effects of the pandemic and to usher the country’s fast economic recovery,” said the former UP law professor.
Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) stalwart Velasco officially took over the helm at the House Tuesday after his House colleagues ratified his election as Speaker Monday.
His first ever move was to resume the plenary deliberations of the proposed P4.506-trillion national budget for 2021 (House Bill No.7727), which was prematurely ended last week by then-Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
All eyes are on the timely passage of the budget measure since it is the first national budget to be crafted during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and will fund the government’s response mechanisms on the ongoing health crisis.
Velasco, 42, is a party-mate of President Duterte. He is also known as a close friend of presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
“Speaker Velasco’s close association with Malacanang will certainly ensure the swift passage of the administration’s priority legislative measures and ensure a smooth working relationship with the members of the Cabinet,” Salo said.
“A very young statesman, Speaker Velasco showed his principled leadership by taking the high ground in arguing based on the cherished Filipino value of ‘palabra de honor’ (word of honor), and not on personalities,” noted the Kabayan lawmaker.