House resumes session, prioritizes P2tr national budgetBy Karen Boncocan
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. banged the gavel at 4 p.m., signalling the session’s resumption.
Lawmakers are expected to continue tackling pending measures during the two-week session, among them the approval on third reading of the P2.006 trillion national budget for 2013, which is scheduled on October 15. A special committee has been studying the amendments proposed for the national budget.
New Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, chairman of the House committee on appropriations, recently said that they were hopeful the national budget would be passed on third reading by October 15. The Cavite lawmaker is expected to take his oath as DOTC chief after the budget has been approved by the House of Representatives.
Authors of controversial bills like the Reproductive Health Bill and the Freedom of Information Bill are also pushing for the measures to be discussed before the 15th Congress once again goes on recess, this time for All Saints’ Day.
Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone, chairman of the House committee on public information, had said that his panel was trying to get an earlier conference room assignment to tackle the FOI Bill. He was recently tasked by Belmonte to schedule hearings on the proposed measure on the week of October 15.
Initial schedule given to the committee was October 23 but as they will have already gone on break at that time, Evardone said he was looking to securing an earlier schedule. Otherwise, he said that deliberations on the FOI Bill might be put off until their next schedule which is either on November 6 or November 20.
Some lawmakers are also pushing for the repeal of the contentious provisions of the recently enacted Cybercrime Prevention Act which has earned the ire of netizens and prompted widespread hacking attacks on government websites. Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond Palatino is urging his fellow lawmakers to consider House Bill 6613 that seeks to repeal Republic Act No. 10175.