House majority will ‘respect’ term-sharing agreement
(Philstar.com) – October 11, 2020 – 3:33pm
MANILA, Philippines — The term-sharing deal brokered between House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Rep. Lord Velasco (Marinduque) will be honored once the budget bill is passed, lawmakers said Sunday.
In a statement sent to reporters Sunday afternoon, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said that the “gentleman’s agreement” will be followed after the approval of the national budget for 2021 on its third and final reading on Friday, October 16.
Under the agreement, Cayetano is slated to turn over leadership of the House 15 months into his term to Velasco, who will preside over the lower chamber for the next 21 months.
It is not clear how this will take place later on, and if Cayetano will be stepping down from his post.
“We will respect the term-sharing agreement and ensure a smooth transition of leadership in the House of Representatives,” the statement by Romualdez reads.
“I assure my esteemed colleagues that the gentleman’s agreement will be honored after the approval of the national budget for 2021 on third and final reading on Friday, October 16. Let us set aside politics and focus first on the passage of the national budget as requested by the President,” it also says.
In a press briefing Sunday, House leaders called on the lower chamber to prioritize first the budget hearings before the speakership row.
“Whatever clout they have, they should use it for getting the budget passed,” Rep. Mike Defensor (Anakalusugan Party-list) said at the hearing.
“Let’s not use our influence for politics. Whatever we have, let’s use all of this for the budget first,” he added.
For his part, Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr (Surigao del Sur) said at the briefing: “What they should have done was bring it to plenary. The problem is the deal was only between the two of them…it was not binding. That’s why when he offered to resign, it was rejected.”
— Franco Luna with reports from Xave Gregorio
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 11, 2020 – 3:12pm
The Duterte administration is set to submit its penultimate budget proposal for Congress’s consideration on Tuesday, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado says.
“We’ve arranged the submission today after lunch,” Avisado says in a text message.
The proposed budget will be worth P4.506 trillion, 9.9% higher than this year’s P4.1-trillion outlay. The government says the outlay would prioritize ongoing response to the pandemic. — Prinz Magtulis
October 11, 2020 – 3:12pm
House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez says the Congress will resume deliberations on the 2021 national budget following the call of President Rodrigo Duterte for a special session.
“Let us set aside politics and focus first on the passage of the national budget as requested by the President,” Romualdez says in a statement.
Romualdez stresses that they will respect the term-sharing agreement and that they will ensure a smooth transition of leadership in the lower chamber.
October 11, 2020 – 3:01pm
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has endorsed Rep. Lord Velasco (Marinduque) as speaker of the House of Representatives, according to Rep Doy Leachon (Oriental Mindoro).
“She’s doing it as a friend of Cong. Velasco. Besides, she believes that parties to the term-sharing agreement must be gentleman enough to comply,” Leachon says in a statement.
Leachon adds that non-adherence to the term-sharing agreement is a defiance to President Rodrigo Duterte.
October 9, 2020 – 5:51pm
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says President Rodrigo Duterte called the Congress to a special session on October 13 to 16, 2020 to resume the congressional deliberations on the proposed 2021 national budget and to avoid any further delays.
October 8, 2020 – 8:33pm
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano assures President Rodrigo Duterte that the proposed 2021 national budget will be passed on time despite the suspension of the budget deliberations at the House of Representatives.
“We welcome the President’s stern warning to all parties to stop all the politicking as it could jeopardize the welfare of our fellow citizens at this critical time. In this, we are not evading any responsibility for our own actions, and would in fact like to sincerely apologize again to the President and the whole nation for adding anxiety to an already uncertain situation,” Cayetano says in a social media post shortly after Duterte’s recorded address aired.
Cayetano says the House will submit the printed budget to the Senate on November 5, which would allow them to continue with their own deliberations and prepare for the formal transmittal on November 16.
ALMIGHTY GOD admonishes us to bear one another’s burdens. In doing so we are obedient to GOD’S Word To Love Each…
October 8, 2020 – 7:13pm
President Rodrigo Duterte tells members of the House of Representatives to approve the proposed 2021 national budget amid a speakership row between Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
“If you do not solve the problem then I will solve the problem for you,” Duterte says in a recorded address aired Thursday night.