Controversial measures filed in Congress, such as the anti-political dynasty, freedom of information (FOI), and economic Charter Change (Cha-cha) will have a hard time getting enacted into law in the 16th Congress due to “lack of material time,” a House official said.
House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II of Mandaluyong City said t he House of Representatives will devote much of its time during the resumption of session on the deliberations for the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and the 2016 General Appropriations Bill (GAB).
“The chances of approving these measure (FoI, anti-political dynasty and economic Cha-cha) are becoming slimmer because our hands are full now
with the BBL and approving next year’s national budget,” Gonzales said as Congress will open its Third Regular Session on July 27, 2015.
Gonzales said there is still a chance to have the controversial measures approved.
“But it is really a matter of mustering quorum to have them passed. It has nothing to do with [the nature of those measures being controversial]. It has something to do with the fact that [we don’t have enough time],” Gonzales said. “Three years was never enough, particularly for the first termer and third termer who will be running for other positions because come October, everybody gets busy preparing for 2016 elections,” Gonzales added.
Gonzales said that passing the anti-political dynasty, FOI and economic Charter Change measures would be a tough job.
Gonzales said quorum would also be a problem during the latter part of the year as many lawmakers will be busy on their respective candidacies by October.
“Historically, quorum is really a problem in Congress. After we approve the budget on second reading, it really requires a miracle to muster quorum,” Gonzales said.
Palace is expected to submit to the Lower House the proposed P3.002-trillion national budget for 2016 a day after President Aquino III delivered his sixth and last State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on July 27.
Aside from the 2016 GAA, the BBL is among the priority measures of Congress as this has been certified as urgent by Malacanang.
The House has approved at the committee level the amended anti-political dynasty measure which limits to two family members from one family that could be both be elected to positions at the national and local levels at the same time.
The measure, which is currently pending for third and final reading approval in plenary, provides that a single member of the family could also hold a national position while the other has the right to serve in the local government. In the local positions, it allows two family members to assume office in one province, city or municipality.
The same is true for House Bill 5801 or the Freedom of Information (FoI) bill and the Resolution of Both Houses No. 1, which was principally authored by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.