By Nehmia Elyxa Relano

With a majority of 282 votes from the House members, Leyte First District Representative Martin Romualdez was elected as the new House Speaker on Monday as the first session of the 19th Congress formally started.

Photo Courtesy by Boy Santos / Gabriel Lalu

In his acceptance speech, Romualdez called on his fellow congressmen  to work "in unity" to pass important legislations that would promote development and the aspiration of leaving no one behind.

“We will work together to ensure that the House of Representatives truly embodies the will of the people. We will work hand-in-hand to ensure the swift passage of House measures that are needed by the people and would support development across all sectors of society and different levels of government. With unity of purpose, there is nothing that we cannot do,” he said.

Romualdez also vowed not to show favoritism and to always put the public’s needs first.

"I vow to attend to all the concerns of your constituents. I shall try to be as fair as possible and to favor no one. There will be a fair and equitable distribution of resources for the development of our region regardless of political affiliations," Romualdez said.

"I ask you all to accept the duty of service to the people. We are entering the endemic stages and we are confident that with the unity that our 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 the global impact [of policies], such as the Ukrainian war," he added.

Romualdez, the cousin of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., was nominated by his nephew and tpresidential son, Ilocos Norte 1st District Representative Ferdinand Alexander "Sandro" Marcos.

"With unity at the core of the government as a shared vision for the next six years, the House of Representatives requires, now more than ever, a leader that embodies inclusivity, possesses unquestionable competency, and feels genuinely for the people we are all duty bound to serve," Rep. Marcos said in nominating Romualdez.

"Representative Romualdez's competence is far beyond dispute. Much has been said of his familial relations to the President, but the reasons I cited ascertain that his qualification is beyond sufficient to lead us to greater heights," he continued.

Edited by Audrei Jeremy Mendador