BACOLOD

Stephen Paduano is new minority bloc leader

THE minority bloc in the House of Representatives has chosen Abang Lingkod Representative Stephen Paduano as its new leader.

The minority bloc said its members welcome the new Speaker of the House, Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, and Paduano, who was unanimously elected, with the members looking forward to work with him with the vision that the minority will flourish under his leadership.

Paduano is a third term member of Congress, and has been a member of the minority bloc since the 17th Congress.

He has always advocated for the welfare of farmers and fisherfolk, and pushed for protection of rice and sugar farmers amidst the liberalization of agriculture markets.

With the new leadership under Paduano, the minority bloc is assuring the House and the Filipino people that it will remain loyal to the principles that mould the group in fiscalizing and in providing a potent force to implement check and balance in the House of Representatives.

The 22-member bloc will continue to support legislations for the people through constructive criticisms and not as obstructionists, as it played major role in the passing of the 2021 General Appropriations Bill or the 2021 proposed budget, which was finally approved on final reading on Friday, which President Rodrigo Duterte wanted passed constitutionally and legally, and on time, not railroaded.

Rest assured that the minority bloc will continue working hard in pushing for laws for the benefit of the Filipino people especially at this time of a pandemic where our lives are being challenged to adjust to a new, better normal.

Members of the minority bloc may have differences due to party affiliations, convictions, beliefs and even ideologies, but it will always unite with regard to legislations that will redound to the ordinary Filipino.

The bloc vows to work together for the common good of the people, with the principles that had been guiding it, and will not compromise the fiscalizing role of the group.

The members of the bloc are also extending their gratitude to former minority leader Benny Abante of the 6th District of Manila, whose service and guidance to the minority is well appreciated.


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