The Congressional Economic Planning Office (CEPO) served as the think tank of the House Representatives in the old Congress under Speaker Jose P. Laurel. At that time, it was directly under the Speaker and was independent of the Standing Congressional Committees. It was tasked to draw up the development and industrialization plan of the Philippines and provide Congress with technical assistance on economic matters. The CEPO then was headed by Dr. Emmanuel Yap and his deputy, Dr. Alejandro Lichauco, both nationalists and able economists. The development plan prepared by the CEPO was shelved during Martial rule and both economists were harassed and one was imprisoned for being vocal and aggressive in advocating socio-economic reforms.