Senator Chiz Escudero called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to appoint with urgency a “high caliber Cabinet member” as head of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) that will serve as an effective point person between Malacanang and Congress in pursuit of the Chief Executive’s legislative agenda.
Escudero issued the statement to avoid another incident of what he called a “bill vetoing-spree” of Malacañang where the President vetoed five measures approved by the previous Congress, including the tax exemption of the honoraria for teachers doing poll duties.
The appointment of a PLLO head, whose role is crucial in maintaining a harmonious working relationship between the executive and the legislative branches, must pave the way for the convening of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC), a body created under Republic Act 7640 during the Ramos administration, to discuss the administration’s priority bills and come up with a common legislative agenda.
The veteran legislator said the appointment of the PLLO chief is crucial and will make sure that “months, man-hours and millions spent” in crafting a bill will not go to waste if these will be vetoed because contentious provisions have not been ironed out in part due to an ineffective and inefficient PLLO.
The seasoned lawmaker said the future PLLO chief, who will have a rank of secretary and will sit in the Cabinet, must be someone who could work with Congress in ensuring that the proposed laws it had passed are “veto-proof”.
“He or she must have the policy grasp and the political gravitas in helping craft laws that fuse the best ideas from the legislative and executive branches.”
“He or she must have the policy grasp and the political gravitas in helping craft laws that fuse the best ideas from the legislative and executive branches. The presidential point person in Congress must wade into policy work and must know what provisions in a bill being discussed might run into opposition later in the executive circles,” the senator pointed out.
If the PLLO will merely report the ongoings in both chambers of Congress, he said, “then that person is no better than a CCTV.”
“Kung Marites lang siya, manood na lang siya ng YouTube because plenary and committee hearings are livestreamed there.”
“Kung Marites lang siya, manood na lang siya ng YouTube because plenary and committee hearings are livestreamed there,” Escudero said.
While the person’s role is to push Malacanang’s advocacy in Congress, he stressed the PLLO must also persuade the Palace to see the merits of congressional counter proposals.
“Therefore, the chief PLLO must have the political savvy to build a sturdy two-way bridge that will facilitate the traffic of best ideas from both sides,” Escudero said.
“Kung mali ang posisyon ng isang Cabinet secretary or sablay ang provision ng isang bill, ang trabaho niya ay hindi kunsintihin ito pero i-wasto. Doing so will protect the President. Lawmaking is a series of compromises and reconciliations. The process has many points in which the PLLO can make suggestions,” he concluded.