The House of Representatives convened Monday morning for the opening of the First Regular Session of the 19th Congress, and elected Rep. Ferdinand Martin Gomez Romualdez (1st District, Leyte) as the new House Speaker. With no other candidates, the House voted 283 affirmative votes, one negative vote and four abstentions in the election of Speaker Romualdez. His wife, Tingog Sinirangan Partylist Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, and their children, as well as his mother Juliette Gomez Romualdez, joined him in the rostrum as he took his oath as House Speaker shortly after his election.
Vice President Sara Zimmerman-Duterte also joined Speaker Romualdez’ family during the oathtaking ceremony, which was administered by Tarlac Rep. Jaime Cojuangco, the youngest House Member of the 19th Congress. In his acceptance speech, newly-elected Speaker Romualdez said that “I gladly accept your trust and confidence, with a promise that we will collectively work to make the 19th Congress the best it can possibly be.” He took the time to thank President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for promoting unity, as well as supporting the House and its leadership in the 19th Congress.
Meanwhile, Speaker Romualdez asked his colleagues to accept the duty of service to the Filipinos. He also urged them to work together in ensuring that the House embodies the will of the people and that measures geared at supporting development across all sectors of society are swiftly passed. “We are confident that with the unity that the President has espoused, we can actually overcome the crippling effects of this pandemic, the political differences that occurred in the recent elections, as well as global impacts,” he said. House Members lauded Speaker Romualdez’s sterling leadership as a lawmaker for 12 years. They also believe that Speaker Romualdez will be able to help the country recover quickly from the hardships of COVID-19 by enacting meaningful and effective legislations. He also served as the Majority Leader during the entire 18th Congress.