MANILA A ranking lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Tuesday expressed his full support to the Speakership bid of Leyte Representative-elect Martin Romualdez, saying the House needs a leader who will push for the passage of President Rodrigo Duterte's priority economic measures.
Rep. Romualdez's decision to join the speakership derby is a welcome development as far as the country's economic managers and business leaders are concerned. Rep. Romualdez as Speaker is good for the economy, Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda said in a statement.
In backing Romualdez, the senior vice chair of the House committee on ways and means said the former's knowledge and vast experience in the financial markets and the field of economics would help expedite the enactment into laws of President Duterte's economic reform agenda.
Romualdez is not only a banker and economist. He is also a lawyer who knows what are the legislative measures needed to propel the country's economy to greater heights, the Albay solon pointed out.
Romualdez holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Ivy League school, Cornell University, and a Certificate of Special Studies in Administration and Management from Harvard University.
He also earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Salceda said all the candidates for Speaker in the 18th Congress are his friends and worthy of the position.
But I am sorry to say this, Martin Romualdez is a cut above the rest. He is primus inter pares, he said.
He knows his economics and he knows his politics, too. Definitely, he can unite the House of Representatives and move us into passing vital economic measures needed to sustain the country's economic growth, Salceda said.
At present, according to the 2018 estimate of the International Monetary Fund, the economy of the Philippines is the world's 28th largest economy by Gross Domestic Product (Purchasing Power Parity).
Salceda, who is also an economist, said economic managers and fiscal experts share the opinion that if the Philippines can maintain its projected GDP growth of 6.5 percent in the next decade, the tiger cub economy might well be part of the trillion-dollar club, which currently includes United States, China, India, Japan, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Italy, Turkey, Korea, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Canada.
He also cited the recent report of IHS Markit Asia-Pacific chief economist Rajiv Biswas which predicts that in 2022, the country will reach the upper middle-income status as robust economic growth trickles down to household incomes.
The report noted that the Philippine economy is poised to double by 2026 en route to a GDP USD1 trillion by 2032.
The Philippine economy is definitely on the upswing. We need to sustain the momentum and we all need to help realize the President's economic reform agenda. The House of Representatives needs a leader who understands this challenge and is willing to step up to the plate, Salceda said, referring to Romualdez.
Besides Romualdez, other prominent aspirants for the speakership are Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez.
Former foreign affairs secretary and incoming Taguig City-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano has also announced his interest for the speakership, while outgoing senator and incoming Antique Rep. Loren Legarda was also named as a possible contender.
House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez earlier said that Romualdez has the initial backing of at least 126 lawmakers, who had signed a manifesto of support for his speakership bid. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency