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More pro-people legislation to be drafted by the “Smarter House”: Romualdez

Following the signing of a research agreement with the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), a prestigious academic institution in the Philippines, House Speaker Martin Romualdez on Tuesday expressed high hopes that the House of Representatives will soon work on “evidence-based, people-oriented” legislation.

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“Today is a lucky day for the House of Representatives, in fact. In a speech given during the historic agreement’s ceremonial signing on Tuesday at the House of Representatives complex’s Romualdez Hall, Romualdez said, “It has been our dream to bring about a smarter House of Representatives, one that is equipped with the means by which we can effectively pursue evidence-based and people-oriented legislation in a timely manner.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the House and the ADMU for the research cooperation project was signed this morning, he continued, and it is a significant step toward realizing this objective.

The “HRep-ADMU Research Project” MOA was signed by Fr. Roberto Yap, president of ADMU, on behalf of the university’s Department of Economics and the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development, and Secretary-General Reginald Velasco for the House of Representatives (ACERD).

This collaboration couldn’t have arrived at a better moment. As a country, we are at a turning point in our history. Although the country is no longer in a situation of a national health emergency, many of our citizens are still suffering from the pandemic’s consequences and its economic side effects, according to Romualdez.

The Speaker continued by saying that the outlook for the world economy in the upcoming years is not very promising. These circumstances necessitate that the choices we make right now truly produce the anticipated improvements in the lives of most, if not all, of our people.

Due to these factors, the HRep-ADMU research collaboration will concentrate on setting up 11 “research teams” that will perform studies on the industries listed in President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

These include those relating to employment, fiscal management, competition and entrepreneurship, research, development, and the digital economy; agriculture and food security; infrastructure, transportation, and energy security; health, education, and social protection; peace, security, and public order and safety.

The study teams “must be headed by specialists in the subject, and they shall be known as Congressional Research Fellows (CRFs),” according to the MOA.

The MOA stated that the CRFs “must come from ADMU, and other universities or research institutions.”

Representatives from the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD), an office tasked with conducting policy and budget research to act as the knowledge base for legislation and oversight, must also be included on the research teams.

The ADMU system’s ACERD is a center of excellence devoted to conducting research that can inform decision-making. Additionally, it collaborates with other organizations to foster information and talent sharing.

Romualdez is hopeful that this collaboration would result in laws that will genuinely benefit the Filipino people given ADMU’s tenet of “persons-for-and-with-others,” since the academic institution is known to emphasize service, justice, and aiding the underprivileged.

“For this reason, our collaboration is crucial. If we are to achieve our beloved President’s lofty aim of reducing the poverty rate to a single digit over the next five years, we need all the assistance we can get, Romualdez remarked.

“Ateneo can help us greatly in this regard,” he continued, “not only by providing Congress with timely, credible, useful, and policy-relevant technical information for legislation borne from rigorous research but also by lending their esteemed voices in the discussion of proposed reforms with the end-in-view of educating our people on the need for these reforms. “If the country is to overcome the economic obstacles in front of us, we need these inputs, he added.

Romualdez praised the partnership’s objective, which is to create legislation based on the President’s eight-point program, in particular.

“Please proceed, and I’ll be happy to. We must move swiftly since we have work to do. Our people depend on us to stabilize the cost of essential goods, bring in more investment and high-quality jobs, and guarantee economic growth and prosperity, he said. “We can’t let up. We won’t fall short if everyone participates.”

He also expressed gratitude to the “prime movers” behind the project, including Congressmen Elizaldy Co, Stella Quimbo, and Yedda Marie Romualdez, the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD), which is run by Deputy Secretary General Dr. Romulo Emmanuel Miral Jr., and the House of Representatives Legal and Finance Departments.

Let me also express my gratitude to Father Yap, president of Ateneo de Manila University, for approving the use of the university’s impressive academic resources for the noble goal of nation-building through the legislative process, Romualdez added.

He continued, “It is my hope that more educational institutions will follow your lead and join the House in our joint quest for sustainable economic development.”

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