The House of Representatives has created three new committees, including the revived oversight panel as part of the ongoing reorganization initiated by Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The revived House Committee on Oversight aside, House Majority Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. said the Committee on Disaster Management and the Special Committee on Senior Citizens were also created.
The creation of the House committees on oversight and on disaster management brings to 62 the existing standing committees and to 16 the special committees.
House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, the chairman of the House committee on oversight during the 14th Congress, said he hoped the leadership would give the chairmanship of the panel to the minority bloc since it had the mandate to monitor and evaluate the performance of government agencies.
“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.
He reminded the House leadership of “the importance of the functions of the oversight committee in monitoring and evaluating the performance of government agencies and instrumentalities and ensuring that agencies were relevantly and fully using their resources in accordance with their mandate.
“This shall coincide with the thrust of this administration against corruption, the improvement of the absorptive capacity of all government agencies, the provision of basic services and economic, social and infrastructure development in the country,” Suarez said.
The chamber in plenary session elected Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman as head of the House Committee on Disaster Management whose mandate is to help address the calamities, including risk reduction, disaster preparedness and recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts, Andaya said.
Andaya said the House Special Committee on Senior Citizens was headed by Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos to touch on the policies of the elderly and improve their active participation in the country while the House committee on oversight remained vacant.He said the House committee on oversight was tasked to handle “all matters relating to the coordination of executive development planning and congressional action, specifically the review of the effectiveness of the laws pursued through the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council.