MANILA The race for the House speakership is crucial in pushing for the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, specifically on tax reform and federalism, a political analyst said on Wednesday.
"The Speakership race is crucial to the life of the nation because the President has already spoken that he will have an ambitious legislative agenda in his last three years," University of the Philippines (UP) political science professor Ranjit Rye said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Rye said the tight House speakership race shows the passion of the Duterte administration allies to serve the country.
"It's healthy that the coalition of the President which just won a big midterm election is now passionate and serious about serving," he said.
Rye said MalacaAang should support a candidate for the House Speakership race who can influence the Senate.
"It's important that MalacaAang support a candidate that is not just competent, not just experienced, but will have the gravitas to lead both the House and have influence on the Senate because of that person's personality and capability," he said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said the President will not meddle in the selection of the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Rye said an experienced legislator should be preferred in the speakership race for stability.
"Not a neophyte, but somebody who has actual experience because winning the Speakership is one thing, reigning in the House is another," he said.
Rye said Duterte's recent pronouncements that he will resign if his son and newly-elected Davao Rep. Paolo Duterte decides to run for the House Speaker is consistent with the President's stand of not forwarding self-serving familial interests.
"It's very reassuring that the President has that stand. I hope that he will influence his party to vote for somebody with experience, capacity, capability, and competence instead of somebody who is either close to his family, without those characteristics," he said.
Rye said the President's non-interference in the affairs of the legislative branch helps his administration. He also said this allay fears that the legislative branch will be less independent and will be a mere rubber-stamp.
"It's good for him because he loses nothing. Why? Because all of them are his allies. In fact, if he takes a side, he might break the coalition apart," he said.
The Senate and the House of Representatives earlier had conflicting provisions that delayed the passage of the PHP3.757-trillion national budget for 2019.
Some of the names floated to replace outgoing House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are former foreign affairs secretary and incoming Taguig City-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, former House Speaker and current Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez, and Leyte Representative-elect Martin Romualdez. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency