18th Congress - updates

Rappler's latest stories on 18th Congress

ARTICLE FINDER

House bill pushes testing of vulnerable sectors without virus symptoms

May 28, 2020 - 3:57 PM

Filipinos returning to work as well as Filipinos and foreigners entering the Philippines from abroad would also be prioritized for COVID-19 testing under the bill

RT-PCR TEST. Health workers take the swab of a woman at the SB Plaza in Novaliches, Quezon City on May 22, 2020. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

House committee passes bill requiring masks, distancing post-pandemic

May 28, 2020 - 2:15 PM

Wearing of face masks and physical distancing in public vehicles and areas would become mandatory in post-pandemic Philippines if this bill becomes law

'BETTER NORMAL.' Passengers in a bus following a Mendez-Imus route observe physical distancing. File photo by Dennis Abrina/Rappler)

House panel OKs P1.5-trillion infra spending bill to curb unemployment

May 28, 2020 - 12:40 PM

The bill is designed to provide jobs to Filipinos affected by the lockdown imposed due to COVID-19

UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Workers rush to finish the COVID-19 quarantine facility at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on April 7, 2020. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

LIVE: House hearing on the spike in electricity bills

May 27, 2020 - 12:23 PM

Watch the hearing live on Rappler

House stimulus package eyes P20-B fund to test Filipino workers

May 26, 2020 - 8:42 PM

If passed into law, the proposed Philippine Economic Stimulus Act would finance the COVID-19 rapid tests of Filipino laborers in 2020 and 2021

RAPID TESTING. A health worker gets a blood sample from a resident in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna for a rapid test for COVID-19 on May 21, 2020. Photo by ary Grace dela Cerna/Rappler

‘Bawal magpalabas’? Lawmaker uses viral Kim Chiu video to hit ABS-CBN

May 26, 2020 - 5:49 PM

House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta ends his speech, too, with a video of Kapamilya star Vice Ganda jokingly challenging Pastor Apollo Quiboloy way back in 2019

1-SAGIP CONGRESSMAN. House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta gestures during an interview. Rappler file photo

House bill seeks jail time for harassers of frontliners, coronavirus cases

May 26, 2020 - 1:15 PM

The House Defeat COVID-19 panel approves the measure that penalizes various discriminatory acts against frontliners and other individuals affected by the pandemic

FRONTLINERS. Philippine Coast Guard medical technologists wearing personal protective equipment prepare to test possible COVID-19 patients at the swabbing center of the Palacio de Maynila tent along Roxas Boulevard in Manila on May 5, 2020. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

House panel OKs bills on P1.3-T stimulus package, aid for banks

May 26, 2020 - 12:20 PM

P20 billion in the proposed economic stimulus package, if later signed into law, would be allocated for mass coronavirus testing from 2020 to 2021

LIFE IN A PANDEMIC. Mall goers observe physical distancing while queuing at a mall in Quezon City on May 17, 2020. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

DOH probes couple allegedly manipulating sale of COVID-19 test kits

May 21, 2020 - 7:14 PM

Ex-health chief now Iloilo Representative Janette Garin claims the pair blocks the entry of testing equipment, unless their overpriced kits are purchased by the importing company

COVID-19 TEST. Health workers of Barangay Old Balara, Quezon City, swab the nose and mouth of a suspected COVID-19 patient on May 13, 2020. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Duque backpedals: PH in '1st major wave of sustained community transmission'

May 21, 2020 - 5:47 PM

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III issues the clarification a day after he drew criticism for saying that there was a second wave of coronavirus infections in the country

A QUESTION OF WAVES. DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III holds a press conference on January 30, 2020. File photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

Senior Citizens lawmaker wants House members prioritized for virus testing

May 20, 2020 - 8:31 PM

Representative Francisco Datol Jr says lawmakers and their staff pay for their PhilHealth premiums anyway. But all employed Filipinos pay for PhilHealth, too.

PRIORITIZING THE HOUSE. Senior Citizens Representative Francisco Datol Jr speaks during a hearing in the House of Representatives. Photo courtesy of Datol's Facebook account

DOH: Testing of those without symptoms 'not cost-effective' for now

May 20, 2020 - 3:10 PM

Laboratories are already 'choking' and existing resources are very limited, says Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire

COVID-19 TESTING. Police officers along with other front line workers undergo mass testing at the San Juan Elementary School on May 12, 2020. File photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

House to decide on new ABS-CBN franchise 'by August' – Cayetano

May 20, 2020 - 12:02 PM

The House committee on legislative franchises will resume its hearings on the ABS-CBN franchise bill on May 26

ABS-CBN CLOSURE. Several ABS-CBN supporters light candles in front of the network's Quezon City headquarters after it was ordered shut down on May 5, 2020. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Makabayan lawmakers seek probe into sudden spike in Meralco bills

May 19, 2020 - 12:15 PM

The legislators say the high electricity bills 'added more anxiety to many' as the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic

POWER IN THE METRO. Meralco linemen fix the power line after an electric spark was reported in Mandaluyong City on May 10, 2020. File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

'Equal protection': Cayetano defends 10% ads for gov't use in ABS-CBN franchise bill

May 18, 2020 - 8:59 PM

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano also says requiring networks to allocate air time for government ads 'will give a great advantage to the government to be able to communicate with our people directly'

DEFENDING HB 6732. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is being interpellated on the temporary ABS-CBN franchise bill during the session on May 18, 2020. Photo from the House of Representatives' Twitter account

House recalls 2nd reading approval of ABS-CBN temporary franchise bill

May 18, 2020 - 4:31 PM

(UPDATED) Amid issues of constitutionality, the House leadership says they withdrew the 2nd reading approval to give way to lawmakers seeking more debates and amendments

ABS-CBN SHUTDOWN. A man stands by the balcony of ABS-CBN's headquarters in Quezon City on May 5, 2020, the day the National Telecommunications Commission ordered the network to shut down. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

In House temporary franchise bill, gov’t to take 10% of ads in ABS-CBN

May 18, 2020 - 9:49 AM

However, a similar provision is also found in the laws renewing the franchises of two other major broadcast networks: GMA-7 and TV5

ABS-CBN SHUTDOWN. The facade of ABS-CBN in Quezon City, as pictured on the day NTC ordered it to close down on May 5, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

NTC: Granting ABS-CBN temporary permit an 'encroachment' on Congress’ powers

May 14, 2020 - 4:58 PM

NTC officials apologize to Congress, saying they 'intended no disrespect' when they ordered the ABS-CBN shutdown despite earlier committing to grant it a provisional authority to operate

SHUTDOWN. The facade of ABS-CBN lights up in the network's color after the NTC issued a cease and desist order against it on May 5, 2020. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Cayetano: I don’t want my stint to end without finishing ABS-CBN hearings

May 14, 2020 - 2:52 PM

'October is the date nung palitan namin sa Speaker. So ayoko matapos noon, sabihin, ‘Eh walang hearing. Walang oras eh,’ ’di ba?' says Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

FRANCHISE ISSUE. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano delivers his sponsorship speech for the bill granting ABS-CBN a temporary franchise valid until October 2020 on May 13, 2020. Photo courtesy of PPAB

Cayetano lashes out at critics: ABS-CBN franchise issue 'not about silencing media'

May 13, 2020 - 9:27 PM

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano also claims there are ABS-CBN employees who supposedly used the network to meddle in past elections

TOP HOUSE LEADER. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano presides over the plenary session on September 9 2019. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

House poised to grant ABS-CBN provisional franchise until October 2020

May 13, 2020 - 6:01 PM

(3rd UPDATE) After sitting on the issue for months, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and 7 other House leaders file a bill seeking to give a provisional legislative franchise to the embattled ABS-CBN

ABS-CBN FRANCHISE. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano delivers his sponsorship speech for House Bill 6732 on May 13, 2020. Screenshot from the House of Representatives' YouTube account

House leaders push P1.5-trillion infra spending bill for post-pandemic PH

May 12, 2020 - 8:14 PM

This proposed fiscal package aims to ensure that businesses will continue operating while also reviving consumer confidence

CONSTRUCTION IN THE TIME OF A PANDEMIC. Workers rush to finish the COVID-19 quarantine facility at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on April 7, 2020. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Cayetano: Resumption of ABS-CBN hearings ‘does not mean automatic renewal’

May 12, 2020 - 4:09 PM

The renewal of ABS-CBN's franchise is still not a House priority after Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano says 'there are still other concerns that need to be resolved' first

ABS-CBN STILL NOT A PRIORITY. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano helds a press conference on February, 24, 2020. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Bill authors ask Cayetano: ‘Put an end to confusion,' resume ABS-CBN hearings

May 12, 2020 - 11:11 AM

'We believe, too, that resolving the ABS-CBN issue the soonest is equally important given the impact...of its continued shutdown in this time of crisis,' say the 14 House members

SHUTDOWN. A man lights a candle at the ABS-CBN's facade in Quezon City after its closure on May 5, 2020. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Paolo Duterte, 2 lawmakers seek probe into ABS-CBN's alleged franchise violations

May 11, 2020 - 7:23 PM

The administration-allied congressmen take issue with the Kapamilya Box Office channel and the network's Philippine Depository Receipts – two issues that Solicitor General Jose Calida already raised with the Supreme Court

