Senate minority bloc to get five committee chairmanships



MANILA, Philippines—The six-member minority  group led by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile will be offered five “major and relevant” committees to chair in the Senate, Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Thursday.

The five committees that will be offered to members of the minority group  are the economic affairs; agrarian reform; social justice, welfare, and rural development; urban planning, housing and resettlement; and labor, employment and human resource development, Drilon said.

“I have asked the Majority Leader, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, to relay to the minority bloc that we are offering them five committee chairmanships,” he said in a statement on  Thursday.

“In the 15th Congress, all these important committees were headed by the senators belonging to the majority bloc,” he said.

Drilon  said it would be up to the minority bloc how they plan to distribute the committees to its members “and whether they will accept them or not.”

“We will not break the tradition, so the minority will have committee chairmanships as well and it will be announced as we resume session next week,” he said.

Aside from Enrile, the other members of the minority bloc are senators Gringo Honasan, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Vicente Sotto III, Nancy Binay, and  JV Ejercito.

Honasan and Estrada  used  to head  the agrarian reform and the labor committees, respectively, during the last Congress while the urban planning went to Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Former Senators Manny Villar was committee on economic affairs head while Francis Pangilinan led the committee on social welfare.
Drilon  said  the Minority Leader  does not usually get committee chairmanship but  becomes an ex-officio member of all standing committees.

Aside from  the five committees, Drilon said, the  minority group  will also  have three representatives in the powerful Commission on Appointments which is headed by the sitting Senate President, while the majority will have nine.

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