LEADERS of the 18th Congress are aiming for "zero veto" of all bills that it will pass through closer coordination with the executive department.
House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) has decided to meet monthly to ensure that President Rodrigo Duterte's legislative agenda would be met and the final bills that will be forwarded to the President for approval would not be vetoed.
“This is an effort to make sure that we have better linkages, synergy and coordination to fast-track, facilitate and harmonize measures, especially those actually spelled out by the President as priority measures," Romualdez said during the first press conference of the majority bloc at the House of Representatives Tuesday, August 6.
Romualdez said the decision was arrived at during a small group meeting of the Ledac on Monday, August 5, which was presided by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri also attended the meeting.
“We are eyeing zero veto for all bills to be approved by the Senate and the House. Hopefully, we can avoid any possibility of a Presidential veto by working closely with Cabinet members and Senate officials," Romualdez said.
Duterte had vetoed nine proposed measures passed by the 17th Congress, including the 2018 General Appropriation Act, Security of Tenure Act, and coco levy bill.
Romualdez said Congress leaders will also work closely with the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) in case any provisions of a bill need extended discussion with the Cabinet members.
“We aim to work closely also with the PLLO so that they can alert us what are the certain provisions of the bills that may need thorough discussion with Cabinet members concerned,” he added.
Other officials who attended the Monday meeting were House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante, Senators Ralph Recto and Sonny Angara, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymond Villafuerte, Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, former acting Budget Secretary Janet Abuel, newly-named acting Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, and PLLO Secretary Adelino Sitoy. (From a report by Ryniel Berlanga/SunStar Philippines)