Celso buckles down to work today in first session of 17th Congress PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 25 July 2016 13:46

By DEXTER YAP

Congressman Celso Lobregat is expected to start the ball rolling in the start of the first session of the 17th Congress at 10 a.m. today at the Batasang Pambansa plenary hall.

Lobregat expects the day to be very hectic considering that all members of the House of Representatives want to say their piece and try to seek passage of their respective priority legislation for each district they are representing.

Luckily for Zamboanga City, because Congressman Lobregat has already gone one step ahead of the rest of his colleagues in the new congress, having passed in the nick of time on the first day of work of the elected officials last June 30, 2016 six relevant House bills which will truly benefit the city and the Mindanao in general.

The Lobregat Bills which are now docketed in time for the opening of the 17th Congress today are as follows:

1.    House Bill 122 – AN ACT CREATING THE MINDANAO POWER CORPORATION.

2.    House Bill 123 – AN ACT CREATING THE MINDANAO RAILWAYS CORPORATION.

3.    House Bill 124 – AN ACT DECLARING THE PASONANCA WATERSHED FOREST RESERVE LOCATED IN ZAMBOANGA CITY AS A PROTECTED AREA UNDER THE    CATEGORY OF NATURAL PARK AND PROVIDING FOR ITS MANAGEMENT.

4.    House Bill 125 – AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE GRANT OF COMPENSATION IN THE FORM OF ADDITIONAL HONORARIUM TO BARANGAY HEALTH WORKERS.

5.    House Bill 126 – AN ACT ALLOWING LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS TO SUSPEND THE MANDATORY WEARING OF MOTORCYCLE HELMETS

6.    House Resolution No. 10 - RESOLUTION URGING THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY TO SUPPORT THE PROPOSED ZAMBOANGA CITY IMPOUNDING DAM PROJECT AND TO INCLUDE IT IN THE PRIORITY PROJECT LISTING OF THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT.

Lobregat said that since he was given another mandate in Congress, he will pursue all the aspirations of the city and will exert all efforts in the national level to procure more infrastructure projects and similar welfares from the national level and the Duterte administration.

The solon said that traditionally in the beginning of any Congress, they elect their House Speaker which the majority bloc has already chosen Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez.

In fact, over the weekend, no less than President Rodrigo Duterte met the Mindanao bloc solons in Davao city to discuss his political and economic agenda appealing to them for their 100% support to his present leadership which everyone agreed.

The issue on the majority and minority leaders, Deputy Speakers, Secretary General, Sergeant at Arms, as well as the negotiations of the Liberals will also be tackled today in Congress, wherein the decisions will now depend on the newly-elected House Speaker.

Congressman Lobregat said the Mindanao solons had already said their piece and they have committed an all-out support to the speakership of Alvarez.

After the maiden session in the morning, the solons will remain in their respective offices in Congress to wait for the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Duterte.

Lobregat said that only 3,000 guests were invited and the dress code will be plain and simple business attire as directed by the president. He said that they were also advised by the secretariat to be in the plenary hall by 3 p.m. because the president will address the nation at exactly 4 p.m.

The solon expects Duterte to mention his political and economic agenda as well as his known trademarks campaign against drugs, criminalities and peace in Mindanao.

“You can expect president Duterte to mention laws he wants Congress to pass including the reinstatement of death penalty, tax reform, and amendments to the Constitution to pave the way for federalism among others,” Lobregat said. — Dexter Yap