MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Wednesday summarized the achievements of the House of Representatives for the 19th Congress – with more than 9,700 bills and 1,500 resolutions introduced – including 600 bills still pending in the Senate.

In his speech before the session adjourned, Romualdez noted that the 19th Congress alone had more session days than the 18th Congress during the same period.

“My esteemed colleagues, since the beginning of the 19th Congress, this House has introduced 9,763 bills; 1,576 resolutions; and one petition, or a total of 11,340 measures. Of these measures presented, 34 were signed into law, eight were transmitted for presidential action, seven bicameral conference committee reports were ratified, 11 local bills were approved by the Senate without amendment, and we agreed to the amendments made by the Senate in six other local bills from our colleagues,” Romualdez said.

“Additionally, 663 House bills have been passed by the House of Representatives and now await action from our Senate counterparts. Of the 121 session days of this 19th Congress – which is 64 percent higher than the number of session days in the same period during the 18th Congress – we processed an average of 28 legislative measures per session day”, he added.

Romualdez said the House managed to pass all the priority bills mentioned by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in his second State of the Nation Address (Sona) in July 2023, and those on the list of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council ( Ledac).

“During the second meeting (Ledac) in July 2023, 20 legislative measures were identified and defined for legislative approval before the end of the year. The House of Representatives approved all twenty measures as early as September 2023, or three months ahead of schedule. Of these twenty measures identified by Ledac, four were turned into law,” he said.

“In his second State of the Nation Address in July 2023, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. mentioned 17 priority measures needed to sustain our economic recovery and improve the living conditions of many of our compatriots. It is with great pride and honor to inform this august chamber that we have approved all of these 17 Sona priority measures, seven months before the president's next speech on the State of the Nation, in July 2024”, he added.

However, Romualdez noted that the most important bill passed by Congress was the P5.768 trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) for 2024.

The Congress session ended on December 13 and will resume on January 22, 2024.

Previously, House committees were allowed to hold hearings during recess.

In addition to the Chamber's achievements, Romualdez also spoke about the possibility of resuming negotiations on changing the status to open restrictive economic restrictions in the Constitution.

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“Next year, after the Christmas holidays, we will focus our attention on studying and reviewing proposals that address restrictions blocking the entry of foreign capital and investment into the Philippines. These include deliberation on all proposed measures relating to constitutional change,” he told the House.

Romualdez issued his statements after he and Senior Vice President Aurelio Gonzales Jr. expressed hope that proposed bylaw changes would be considered in 2024.