Unusual: First-termer Vilma Santos-Recto gets key House committee
Former Batangas governor and now congresswoman Vilma Santos-Recto is the latest on the list of representatives given committees in the House of Representatives.
During the session on Tuesday night, majority floor leader Rudy Fariñas announced the following representatives who would lead committees as chairpersons:
West Philippine Sea – Quezon city Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
Civil service and professional regulation- Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto
Cooperative development – AGAP Rep. Rico Geron
Ecology – Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing
Human rights – Zambales Rep. Cheryl Deloso Montalla
Public information – ACT Rep. Antonio Tinio
Food security – Negros Occidental Rep. Leo Rafael Cueva
Santos-Recto was chosen to lead a committee even though she is a neophyte lawmaker on her first term in Congress.
The “Star for all Seasons” however vowed to become an active congresswoman so she could become the “Star for all sessions.”
Meanwhile, Belmonte was chosen to lead the special committee on West Philippine Sea due to his experience as a member of the Philippine delegation to the Hague that heard the maritime case filed against China in connection with overlapping claims over the West Philippine Sea.
Fariñas also called for the amendment of the House rules to include the special committee to hear all territorial and boundary disputes involving the resource-rich West Philippine Sea.
In its historic decision, the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal in the Hague ruled that China’s historic nine-dash line claiming almost all the South China Sea has no historic and legal basis and that the West Philippine Sea falls within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
Tinio, who belongs to the militant Makabayan bloc in Congress, was given the committee as a perk of being a member of the majority coalition that elected the winning Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
The public information committee tackles the controversial Freedom of Information bill, which has been languishing in the past nine Congresses.
The other Makabayan members who got committees were Gabriela Rep. Emmi De Jesus (poverty alleviation) and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate (natural resources). TVJ
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