Recto, 3 others named House deputy speakers
(The Philippine Star) – August 15, 2019 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has named four more deputy speakers as the chamber continues to organize itself and its committees.
Designated deputy speakers on Tuesday night were Reps. Mujiv Hataman of Basilan, Vilma Santos-Recto of Batangas, Deogracias Savellano of Ilocos Sur, and Mikee Romero of party-list 1-Pacman.
Their designation brought to 22 the number of deputies of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano. Their job includes presiding over the House session whenever the speaker is not available and doing other tasks that Cayetano may assign.
And for the first time, the House has allotted a proportionate share in its leadership and committee positions for party-list representatives. Romero is the fourth deputy speaker to come from the ranks of party-list representatives. The others are Abono Rep. Conrad Estrella III, Sagip Rep. Dante Marcoleta and Cibac Rep. Eddie Villanueva.
There are also four deputy majority and minority leaders and four assistant majority and minority leaders from the party-list bloc.
The House leadership also designated 12 members of the Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc. (PCFI) as chairpersons of various committees, including major committees such as games and amusement, economic affairs, labor and employment and overseas workers affairs.
Romero is president of the 54-member PCFI, the second largest political group in the House after the ruling PDP-Laban. He lauded Cayetano for fair treatment on party-list lawmakers.
“Speaker Cayetano has treated the party-list coalition bloc as first-class citizens in this 18th Congress. We’re no longer the second-class citizens that we used to be treated,” the lawmaker stressed.
Two coalition members were also appointed on Tuesday night to the Commission on Appointments (CA): Florencio Noel of An Waray and Rico Geron of AGAP.
Also named to the CA were Reps. Genaro Alvarez Jr. of Negros Occidental and Josephine Sato of Mindoro Occidental.
Their appointment completes the 12-member House contingent in the CA, the body empowered by the Constitution to vet major Cabinet appointments and promotions in the military and diplomatic service. San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora heads the contingent.
The CA is expected to tackle at least three Cabinet appointments: those of ex-senator Gregorio Honasan of information and communications technology, Wendel Avisado of budget, and William Dar of agriculture. Scores of military and diplomatic service promotions are also pending.
The House also appointed another member of the Romero group, Alfredo Garbin Jr. of Ako Bicol, and Abdullah Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte as members of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, which is tasked to resolve election protests against congressmen. – With Edu Punay
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