While Congress adjourned sine die last Wednesday, committee hearings will continue, said Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva.
“Our business does not end in the Senate. Our colleagues have expressed to continue conducting hearings during the break,” he added.
Adopted Senate Resolution No. 21 gives full authority to “all regular standing committees oversight committees and special committees of the Senate to conduct hearings, meetings, and consultations during every recess of the Senate to have continuity in the process of passing pending proposed legislations and to conduct investigations on issues of National Interests to aid in crafting relevant legislation.”
Before the adjournment of the First Regular Session of the 19th Congress, the Senate was able to pass landmark legislation such as Villanueva’s pet bill Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act, establishing a National Employment Master Plan.
The One Town, One Product (OTOP) Philippines Act, Extension of the Period of Availment of the Estate Tax Amnesty, Rationalizing the Disability Pension of Veterans, Institutionalizing the Shared Service Facilities for MSMEs Act, Kabalikat sa Pagtuturo Act, Regional Specialty Centers Act, Disability Pension for Veterans Act, and the Maharlika Investment Fund Act were also passed.
Villanueva was assigned as the Senate’s caretaker for the next two weeks during the session break.
According to Special Order No. 2023-020 (OSP) signed on June 1, Villanueva was designated by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri as Officer-In-Charge of the Senate of the Philippines from June 3 to 15 during Zubiri’s absence.
“Part of our role as Majority Leader is to step up when the leadership calls for it,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva’s designation is pursuant to Rule IV of the Rules of the Senate where “in the case of the temporary absence of the Senate President or the Senate President Pro-Tempore, the Majority Leader or in his absence, any of the two Deputy Majority Leaders, or any member designated by the President shall discharge the powers and duties of the President.”
“We are business as usual here in the Senate although we adjourned sine die,” Villanueva said.