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IV. THE SPEAKER
Section 15. Duties and Powers. The Speaker, as the political and administrative head of the House, is responsible for the overall management of the proceedings, activities, resources, facilities and employees of the House.
The Speaker shall:
- prepare the legislative agenda for every regular session, establish systems and procedures to ensure full deliberation and swift approval of measures included therein, and may, for the purpose, avail of the assistance of the Deputy Speakers, the Majority Leader, the chairpersons of the standing committees and other Members of the House;
- conduct regular monthly caucus of all Members or groups thereof or as often as may be necessary to discuss priority measures and to facilitate dialogue, consensus and action on issues and concerns affecting the House and the performance of its functions;
- exercise general supervision over all committees and, in furtherance thereof, conduct regular monthly meetings with the chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of all standing and special committees to set legislative targets, review performance in the attainment of targets, ensure that the priority legislative measures of committees are attuned to the legislative agenda of the House, and resolve such other issues and concerns that affect the operations and performance of the committees;
- establish, as far as practicable, an efficient information management system in the House utilizing among others, modern digital technology, that can: 1. facilitate access to and dissemination of data and information needed in legislation inclusive of facilitating real time translation of plenary proceedings in the major Philippine dialects and languages; 2. provide a simplified and comprehensive process of gathering, recording, storage and retrieval of data and information relating to activities and proceedings of the House; 3. sustain a public information program that will provide accessible, timely and accurate information relating to the House, its Members and officers, its committees and its legislative concerns inclusive of facilitating, as far as practicable, broadcast coverage of plenary and committee proceedings;
- establish an efficient and effective system to monitor and evaluate the performance of legislative tasks and duties of the House, its Members and its committees;
- establish coordinative linkages with the Senate of the Philippines to efficiently monitor and facilitate Senate action on House measures pending with the same;
- preside over the sessions of the House and decide all questions of order subject to appeal by any Member who may explain the appeal in not more than five (5) minutes: Provided, That the appeal shall not be subject to debate, and no explanation of vote shall be allowed in case of nominal voting;
- designate a Member as temporary presiding officer after informing the Deputy Speakers: Provided, That any such designation shall be effective for one session day only;
- take appropriate measures as may be deemed advisable or as the House may direct, to preserve order and decorum in the session hall, the galleries, lobbies, chambers, offices, corridors and premises of the House;
- sign all acts, resolutions, memorials, writs, warrants and subpoenae that may beissued by or upon order of the House;
- perform administrative functions such as, among others:
- appointment of personnel of the House with authority to delegate this power;
- suspension, dismissal or imposition of other disciplinary measures on House personnel in accordance with Civil Service rules: Provided, That the suspension or dismissal of the Secretary General and the Sergeant-at-Arms shall take effect only upon the concurrence of the majority of all the Members;
- consolidation or splitting of vacant positions carrying salaries and wages which may be increased or reduced in the process, and/or creation of new positions in accordance with the General Appropriations Act: Provided, That the total amount involved shall not exceed the total amount appropriated for the salaries and wages of the personnel of the House;
- implementation of merit-based policies and programs on personnel recruitment, training and development, promotions, incentives and benefits to ensure that the House has a corps of competent professionals able to provide needed legislative support services; and
- review, approve, and sign contracts entered into by the House of Representatives, with the authority to delegate this power.
- prepare the annual budget of the House with the assistance of the Committee on Accounts;
- prepare, in consultation with the Committee on Rules, the rules and regulations governing public access to personal data and related information, including statements of assets and liabilities, of Members of the House;
- develop through an appropriate entity of the House a system for drug testing in the House of Representatives, which may provide for the testing of any Member, officer, or employee of the House, and otherwise shall be comparable in scope to the system for drug testing in the executive branch, Provided, That the expenses of the system may be paid from applicable accounts of the House for official expenses; and
- require the submission of performance reports at the end of every regular session and fiscal year from the committee chairpersons, the Secretary General and the Sergeant-at-Arms, and such other reports as may be required from all concerned officers and offices of the House.
Section 16. Representation in International Parliamentary Gatherings and Organizations. The Speaker shall be the permanent head of delegation and representative of the House in all international parliamentary gatherings and organizations: Provided, That the Speaker may designate any Member to be the representative of the Speaker. The Speaker shall also determine, upon the recommendation of the Majority Leader, in consultation with the chairperson of the Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Diplomacy and the Minority Leader, who shall constitute the House delegation to any international conference or forum of parliamentarians and legislators and the secretariat support staff to be mobilized for the purpose.
SOURCE: Committee on Rules