New House Speaker: Don't fear change

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 26 2016 07:00 AM

Pantaleon Alvarez. File Photo.

MANILA - New House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has a message to his detractors as he laid down the legislative agenda of the administration before the House of Representatives on Monday.

In his acceptance speech, Alvarez said, "Let us not fear change. The only thing we should fear is the fear of change itself. Instead, let us embrace change. Let us be instruments of change and apply the other side of the law of inertia – a body on the move tends to move indefinitely. Starting today, then, let us roll up our sleeves and get to work."

Alvarez added, " Our mission, in this 17th Congress, is clear: to enact laws that will deliver to our nation and our peoples a future better than yesterday’s and brighter than today’s. Tinuod nga kausaban."

The agenda he laid out: the reimposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes; the move to revert the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 years to 9 years old; revisit and revise the Government Procurement Act; Freedom of Information Law; simplified tax laws; scrutiny of franchises of mining companies; revision of labor laws to end the "endo scheme"; adjustments of SSS pensions; absentee voting for senior citizens and persons with disabilities; and charter change.

Alvarez added, "If this legislative agenda seem overly ambitious to some, it is only because of inertia. A body at rest tends to rest indefinitely and will resist movement. But we should not be like the admiral who, because he feared the big waves of the Pacific and the journey into the unknown, dropped anchor in a harbor and held office there."