Marcos says Romualdez needed in trips: Biz people ask questions that Congress can answer

By: Gabriel Pabico Lalu - | January 22,2023 - 08:45 AM
 Speaker Martin Romualdez

FILE PHOTO: Speaker Martin Romualdez. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez is part of the country’s delegation to the World Economic Forum (WEF) because there are questions from businesspeople that only Congress can answer, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said.

Marcos in an interview on Friday (Manila time) with Filipino reporters who accompanied him to the trip to Davos, Switzerland defended Romualdez from questions as to why the House Speaker is even needed to accompany him.

Romualdez, former president and now Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, presidential son and Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Ferdinand Alexander Marcos, and Senator Mark Villar are some of the lawmakers who were with Marcos in the trip to Davos.

“That’s easy to answer. For example, the Speaker needs to be here and that also includes Senator Mark Villar, because we have to present members of the legislature because of all of these changes in policy that we are talking about,” Marcos said.

“Let’s say you talk to a potential investor, and they will say ‘your laws are not good, it hampers our business, and it’s not a good law, et cetera, et cetera’. So at least we have the legislators here who can say: ‘Well, we can do something about it or no, that is important to us that we maintain it, et cetera, et cetera’. Because legislation is an important part of what we are doing,” he added.

Romualdez, first cousin of Marcos from the maternal side, has been a constant fixture for the Chief Executive’s foreign trips recently. The Speaker was with the President when the latter visited New York last September 2022 for the United Nations General Assembly, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Cambodia last November 2022.

Marcos, meanwhile, noted that they are lucky to have Arroyo on board with them.

Arroyo attended the WEF back when she was president in 2007.

“So there’s always a legislator. And in the case of former president GMA, we’re lucky to have her onboard,” Marcos added.

Working with the executive branch

Romualdez for his part said that the presence of lawmakers in Davos is important as it is not only the executive branch that functions during these meetings, but also the legislative department.

The House Speaker who represents the 1st District of Leyte said that the legislature must be synchronized with the executive to ensure development for the country.

“The executive and the legislature are working and walking in lockstep, we are together. When the government works, it’s not just the executive, we in the legislature are here to support it,” he said.

“I think the delegation that came to Davos actually impressed the Davos attendees, substantial delegation actually demonstrated how the Philippines, the President, his official family, the economic managers along with the top businessmen and women in the Philippines, showing a united front to the entire world  So, people took notice of it and said obviously that the Philippines is back,” he added.

Romualdez also noted that since Marcos tried to pitch the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) — a sovereign wealth fund recently approved by the House of Representatives — they had to be there to explain how it would function.

Romualdez was one of the principal authors of the MIF, while Villar is backing its version in the Senate.

“For instance the Maharlika Fund which we passed in the lower house was a topic of discussion and interest […] This will guarantee solid returns not just for the local investors but also for the international investors — from which we received substantial interest and, well, concern in terms of what will be the final makeup,” he said.

“And as you know, Senator Mark Villar who’s also with me, is the championer, or he is the principal author in the Senate. So we demonstrate at the WEF and to world that the President is joined by his economic managers from the executive, alongside with the leaders from the legislature, and we are working and marching in lockstep with him, and we are listening to the concerns and the sensitivities as to what is needed or what (we) should look for,” he added.


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TAGS: Bongbong Marcos, Cebu Daily News, World Economic Forum
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