Despite Tañada’s efforts for earlier time, Congress sets FOI hearing on Nov. 13By Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines—The next committee hearing on the much debated Freedom of Information Bill will be held on November 13 and that is its final schedule.
Despite Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III’s efforts to fast-track the proposed measure, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said they would go by House committee on public information chairman Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone’s schedule for the hearing.
Earlier this week, Tañada offered a conference room he had reserved for October 16, saying that Evardone’s panel could not use not being able to secure an earlier schedule as excuse for not holding a hearing on the month of October.
But in a text message Wednesday night, Belmonte said “l talked to Erin. November 13 is the fixed date.”
And if legislators’ plan of passing the P2.006-trillion national budget for 2013 by Monday push through, he said “we may adjourn by Tuesday.”
Members of the House of Representatives have passed a number of bills during the first half of its two-week session. They will once again go on recess by October 20 for All Saints’ Day.
But while talks are underway for the controversial Reproductive Health Bill, it seems that lawmakers pushing for the FOI Bill will have to wait until November for discussions.
Tañada is still hopeful that the FOI Bill will be approved before Christmas break but admitted that the key to its passage would be if both chambers of the 15th Congress approve it on third reading.