HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez expressed hope that the “slow chamber” would exert more effort in order to pass more legislative measures.
Alvarez is referring to the Senate, whom he once called “Mabagal na Kapulungan.”
In a television interview, Alvarez said that the Senate should be more active especially concerning the proposed agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Siguro kailangan nang medyo bilis-bilisan din, para naman yung mga gustong gawin ng ating Pangulo ay talagang mailatag na,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez lamented that the approval of certain measures had been either delayed or have remained pending because of the Senate.
In the case of tax reform package, Alvarez said it was approved early by the House but was delayed in the Senate.
Likewise, while the death penalty bill was already approved in the House, the Senate has not acted on it yet.
Alvarez said the Senate leadership should play an active role in ensuring that the Upper Chamber would be more productive.
“Nasa leadership yun e, ng Senado kaya kelangan medyo maging active lang yung leadership ng Senate para marami silang maipasang panukalang batas,” he said.
However, he clarified that it was not Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III who was slow but the institution as a whole.
Meanwhile, Alvarez said he is happy about the performance of the House of Representatives since its First Regular Session to date, giving it an 8 out of a possible rating of 10.
The official report of the measures passed by the House of Representatives since it opened its session on June 25, 2016 up to December 13, 2017 showed that some 6,911 bills and 1,517 resolutions were filed in the chamber.
Of this number, the House has processed a total of 2,100 measures, 518 of which were approved, or an average of 14 measures processed per session day. Thirty-nine were enacted into law, not including the 2018 budget and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) that President Duterte signed last month.
Alvarez cited the free college education and expanded access to health care laws as the most significant measures the House has passed for the period.
“Masaya na ako doon kasi yun namang mga naipasa naming bills ay karamihan doon nakabinbin sa Senado. Kaya kakaunti yung lumalabas na talagang signed into law. Pero marami kaming ipinasang bill sa House of Representatives,” Alvarez said.