by Seth Cabanban
Reginald Sagun Velasco was elected by the House of Representatives to serve as Secretary General of the 19th Congress as it commenced its first regular session last Monday, July 25.
Velasco, as secretary general, will enforce the orders and decisions of the House of Representatives and will act as chief of the House personnel.
He is not related to Marinduque lone district Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, who served as speaker in the previous 18th Congress.
Secretary general Velasco took his oath of office Tuesday, July 26 before newly-installed House Speaker Martin Romualdez.
Prior to his election as secretary general, he tenured major roles for multiple government agencies: he was an economic researcher for the National and Economic Development Authority (NEDA); officer roles in the Philippine Embassy of the Philippines in Washington DC, United States (US); and directorship roles in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). He has even worked at the Office of the President and the Vice President.
Velasco has also served in vital roles for prominent political parties in the Philippines; he was a deputy secretary general for the Lakas–Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD); an executive director for the National Unity Party (NUP); deputy secretary to the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (KMP); and assistant to the secretary general of the Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).
In 1973, Velasco graduated from the University of the Philippines (UP) with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science; a year later, in 1974, he earned a Master’s degree in Political Science. At one point in 1981, he was a doctoral candidate for Philosophy in Political Science at UP.
UP awarded him a Graduate Scholarship Award in 1973. In 1974, he received the NEDA Development Economics Fellowship Grant.
Prior to entering the House of Representatives, he was a political science lecturer for universities such as UP Manila and the Lyceum of the Philippines.
As per the House of Representatives’ website, the secretary general “carries out and enforces orders and decisions of the House, keeps the journal of each session, notes all questions of order together with the decisions thereon, complete[s] the printing and distribution of the records of the House and submits to the speaker all contracts and agreements approval, and acts as the custodian of the property and records of the House and all other government property in its premises.”
“Subject to the supervision control of the speaker, the secretary general is the immediate chief of the personnel of the House and is responsible for the faithful and proper performance of their official duties,” the House website added.