HOUSE LEADERS. Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte (1st from L, seated), ACT-CIS Representative Eric Yap (1st from L, standing), and Cavite 8th District Representative (3rd from L, standing) during a meeting with other House leaders on July 22. File photo from Cayetano's office

House panel issues show cause order vs NTC over ABS-CBN shutdown

May 11, 2020 - 1:48 PM

(UPDATED) Lawmakers may move to have NTC officials arrested if found guilty of contempt

ABS-CBN SHUTDOWN. A person holds up a phone showing a post on the closure of ABS-CBN after NTC issued a cease and desist order against the network on May 5, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Lawmaker seeks probe vs Calida, NTC for ‘conspiracy’ to shut down ABS-CBN

May 08, 2020 - 1:45 PM

House committee on public accounts chair Mike Defensor echoes the Speaker's stand that the lower chamber is not to blame for the closure of the media network

HOUSE VS CALIDA, NTC. House committee on public accounts chair Mike Defensor holds a virtual press conference on May 8, 2020. Screenshot from Zoom

Cayetano: 'There will be a reckoning' for Calida, NTC

May 08, 2020 - 10:29 AM

'The NTC appears to have succumbed to pressure from the Solicitor General, and issued a cease and desist order to ABS-CBN,' says Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, as he washed his hands of the ABS-CBN shutdown

CAYETANO VS CALIDA, NTC. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano presides over the plenary session on September 9, 2019. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

House Minority Leader wants NTC abolished after ABS-CBN shutdown

May 06, 2020 - 6:59 PM

(UPDATED) But the comments of Manila Representative Bienvenido Abante Jr are deleted from the House records because the plenary is barred from discussing issues still pending at the committee level

NTC ABOLITION. House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr delivers a privilege speech during the plenary session on May 6, 2020. Screenshot from the House of Representatives' Youtube account

Bill granting ABS-CBN new 25-year franchise filed in House

May 06, 2020 - 1:50 PM

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez says this is a possible 'remedy' after the NTC ordered ABS-CBN to cease operations due to its lapsed franchise

ABS-CBN RENEWAL SUPPORTER. Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez speaks during a Rappler Talk interview on September 17, 2019. Screenshot by Rappler

'Pagkukulang niya ito sa bayan': Lawmakers blame Cayetano for ABS-CBN shutdown

May 06, 2020 - 11:12 AM

(UPDATED) Congressmen argue that the National Telecommunications Commission, which ordered ABS-CBN to cease operations, should not be a 'scapegoat' for what Congress failed to do

ON THE HOT SEAT. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano holds a press conference on February, 24, 2020. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

House eyes P485-B stimulus package to cushion coronavirus impact

May 05, 2020 - 10:59 PM

Lawmakers want to allot P20 billion alone to facilitate massive COVID-19 testing even after the lifting of the lockdown

ASSISTANCE. Volunteers distribute relief goods during the Bayan Bayanihan Para sa Pamilyang Pilipino program in Barangay, Bagong Silangan, Quezon City on May 4, 2020. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

House panel warns NTC of contempt for not allowing ABS-CBN to keep operating

May 05, 2020 - 7:33 PM

(UPDATED) But congressmen Joey Salceda and Edcel Lagman argue lawmakers only have themselves to blame for not doing their jobs to renew ABS-CBN's franchise on time

DEFEND PRESS FREEDOM. Employees and supporters of ABS-CBN protest to demand from the government the renewal of their franchise on February 28, 2020. File photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

House panel chair: Calida can't dictate on how to handle ABS-CBN franchise

May 05, 2020 - 3:55 PM

(UPDATED) House committee on legislative franchises chairman Franz Alvarez says the issue of ABS-CBN's franchise renewal is for Congress to decide, not Solicitor General Jose Calida

FRANCHISE UNDER PERIL. The facade of the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center in Quezon City. File photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Congress holds first-ever 'hybrid' session

May 04, 2020 - 9:01 PM

The two chambers of Congress take different routes in adopting teleconferencing as part of their proceedings

QUORUM. Fifteen senators attend the resumption of plenary session Monday, May 4, 2020 while 8 senators participate through video conference. Photo by Henzberg Austria/Senate PRIB

House imposes strict physical distancing measures for May 4 session reopening

May 03, 2020 - 10:13 AM

Lawmakers will be resorting to teleconferencing to conduct plenary sessions and committee hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic

'NEW NORMAL'. Only 20 lawmakers are allowed to physically attend the special session on March 23, 2020, which was convened in the middle of the coronavirus crisis. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Gov't aims to test all suspected cases, frontliners in high-risk areas by May 15

Apr 28, 2020 - 3:32 PM

National Task Force COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr says the deadline for testing in NCR, the 'epicenter' of the crisis, is much earlier – May 7

