By Ben Rosario
The House of Representatives has reactivated the Committee on Oversight, which was abolished in 2010 allegedly upon the prodding of the administration of then President Benigno S. Aquino III.
With former president-turned-Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo now the Speaker of the House, there are swift moves to revive the House oversight panel which will check the execution of laws, especially financial operations, of government.
The Arroyo leadership of the Lower Chamber has also endorsed the election of former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez-Marcos as chairperson of the newly-created Special Committee on Senior Citizens Affairs.
With the impending creation of the Department of Disaster Resiliency, the House also formed the Committee on Disaster Management under Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman.
These moves are part of the on-going reorganization launched by Arroyo following her election as Speaker.
Last Tuesday, the House majority relieved Quirino Rep. Dax Cua of chairmanship of the influential Committee on Ways and Means. Elected to replace him was Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing.
Cua’s ouster came a day after the Lower House passed on third and final reading the third and final reading House bill 8083 or Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO).
The young Quirino legislator successfully shepherded the Duterte-backed measure that won a 184 -14 vote on plenary.
With the oversight and disaster management panels as new additions, the standing committee in the Lower House currently totals 62.
The senior citizens panel brings the number of special committees to 16.
The acknowledged minority bloc headed by Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez hailed the decision of the Arroyo leadership to revive the oversight panel, saying that this is one of the most welcome move made by the former president.
Suarez, who used to head the oversight panel as leader of the minority bloc during the 14th Congress, aired hopes that Arroyo will assign the chairmanship of the committee to the 42-member minority bloc that he heads.
The veteran Quezon lawmaker was recently elected as chairman of the House Committee on Ethics.
“The principle of checks and balances is embedded in our Constitution to ensure that there will be no abuse of power and to correct mistakes or excesses committed by the other branches of the government,” Suarez said.
He added: “This shall coincide with the thrust of this administration against corruption, the improvement of the absorptive capacity of all government agencies, provision of basic services, and economic, social and infrastructure development in the country.”