THE House of Representatives has almost completed its organization under the present 17th Congress with the election of more deputy speakers, including former President, now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Aside from Arroyo, House Majority Floor Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas also named Monday night four other deputy speakers: Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, AAMBIS-OWA party-list Rep. Sharon Garin, Cebu Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia and Davao City Rep. Mylene Garcia-Albano.
Two other deputy speakers to be added to the list would be Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. and Maguindanao and Cotabato City Rep. Bai Sandra Sema.
Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr., speaker of the 16th Congress, was named chairman of the House special committee on the West Philippine Sea.
Belmonte welcomed his appointment as chairman of the special committee which will handle issues pertaining to the continuing dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
Returning Rep. Robert Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte was appointed chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs.
Barbers, a known anti-drug advocate, welcomed his appointment as the new chairman of the committee.
“I am humbled to be named chairman of the committee on dangerous drugs. We will prioritize legislation that will reflect the present administration’s all-out war against illegal drugs and commitment to rehabilitate drug users. I am ready to work with stakeholders to achieve into fruition the legislative agenda of our President,” Barbers said.
Anak Mindanao party-list Rep. Sitti Turabin Hataman was named chairperson of the House committee on Muslim Affairs and Gabriela party-list Rep. Emmi de Jesus as chairperson of the House committee on poverty alleviation.
Fariñas also named the following lawmakers and their respective committees: Pangasinan Rep. Amado Espino Jr., national defense and security; Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) party-list Rep. Mariano Michael Velarde Jr., overseas workers affairs; Laguna Rep. Sol Aragones, population and family relations; Palawan Rep. Frederick Abueg, social services; Abono party-list Rep. Conrado Estrella III, youth and sports development; and Davao del Sur Rep. Mercedes Cagas, East Asian growth area.
The Lower House had earlier elected the following deputy speakers: Raneo Abu of Batangas, Fredenil Castro of Capiz, Miro Quimbo of Marikina City, Mercedes Alvarez of Negros Occidental and Eric Singson of Ilocos Sur.