PANDEMIC. Health workers from the municipal government of Cainta, Rizal, take a blood sample from a man who made contact with a suspected COVID-19 case in Barangay Sto. Nino on April, 27, 2020. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

House likely to hold virtual sessions once it reconvenes on May 4

Apr 24, 2020 - 6:03 PM

'Totoo po na may danger, pero ang katotohanan, kailangang makita ng tao...na ‘yung gobyerno nagtatrabaho para sa kanila,' says Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

HOUSE LEADERSHIP. House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano talks to several lawmakers during the special session on March 23, 2020. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

'Brewing disagreement' between House, DBM as funding for select infra halted

Apr 24, 2020 - 4:53 PM

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano says if this is the case, then Congress should not have passed the Bayanihan law

SPEAKER VS DBM? Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano speaks during a press conference on February, 24, 2020. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

P370-billion stimulus package to cushion coronavirus impact pushed in House

Apr 15, 2020 - 12:11 PM

Marikina 2nd District Representative Stella Quimbo says the proposed fiscal package would help ensure that no Filipino would become jobless after the pandemic

MARKET DAY. Residents of Quezon City buy farm-to-market products at the Department of Agrarian Reform office on on March 26, 2020, Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

House members to donate May salary to raise P50M for coronavirus fight

Apr 05, 2020 - 9:44 AM

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano says almost 200 lawmakers have already agreed to donate their May salaries in full

IN SESSION. Members of the House of Representatives hold their plenary session on March 7, 2017. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

House goes after 'malicious' Twitter account over false coronavirus news

Apr 02, 2020 - 10:19 AM

Twitter user @house_files is deactivated minutes after House Secretary General Luis Montales says they would prosecute the people behind the account that had used the official House seal

IN SESSION. The House of Representatives holds its plenary session on May 30, 2018. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Bulacan congressman Henry Villarica gets coronavirus

Mar 26, 2020 - 11:07 PM

(2nd UPDATE) Bulacan 4th District Representative Henry Villarica is in 'stable' condition

POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. Bulacan 4th District Representative Henry Villarica. Photo courtesy of the Team Villarica Facebook page

House appropriations panel chair Eric Yap tests positive for coronavirus

Mar 25, 2020 - 9:42 PM

(UPDATED) The ACT-CIS representative apologizes after admitting he attended several meetings with high-ranking government officials in the past days, including one in Malacañang

COVD-19 POSITIVE. ACT-CIS Representative Eric Yap in his official portrait for the House of Representatives. Photo courtesy of congress.gov.ph

House, Senate dissenters: 'Emergency actions, not powers' needed vs coronavirus

Mar 24, 2020 - 5:03 PM

Only 10 legislators – 9 from the House and 1 in the Senate – opposed the bill giving President Rodrigo Duterte at least 27 'special' powers vs to address the COVID-19 crisis

DISSENTERS. (From L-R, starting upper row) Senator Risa Hontiveros, and Representatives Gabriel Bordado, Edcel Lagman, Manuel Cabochan III, Sarah Elago, Arlene Brosas, France Castro, Ferdinand Gaite, Eufemia Cullamat, and Carlos Zarate. Photos by Rappler and courtesy of congress.gov.ph

House OKs bill granting Duterte 25 special powers to address coronavirus pandemic

Mar 24, 2020 - 1:32 AM

(UPDATED) Hours after approving the bill, however, House lawmakers agree to just adopt the Senate version of the measure

COVID-19 RESPONSE. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano presides over the special session called by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 23, 2020. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Businesses appeal to Congress: Limit Duterte powers if granted

Mar 23, 2020 - 8:10 PM

While 22 business groups are in favor of a proposed law to address the coronavirus pandemic, they say broad and overreaching provisions may cause delay

Pinoys online livid over ‘Stay at home for us’ gimmick in House

Mar 23, 2020 - 5:31 PM

Social media users are appalled by the gall of Cabinet and House members to lump themselves with the overworked health workers on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19

'STAY AT HOME FOR US.' Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (1st from L) and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea (center) hold up their now-notorious manila paper message on March 23, 2020. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Duterte gov’t has no breakdown of P275B to be tapped for pandemic response

Mar 23, 2020 - 2:45 PM

For now, what's being proposed are lump sum allocations such as P200 billion for the Emergency Subsidy Program and P75 billion for health services

NO BREAKDOWN YET. House Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte sponsors the bill granting President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers vs COVID-19 on March 23, 2020. Screenshot from the House of Representatives YouTube account

Congress tapping P200 billion GOCC funds to deal with pandemic

Mar 22, 2020 - 12:32 AM

The bill includes a provision giving food and cash aid to those affected by the Luzon lockdown

OUTBREAK. Police officers at the Cavitex Toll Plaza on March 16, 2020, check on public transportations making sure that they are following the social distancing policy. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler