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House to focus on national security, economic development

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Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Tuesday said the House of Representatives would focus on strengthening national security and enhancing economic development in the remaining session of the 19th Congress, said a press release from the House of Representatives.

“As we embark on another session this April 29th, our legislative focus sharpens on the dual imperatives of national security and robust development. Recognizing that peace is the cornerstone of prosperity, we aim to enact laws that fortify our national defense and enhance our international security posture,” he told a forum at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) attended by diplomats and government officials.

Romualdez said the House development agenda “is expansive, targeting pivotal areas such as healthcare, education, and digital infrastructure.”

“In healthcare, we are committed to expanding access and improving the quality of services, making healthcare affordable and accessible to every Filipino. Our initiatives in education aim to create a more liberalized system that not only meets global standards but also equips our youth with the necessary skills to thrive in a globalized economy. Additionally, by enhancing our digital infrastructure, we aim to ensure that every Filipino can benefit from the digital revolution, bridging digital divides and fostering economic inclusivity,” he said.

He added that by strengthening peace and security, Congress could create an environment conducive to economic activities and development initiatives.

“These, in turn, contribute to further stabilizing our nation by reducing poverty, creating jobs, and improving living standards, which in turn diminishes the likelihood of social unrest. This virtuous cycle is fundamental to sustainable development and is a cornerstone of our legislative agenda,” he stressed.

The House leader pointed out that his and his colleagues’ goals “are ambitious.”

“We aim not only to continue our current path but to accelerate our efforts. We are exploring innovative legislative measures that promote technological advancement and environmental sustainability. These initiatives are designed to ensure that the Philippines not only keeps pace with global trends but also sets a benchmark for innovation and responsible governance,” he said.

He invited all sectors “to engage with us.”

The Speaker also took advantage of the occasion to push for another economic development advocacy – removing restrictions on foreign investments in the Constitution.

He said the proposed changes aim to introduce the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” to give Congress the ability to make legislative adjustments swiftly in specific economic sectors in response to global and local economic shifts.

He added that the changes, if effected, would “also translate into more job opportunities, helping ensure that Filipino families can thrive in an increasingly competitive world.”

He informed his audience that the House of Representatives has put in place “significant reforms that have reshaped the economic and social landscape of the Philippines.”

He said the House commitment to infrastructural development is exemplified by the continuation of the “Build, Build, Build” program.

In the area of international relations, Speaker Romualdez cited the foreign policy mantra of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. – “the Philippines is a friend to all, enemy to none.”

He advocated collaboration among nations in solving the world’s problems.

He said under President Marcos Jr.’s leadership, the nation has taken significant steps to rejuvenate and deepen its international relationships.

“Our diplomatic efforts were pivotal during the historic trilateral meeting between the United States, Japan, and the Philippines at the outset of April. This meeting underscored our strategic role in regional politics and security,” he said.

The DFA forum is called Second Foreign Policy Address, which focuses on “New Initiatives to Grow Business in the Philippines,” where Romualdez was the guest of honor and speaker.*


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May 2024

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