MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and other lawmakers and staff who physically attended the House of Representatives’ special session last Monday will go on self-quarantine after ACT-CIS party-list Representative Eric Yap Go confirmed he contracted novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Yap earlier revealed that he attended the special session on March 23 at the Batasan Pambansa while his coronavirus test results were still pending. He, however, stressed that he took safety precautions as he became paranoid about his mild cough.
At least 20 lawmakers were physically present at the special session, including House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante, Representatives France Castro, Edgar Sarmiento, Mikey Arroyo, Sharky Palma, Precious Castelo, and Janette Garin, Deputy Speakers Raneo Abu, LRay Villafuerte, Robbie Puno, and Dong Gonzales, Representatives Bong Suntay, Jon Jalosjos, Manny Lopez, Tonypet Albano, Jonathan Sy-Alvarado, Mike Defensor, Blu Abaya, Bambol Tolentino, Cayetano, and Yap.
The said lawmakers confirmed they will work from home during their self-quarantine.
MANILA, Philippines – “It would be easier for a camel to pass through a needle than to have the House version of the proposed P4.1-billion 2020 national budget pass the Senate,” so to speak.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III made the statement after their Monday caucus. They all agreed that they cannot readily approve and adopt the House version due to several amendments that need to be done in the budget.
“We discussed the schedule. We cannot adopt it. Many amendments necessary,” said Senate President Sotto.
The senators arrived at that decision amid Senator Panfilo Lacson’s expose of the purported “parked” funds for several government agencies amounting to P20-billion, with no detailed item on where and how it is going to be used.
Some senators have also expressed their sentiments against an immediate passage of the House version of the budget.
Senator Lacson asked for transparency as the hearing on the proposed budget continues.
He asked to have the proposed amendments submitted by his fellow lawmakers be made public, especially when the proposed budget is referred to the bicameral conference committee. (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
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