Congress - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Congress

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U.S. diplomat: Trump pushed for Ukraine probe of firm linked to Biden son

Oct 17, 2019 - 10:30 PM

US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland tells Congress that in May, President Donald Trump ordered diplomats to involve his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in discussions about Ukraine policy

PROBE. US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland arrives at a closed session before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees October 17. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP

Term-sharing out the window? Deal with Velasco 'still stands' – Cayetano

Oct 16, 2019 - 4:19 PM

Two ranking House members say it would be difficult to replace Alan Peter Cayetano as Speaker after he received high approval and trust ratings

SPEAKER TIL 2022? Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the organizing committee of the 30th SEA Games, delivers his speech before foreign dignitaries, sponsors, and Filipino athletes during their visit to New Clark City. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Trump demands whistleblower testify, as ex-aide talks to Congress

Oct 14, 2019 - 11:53 PM

US President Donald Trump faces a new setback with his former top Russia advisor, Fiona Hill, sitting for a closed-door deposition before Capitol Hill lawmakers

PROBE. Fiona Hill, former Special Assistant to US President Donald Trump and Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs on the United States National Security Council, arrives on Capitol Hill on October 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. Hill is expected to testify in connection with the House impeachment inquiry of President Trump. Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images/AFP

Marino nominee Macnell Lusotan to assume House seat

Oct 13, 2019 - 5:20 PM

Macnell Lusotan is replacing Jose Antonio Lopez, who resigned shortly after the 18th Congress began

NEW CONGRESSMAN. Macnell Lusotan will take his oath as Marino representative on November 4. Photo from Lusotan's Facebook account

TUCP fears job losses under Citira bill

Oct 13, 2019 - 3:50 PM

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines urges government agencies to put in place a 'genuine transition program' for displaced workers before Citira's implementation – not after

JOB LOSS? Citing estimates by business groups, labor group Trade Union Congress of the Philippines says some 700,000 workers may lose their jobs with the passage of the Citira bill. File photos by AFP

Zuckerberg to testify in U.S. Congress on Facebook digital currency plan

Oct 10, 2019 - 6:19 PM

The Facebook chief will be the sole witness at the October 23 hearing on 'An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors'

ZUCKERBERG. In this file photo taken on September 19, 2019 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks to meetings for technology regulations and social media issues on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP


Creating the next digital pros: IMMAP holds Digital Youth Congress 2019

Oct 10, 2019 - 1:28 PM

Gen Z may have been born into digital. But can they tell why and how things work in this landscape?

Biazon berates transport officials: ‘Be sensitive when people feel there is a crisis’

Oct 09, 2019 - 7:07 PM

Muntinlupa Representative Ruffy Biazon laments the denial of a mass transportation crisis in Metro Manila, when the plight of the daily commuter shows otherwise

STRANDED. Commuters wait for their ride at Mendiola in Manila on October 4, 2019. File photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

U.S. Democrats subpoena Pentagon docs in impeachment inquiry

Oct 08, 2019 - 12:44 AM

The chairmen of 3 House panels leading the impeachment investigation are seeking information related to President Donald Trump pressing his Ukrainian counterpart to uncover dirt on 2020 US presidential contender Joe Biden

SUBPOENA. This photo shows the US Capitol on December 31, 2018 in Washington, DC. File photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP

Congress goes on monthlong break, with rice farmers left hanging

Oct 07, 2019 - 3:05 PM

'The farmers need relief now, as next year, they might no longer go into farming,' says Jessica Reyes Cantos, president of Action for Economic Reforms

House bill seeks to protect husbands, same-sex partners from domestic abuse

Oct 05, 2019 - 8:00 AM

Rizal Representative Fidel Nograles wants to expand the coverage of the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004

Trump says unsure if he'll cooperate with Congress on impeachment

Oct 05, 2019 - 12:00 AM

President Donald Trump once again denies that he's done anything wrong in his relations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, insisting that his only interest is 'looking at corruption'

UNSURE. US President Donald Trump gives a statement before boarding to Washington at Morristown Airport on August 04, 2019. File photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP

House now wants to postpone barangay, SK polls to December 2022

Oct 02, 2019 - 6:35 PM

Lawmakers approve on 2nd reading the amended House bill on the postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, which is now similar to the Senate version

POSTPONED AGAIN? Lawmakers want to postpone the 2020 barangay and SK elections. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

8 more party-list lawmakers forge alliance with Lakas-CMD

Oct 02, 2019 - 4:30 PM

Lakas-CMD now has a total of 26 members and allies in the House – 13 district representatives as party members and 13 party-list legislators as allies

