MANILA — With a few days left before both the Senate and the House of Representatives convene to canvass votes for the presidential and vice presidential races, outgoing and prospective new leaders of the lower chamber met Tuesday for a smooth transition.
Ako Bicol Party-List Rep. Alfredo Garbin, Jr., who attended the meeting, described the meeting to be casual among co-workers in Congress as they discuss the transition.
Outgoing House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco met with incumbent House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and other incoming congressmen over lunch in Taguig City.
Velasco has openly endorsed his support for Romualdez, a cousin of presumptive President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., as Speaker of the incoming 19th Congress.
According to Garbin, Romualdez is expected to serve as House leader even up to the 20th Congress.
"The meeting was to give support kay incoming Speaker Martin Romualdez and the best practices that they share, especially so by the time there will be an inaugural session or opening of session, nandiyan na rin yung budget. So 'yun 'yung pinaka-crucial,” Garbin said.
Among those discussed in the meeting were the 2023 national budget, and lowering the price of rice and electricity in the country.
Garbin said a smooth transition ensures that the lower House can focus on legislations that will benefit Filipinos.
Romualdez has been described as a consensus builder among House members during his term as House Majority Leader, which is why Garbin is confident he will be backed by a supermajority in the 19th Congress.
”Policy direction ni incoming Speaker is to embrace all, and he wants everyone to be happy when it comes to allocations of committees and the role in the 19th Congress,” Garbin said.
Garbin is also expecting the same participation from party-list lawmakers in the incoming Congress as in the past.
He said he will represent the party-list coalition in the upcoming canvassing once both houses of Congress convene to canvass the votes.
The plenary was renovated to match those of Australia and Germany's parliaments, he also disclosed.