After 8 months under 17th Congress, Alvarez 'tired, but satisfied'
MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he is generally satisfied with the performance of the House of Representatives during the first 8 months of the 17th Congress.
"Well, nakakapagod. Pero okay naman. Satisfied din naman ako doon sa mga nangyari," said Alvarez in a chance interview on Wednesday, March 15, the same day the House and the Senate will be closing session before taking a break for the Lenten season.
(Well, it was tiring. But that's okay. I'm also satisfied with what happened.)
The Davao del Norte 1st District representative is the secretary-general of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), which counts at least 267 lawmakers as its allies in the House.
Alvarez said he appreciates that representatives are regularly attending committee hearings.
"'Yung aking mga miyembro dito ay talagang makita 'nyo nag-a-attend ng committee hearings. At saka ako, nasorpresa din ako sa sarili ko. Nag-a-attend din ako ng committee hearings," he said.
(My members here, you can really see them attend committee hearings. And I also surprised myself. I also attend committee hearings.)
Asked what's the biggest achievement of the House so far, Alvarez replied, "Death penalty." (READ: What happened behind closed doors to the death penalty bill)
Under Alvarez's leadership, the House voted 217-54-1 in favor of House Bill Number 4727, which gives judges the option to punish perpetrators of 7 drug crimes with either life imprisonment or death. (LIST: How congressmen and women voted on the death penalty bill)
The Speaker said he will be replacing all deputy speakers and committee chairpersons who did not vote for HB 4727 when session resumes in May.
During the break, Alvarez and other House leaders will be going around the country aboard roll-on, roll-off ships to "inspect" tourism facilities as part of their "oversight" functions as lawmakers.
As of March 2017, both the House and the Senate have successfully passed into law the bill postponing the Sangguniang Kabataan and barangay elections as well as the measure authorizing the P3.35-trillion budget for 2017. – Rappler.com