ALLIES. Lakas-CMD stalwarts Martin Romualdez, Mikey Arroyo, and Prospero Pichay pose with 3 of their new party-list allies on September 30, 2019. Photo from Romualdez's Facebook page

Garin tries to block Atienza’s speech on Dengvaxia, tetanus vaccines

Oct 01, 2019 - 9:00 PM

Buhay Representative Lito Atienza's claim that the Dengvaxia scare supposedly caused the return of polio does not sit well with Iloilo Representative Janette Garin

CLASH. Iloilo 1st District Representative Janette Garin interpellates Buhay Representative Lito Atienza on October 1, 2019. Screenshot from the House of Representatives YouTube account

Congresswomen push bill vs child marriage: ‘We owe it to young girls’

Oct 01, 2019 - 3:29 PM

'Child marriages are manifestations of gender-based discrimination against girls and cultural norms that value girls less than boys,' says House committee on women and gender equality chairperson Ma. Lourdes Acosta Alba

#GIRLDEFENDERS. Congresswomen, government officials, advocates, and young advocates come together to push for the bill aiming to end child marriage. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Where House is proposing to realign P9.52 billion in 2020 budget

Sep 30, 2019 - 7:40 PM

Lawmakers want the Department of Agriculture to benefit the most from the proposed realignments by giving the agency an additional P3.5 billion to help rice farmers

REALIGNMENTS. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano breaks down the institutional amendments the House is proposing under the 2020 budget. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Cayetano to critics: Find 'pork' in 2020 budget and House will remove it

Sep 30, 2019 - 6:40 PM

'Ang problema sa tsismis, basta't nabitawan mo na, hindi mo na madaling kunin,' says Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano as he insists the 2020 budget is free of illegal insertions

BUDGET TALKS. (From L-R) Deputy Speaker Roberto Puno, Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, and Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte hold a press conference on September 30, 2019. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Business groups in favor of easing restrictions on foreign investments

Sep 25, 2019 - 1:30 PM

But ex-Ateneo School of Government dean Tony La Viña argues that lifting these constitutional restrictions would be 'very, very dangerous'

Bill seeks to classify tabloids with sexual content as R-18

Sep 25, 2019 - 10:57 AM

But UP journalism professor Danilo Arao says the measure 'could set the stage for media censorship'

House to extend life of 2019 budget for another year

Sep 24, 2019 - 5:56 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado clarifies that in President Duterte's veto message in April, the implementation and payment for infrastructure projects have already been extended until the end of 2020

Death penalty for retribution? 'Not all victims want revenge' – CHR

Sep 24, 2019 - 4:30 PM

CHR Commissioner Karen Gomez Dumpit says reviving the death penalty will not deter criminals, and revenge as motivation would only 'perpetuate a culture of violence'

Romualdez to Lacson: Name your sources

Sep 24, 2019 - 2:26 PM

(4th UPDATE) 'Nobody seems to know where’s that coming from,' says House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez on Senator Panfilo Lacson's accusations of 'pork' against the 22 House deputy speakers

'NAME YOUR SOURCE.' Incumbent and former House majority leaders Martin Romualdez and Fredenil Castro want Senator Panfilo Lacson to name his sources. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Ace Barbers warns POGOs make PH vulnerable to drugs, money laundering

Sep 24, 2019 - 8:14 AM

The chair of the House committee on dangerous drugs says the online gambling industry has the potential to 'revolutionize' the money laundering process

FRONT FOR DIRTY MONEY? A lawmaker cautions against the booming online gambling industry in the Philippines. File photo by Rappler

House OKs bill requiring universities to teach workers' rights

Sep 23, 2019 - 9:30 PM

If passed into law, the bill would integrate labor education into the mandatory social science subjects under the general education curriculum

ENDING ENDO. Various workers'  groups stage a protest to call for the end of labor contractualization on August 26, 2019. Fie photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Lacson rebuffs Congress: ‘Wrong’ to say House passed 2020 budget in record time

Sep 23, 2019 - 7:26 PM

Senator Panfilo Lacson points out that the House of Representatives' work isn't finished yet – it still has a period of amendments, after which it will finalize its version of the budget bill

WRONG. Senator Panfilo Lacson says it's too early for House of Representatives to celebrate over the passage of the proposed P4.1-trillion budget for 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

P1.6-B hike in House budget to also benefit Batasan workers, facilities

Sep 23, 2019 - 4:40 PM

But Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano denies deputy speakers and vice chairpersons in the House increased because he had to accommodate various factions of lawmakers

BUDGET INCREASE. House Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano defends the P1.6-billion increase in the House's proposed budget in 2020. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Funds for 2020 barangay polls to be realigned to DA, DepEd instead

Sep 23, 2019 - 2:22 PM

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano says legislators are already set to postpone the 2020 barangay and SK elections, whose funds can now be realigned to other government programs next year

