Cayetano bats for ‘practical’ term extension for elected officials

Robie de Guzman   •   July 11, 2019   •   792

FILE PHOTO: Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano

MANILA, Philippines – House Speakership aspirant, Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano is looking to extend the term limits of elected officials.

Cayetano, whose speakership bid in the 18th Congress was endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte, said that longer term of office is more “practical” and “productive” for lawmakers.

“While we will push for federalism, I think there is a way that the Senate will agree that we push either for four years, no term limit; or five years, three-term limit,” Cayetano said during a gathering of House lawmakers on Wednesday night.

The 1987 Philippine Constitution allows members of the House of Representatives to serve a three-year term and no more than three consecutive terms while a senator has a six-year team with one re-election.

Cayetano said the current term limit is hindering the country’s development.

“Bakit? You are elected in May. You take office in June. ‘Yung 6 months you’re still getting organized. Kung kalaban mo nakaupo, ubos na ‘yung pondo, di ba? Nag-explain ka pa sa tao bakit hindi mo nade-deliver lahat?” he said.

“Your budget starts in January. That’s only one year, 2020. Because at 2021, everyone’s thinking of 2022. Then the cycle starts again,” he added.

The speaker aspirant, however, clarified he wants the measure implemented to give lawmakers more time to approve bills.

“Kanina, may nagsabi na sa media, ‘Si Alan is pushing for term extension,’ which is not true; 15-21 na nga e. Baka iniisip ng iba, gusto kong gawing 4 o 5 years para ma-extend din kami. Hindi po ‘yun ang sinabi ko,” he said.

“Ang sabi ko, while there are substantive bills that we have to file, the reality is there is also administrative restrictions and limitations that’s why hindi magdevelop ang ating bansa. And one of them is the three-year term na may term-limit pa,” he said.

GOD Bless the 18th Congress.GOD Bless the Philippines.

Posted by Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday, 10 July 2019

If he gets the House top seat during the election on July 22, in which he will serve for only 15 months, Cayetano said he wants to lead the most “disruptive” Congress.

“Kung pagbibigyan niyo ako, total 15 months lang ako. Ayoko umalis na failure. Gusto ko umalis na napaka-productive,” he said.

“I’m asking all of you, let us all be the most disruptive Congress, in the sense that we disrupted the status quo and we can deliver more,” he added.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, views Cayetano’s suggestion to extend term limit as “delivering the wrong message.”

“Incoming House Speaker Cayetano’s longer term limit suggestion: Starting on the wrong foot, or delivering the wrong message,” Lacson wrote on his Twitter account on Thursday.

Lacson added that the proposal is just another way of saying goodbye to the proposed charter change in the 18th Congress.

“I would say, country first before self-interest,” he said.

READ: Palace: Term extension bid for elected officials up to Congress

Malacañang earlier said it is up to the lawmakers on whether to approve Cayetano’s proposal, and suggested that they ask the public about the matter. (with details from Grace Casin)

Drilon, Robredo camp hit Cayetano’s ‘all talk’ remarks

Robie de Guzman   •   November 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon hit House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano for his “totally uncalled for” remarks against Vice President Leni Robredo.

“I am saddened by his statement. Such comments are totally uncalled for, especially coming from the Speaker of the House,” Drilon said in a statement.

Cayetano earlier said that Robredo is “all talk” since her appointment as the co-chairperson of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD).

President Rodrigo Duterte last week designated Robredo to co-lead the government’s body against illegal drugs.

Since then, she has been meeting with several groups to float her ideas to address the country’s drug problem, such as scrapping the “Oplan Tokhang” and implementing a health-based anti-drug campaign.

Instead of criticizing Robredo, Drilon said everyone should support the government’s war on drugs and set aside politics.

“It cannot be denied that illegal drug continues to be a problem, notwithstanding the over 5,000 deaths from Operation Tokhang,” he said.

“The gravity of this issue on illegal drugs calls for everyone to set aside politics. In the remaining two and a half years of the administration, we should all work together to solve this problem,” he added.

The senator also noted that even Malacañang has vowed full support for Robredo as she undertakes this task.

“We expect the allies of this administration to do no less,” he added.

Meanwhile, Robredo’s spokesperson and legal counsel, Barry Gutierrez, said the vice president has only begun doing her new task and told Cayetano to stop criticizing if he can’t help her do her job.

Gutierrez also said the entire government should unite to eradicate illegal drugs in the country.

Cayetano seeks review of National Building Code

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 30, 2019

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

House of Representatives (HOR) Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is pushing for a review of the National Building Code after the 6.6 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday in parts of Mindanao (October 29).

“I think it’s about time that we take three drastic steps. Number one, to review the National Building Code,” he said.

House Bill 4008 or the Building Code of 2019 aims to repeal the Presidential Decree 1046 or the National Building Code of the country.

Under the proposed bill, there will be new building standards to reduce the risk of severe damage during calamities like earthquakes. Non-compliance with the said standards can also lead to criminal liability.

In a statement, House Deputy Speaker and 1-PACMAN Rep. Mikee Romero said it is high time to change Presidential Decree 1046 because it was passed into law in 1977.

He also said there is poor compliance to the National Building Code.

“It is abundantly clear that poor compliance with the National Building Code is part of the systemic reason for the deaths, injuries, and widespread damage in Mindanao because of today’s magnitude 6.6 earthquake and the magnitude 6.3 earthquake last October 16,” he said.

The House Bill 4008 will be one of the priority bills to be discussed in the House of Representatives once session resumes on November 4.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

House Speaker Cayetano assures timely 2020 budget approval

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2019

House of Representatives Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano uses the gavel on stage at the Philippine Congress in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, 22 July 2019. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has assured that the proposed national budget for the year 2020 will be approved on time.

Cayetano said there is no reason to delay the passage of the budget bill, adding that its deliberation is the Congress’ top priority when session resumes on November 4.

“Wala tayong excuse, we have all the time to discuss the budget. May isang buwan na during the break, nirereview natin, nagpreprepare sa bicam,” he told reporters during an interview at the New Clark City sports complex on Wednesday.

Cayetano also said there is a continued interaction between the lawmakers and Cabinet secretaries to fine-tune the budget.

The House of Representatives approved the proposed P4.1-trillion 2020 national budget on third and final reading on Sept. 20 after President Rodrigo Duterte certified the bill as urgent.

The House speaker also underscored the importance of the country’s economic rating and the need for programs to uplift the lives of poor Filipinos.

He said the Lower Chamber is set to tackle revenue bills before the year ends as well as a proposal to integrate programs of various government agencies that is seen to benefit poor regions in the country.

“The 20 poorest provinces palagi na lang silang poorest so sa 2020 we want to come up with 20 projects for the 20 poorest provinces. We are talking to the different agencies and departments to help,” he said.

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