ANDAYA STEPS DOWN AS HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER
MANILA -- Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. on Monday stepped down as House Majority Leader of the House of Representatives and was replaced by Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro.
As Majority Leader, Castro automatically assumed the leadership of the House Committee on Rules while Andaya was appointed as the new chair of the House Appropriations Committee
In his speech, Andaya thanked his colleagues for the many achievements attained by the House during his short stint as Majority Leader
“Permit me to render my report card on the past half a year, so short a time but long in achievements, to which your contributions were greater than mine,” he said.
He noted that despite the power the post falsely conjures, a Majority Leader is just a mere plenary traffic policeman, a time keeper, and a glorified attendance checker.
“While the session hall, which is the realm of the Rules Committee, may be seen as the factory floor of laws, the true assembly lines lie elsewhere -- in committee rooms where policy is hammered out, by members who quietly toil for months, away from the glare of TV cameras,” Andaya said.
“Whatever side of the aisle we sit, whatever wing of the political divide we have encamped, we should take pride, as I do, of the House’s performance since July last year,” he added.
In the 41 session days before Congress adjourned for the Christmas break, he said the House processed about 1,361 bills, approved 492 measures of which 95 had been passed into law.
“This is my last term as congressman. As Majority Leader, I am humbled by the support given by my colleagues in steering the House approval of important pieces of legislation, including all of the President's priority measures mentioned in his 2018 State of the Nation Address,” Andaya said.
Meanwhile, Andaya said as the new chair of the Appropriations Committee, he would involve himself in settling the “great unfinished business” that is the passage of the 2019 national budget.
“I have been given orders: from the GHQ (general headquarters) to the frontlines. I volunteered for this mission, knowing fully well that the place of honor is in the frontlines,” he said in a separate statement.
“I am leading the House team that will meet with our Senate counterparts in the bicameral conference committee to wrap up the fine print of the 2019 General Appropriations Bill,” Andaya said.
Meanwhile, Castro promised to do his best to fill the shoes left by his predecessor.
“I will try my best to fit his shoes. I will try my best on how to serve the House within my humble capacity,” he said.
“What I can only reciprocate to the kindness in words and deeds of Andaya is to pledge that I will start from where he left, with the intention to accomplish what he could have accomplished had he continued to be the majority leader of this institution,” Castro said. (PNA)
Photo from Manila Bulletin