LEGISLATORS from the two chambers of Congress voted on Monday, July 25, 2022, to elect the new Senate President and House Speaker hours before President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. delivers his first State of the Nation Address (Sona).

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, known as "trabahador ng Senado," was elected by 19 out of the 24 senators as Senate President of the 19th Congress.

Leyte First District Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, meanwhile, was named the House Speaker. He got 283 affirmative votes, while 22 lawmakers at the House of Representatives did not vote, four abstained and one voted negative.

Romualdez, the president of the Lakas Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas CMD), is a cousin of Marcos.

Both Zubiri and Romualdez took their oath of office right after their election.

In his acceptance speech, Zubiri said the 19th Congress will have a "multitasking, proud-sourcing" Senate that will provide a payload of solutions instead of fault-finding.

Zubiri assured of a “leadership of consulting output and consensus building.”

He said the Senate will support all national reconstruction and social good efforts, not just social media hits.

Romualdez, for his part, vowed to ensure that the House “truly embodies the will of the people.”

“We will work hand in hand to ensure the swift passage of measures that are needed by the society... With unity of purpose, there is nothing that we cannot do,” he said.

He also promised that he will attend to the concerns of all the lawmakers’ constituents, stressing that he will “favor no one.”

“There will be fair and equitable distribution of resources for the development of our regions regardless of political affiliations. Any family must be included in the legislative agenda. No one will be left behind,” he said.

In the Senate, returning Senator Loren Legarda was elected as Senate Pro Tempore, the post Zubiri occupied in the 18th Congress.

Senator Joel Villanueva was elected as the majority Leader while Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III was named the minority leader.

In the House of Representatives, Pampanga Second District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was “unanimously” elected as the senior deputy speaker of the lower chamber.

Davao City Third District Representative Isidro Ungab, Antipolo First District Representative Roberto Puno, Las Piñas City Lone District Representative Camille Villar, Ilocos Sur Second District Representative Kristine Singson-Meehan and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines' (TUCP) Representative Raymond Democrito Mendoza were also elected as deputy speakers.

Serving as the House of Representative's secretary general for the 19th Congress is Reginald Velasco, while retired police Major General Napoleon Caballes Taas is the Sergeant-at-Arms.

Zamboanga City Second District Representative Manuel Jose Dalipe was elected as the house majority leader.

Senators and the members of the House of Representatives will convene for a joint session at the House of Representatives at 4 p.m.

Marcos will deliver his Sona during the session. (SunStar Philippines)