The leadership of the House of Representatives led by Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has named Minority Leader Danilo Suarez as head of the revived committee on oversight that is tasked to assess the performance of various government agencies and its failure to spend public funds amounting to billions of pesos.
The appointment of Suarez, representative of the third district of Quezon, was announced by House Majority Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. in plenary session Wednesday afternoon.
The House oversight committee was abolished during the previous Aquino administration.
Suarez, in response, said he was grateful over the decision of the House leadership to tap him as head of the committee which he used to chair during the 14th Congress.
“I am very thankful to Speaker Arroyo for the trust and confidence she has given me to head this very functional committee. Now that it has been reorganized, we have a great task ahead of us,” said Suarez.
Suarez said Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza will be his vice chairman.
As one of the many issues the committee would look into, Atienza earlier cited the case of the unspent P30-billion of the Department of Tourism and other agencies, which could have been used to create jobs for Filipinos.
Suarez said his committee on oversight will also give priority to the review of the performance of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Customs by looking at Republic Act 9335, or the Lateral Attrition Law to ensure that government-collecting agencies will be able to meet their targets.
The Lateral Attrition Act provides for a system of reward and punishment for officials and employees of the Customs and Internal Revenue who meet or fail to meet their target revenues.
Suarez said the revival of the panel would further promote transparency and accountability under the Duterte administration.
“The principle of checks and balances is embedded in our Constitution to ensure that there will be no abuse of power and to correct the mistakes or excesses committed by the other branches of the government,” Suarez said.