House opens 1st session of 19th Congress

House opens 1st session of 19th Congress

MANILA – The House of Representatives formally opened the first regular session of the 19th Congress on Monday morning, ahead of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The lower chamber officially opened the inaugural session at 10 a.m. with House Secretary-General Mark Llandro Mendoza as the presiding officer.

Per the House Rules, the Secretary General of the immediately preceding Congress will preside over the inaugural session of the House until the election of a new Speaker.

The convening of the regular session is in accordance with Article VI, Sections 15 and 16 of the 1987 Constitution, which provides that the Congress shall convene once every year on the fourth Monday of July for its regular session.

Vice President Sara Duterte was present during the inaugural session.

Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez is poised to be the new Speaker.

Romualdez has received endorsements from major political parties in the larger chamber of Congress, including previous President Rodrigo Duterte’s PDP-Laban, National Unity Party, Nacionalista Party, and the Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc., among others.

Former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had also supported Romualdez’ speakership bid.

In the afternoon, the Senate and the House will convene in a joint session to hear the President’s SONA at 4 p.m. (PNA)

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