MANILA – Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Thursday said the present set of lawmakers should learn lessons from the 18th Congress to make sure the president can urgently act on proposed laws.
The remarks were made after he was asked about the 41 bills that have recently lapsed into law after they were not signed or vetoed by former President Rodrigo Duterte and his successor Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Pimentel said that while the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) of the Duterte administration worked closely with lawmakers in the crafting of the measures, something changed during the transition period.
“Pero pagdating siguro ng June 30, 12 noon, ang pakiramdam ng mga PLLO ng Duterte administration, natapos na rin yung kanilang mandato, yung authority, so, hands off sila,” he said.
(When 12 noon of June 30 was approaching, the PLLO of the Duterte administration must have felt that their mandate was over, so they chose to be hands-off.)
“Siguro, makiusap tayo ngayon (Maybe we can talk), to learn lessons ba. I mean, the 19th Congress should learn lessons from the experience ng (of the) 18th Congress, 17th Congress, yung mga ganoon ano, the past Congresses - so, paano namin (how can we) mai-improve,” said Pimentel.
“We can learn lessons nga, na it’s a matter of time management, and workload management siguro,” he added.
The incumbent president’s sister, Sen. Imee Marcos, has said she has called for a meeting of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) so the executive and legislative branches of government can iron out the legislative agenda.
The LEDAC serves as a "consultative and advisory body to the President, Chair of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, on certain programs and policies essential to the realization of the goals of the national economy."
It is is composed of 20 members with the President as chair, and the following as members:
• Vice President
• Senate President
• Speaker of the House of Representatives
• 7 members of the Cabinet designated by the President
• 3 members of the Senate designated by the Senate President
• 3 members of the House of Representatives designated by the Speaker
• 1 representative of the Local Government Units
• 1 representative from the youth sector
• 1 representative from the private Sector
Sen. Chiz Escudero called on the Palace to immediately appoint a “high-caliber Cabinet member” to head the PLLO to avert a supposed veto spree.
Pimentel noted that it is relatively easier to convene the PLLO than the LEDAC.
“Kasi ang LEDAC, very formal pa. Tatawagin mo, ilang tao 'yan, magmi-meeting. Pero yung PLLO… pwede naman siyang bumisita sa Senado, mag-request siya ng meeting with the Senators, o kung sino man ang mag-attend. I-brief na niya, 'O, eto yung 19 na priority legislation', ano yung mga laman nito, so para klaro na.”
(The LEDAC is very formal. You have to call a bunch of people for a meeting. But with the PLLO... someone can just visit the Senate, seek a meeting with the senators. He can brief whoever attends and tell them about the priority legislation, what the contents of the bill are to clear things up.)
--TeleRadyo, 4 August 2022