TALKING POINTS: HOUSE SPEAKER PANTALEON ALVAREZ
With only four laws passed on its first year in office, the 17th Congress will have to work harder this second regular session
BY LEE CANDELARIA
The first year of the Duterte administration is nothing but interesting. President Rodrigo Duterte enjoys extreme popularity with record-high satisfaction surveys and sweeping support in both houses of the Congress. This would mean that the legislative agenda of the administration should breeze through the esteemed halls of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
But Duterte delivered his second State of the Nation Address in front of a Congress that only passed four bills into law (see sidebar). Congress seemed more occupied with investigations in aid of legislation such as Martial Law in Marawi, extrajudicial killings, and Senator Leila de Lima’s association to illegal drug
sale in Bilibid
This is not new in the Philippines. Many important laws take a few congresses to pass; some even do not pass during the administration of those who proposed it. Legislation in the Philippines is designed to be slow. Imagine that a single proposed measure must to go through three readings in both houses of
Congress—more than 300 legislators reading, researching, and deliberating—that must certainly take some time.
This characteristic of Philippine law making is aimed at making sure that everything has been ironed out before a law is enacted, especially because these laws will affect the lives of millions of
LEGISLATING AMIDST CHALLENGES
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez admits to these challenges of legislation in the first year of the Duterte administration. In the opening of the second regular session of the House of Representatives last July 24, he delivered a speech marking the end Legislative Report With only four laws passed on its first year
in office, the 17th Congress will have to work harder this second regular session BY LEE CANDELARIA
of the first year of their work as legislators. He highlights that they have passed 210 legislative measures on the third reading, or an average of two bills per session day.