BUDGET REALIGNMENTS. House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano discusses the 4 government programs whose funds lawmakers want to augment in 2020. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

18th Congress leaders approve initial list of pet bills

Sep 22, 2019 - 12:42 PM

Congress leaders aim for the 'immediate approval' of 4 bills, including the postponement of the May 2020 barangay and SK elections to May 2023

DUTERTE'S PET BILLS. President Rodrigo Duterte mentions his priority bills during his 4th State of the Nation Address on July 22, 2019. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

House OKs 2020 budget on final reading

Sep 20, 2019 - 8:59 PM

The progressive Makabayan lawmakers, however, blast the lack of transparency in the swift approval of the 2020 budget

House wants additional P1.6B budget for extra deputy speakers, vice chairs

Sep 20, 2019 - 5:17 PM

There are now 22 deputy speakers and 37 vice chairpersons of the House committee on appropriations who need new offices and additional staff to be funded in 2020

BUDGET INCREASE. The House of Representatives is proposing P14 billion for its budget in 2020, an increase P1.6 billion compared to this year's allocations. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Zuckerberg meets Trump, senators; nixes breaking up Facebook

Sep 20, 2019 - 10:20 AM

The world's biggest social network is facing a myriad of regulatory and legal questions surrounding issues like competition, digital privacy, censorship and transparency in political advertising

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks to a meeting with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) on September 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. Zuckerberg also met with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) to discuss internet regulation. Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP Zach Gibson / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Paolo Duterte hits tourism chief: 'Napupuyat na ko sa babae na 'to'

Sep 19, 2019 - 10:15 PM

It's President Rodrigo Duterte's son, House Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte, versus Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat

PAOLO VS BERNA. House Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte delivers a manifestation against DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat on September 19, 2019. File photo by Rappler

China rebukes Washington after HK activists make Congress plea

Sep 19, 2019 - 7:43 PM

China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang calls for the US to 'stop interfering in Hong Kong's affairs in any form'

CONGRESS PLEA. Secretary-General of Hong Kong's Demosisto party and leader of the 'Umbrella Movement' Joshua Wong (L), and pro-democracy activist and Cantopop singer Denise Ho (R) wait for the beginning of a hearing before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China September 17, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. File photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP

Lawmakers want extra P15B for NFA to buy palay from local farmers

Sep 19, 2019 - 4:04 PM

The amount will be for the ‘exclusive and urgent’ procurement of at least 750,000 metric tons of palay from local farmers at the farmgate price of P20 per kilogram

RICE CRISIS. DA Secretary William Dar makes a surprise inspection on stalls selling NFA rice at the San Andres Market in Manila on September 13, 2019. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

House says possible to pass 2020 budget by September 20

Sep 19, 2019 - 2:41 PM

(UPDATED) This comes a day after President Duterte certifies the bill as urgent and it is revealed lawmakers will get P100 million each for their pet projects

Still not pork? P100 million for each lawmaker in 2020 budget

Sep 19, 2019 - 9:53 AM

(UPDATED) Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda, House committee on appropriations vice chair, says the executive branch determined the amount to be allotted per House member

PORK IN THE BUDGET? A House leader reveals millions have been allotted per congressman in the proposed 2020 budget. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Surprised? Fariñas siblings file bill declaring Marcos holiday in Ilocos Norte

Sep 18, 2019 - 5:30 PM

Former Ilocos Norte congressman Rudy Fariñas, the family patriarch who once clashed with the dictator's daughter Imee, had also authored the same bill in the previous 17th Congress

THE DICTATOR. To this day, the family of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos still counts Ilocos Norte as their bailiwick. File photo from AFP

At House plenary, lawmakers vow to increase 'measly' OVP budget in 2020

Sep 18, 2019 - 3:20 PM

The Office of the Vice President assures lawmakers that any increase in its budget would go to its anti-poverty program

OVP BUDGET. Vice President Leni Robredo attends the House's plenary deliberations on her office's budget for 2020 on September 18, 2019. Photo by OVP

House panel approves bill for Malasakit Centers in DOH hospitals

Sep 18, 2019 - 12:15 PM

Senator Bong Go, who had been accused of using Malasakit Centers to promote his candidacy, is pushing for the passage of the same bill in the Senate

MALASAKIT CENTER. Senator Bong Go attend the launching of the Malasakit Center at the Tarlac Provincial Hospital in Tarlac City on February 6, 2019 back when he was still running for senator. File photo from Go

Proposed OFW dept would allow gov't to 'focus' on their plight – Cayetano

Sep 17, 2019 - 7:40 PM

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano says lawmakers are aiming for the bill creating a Department of Overseas Filipino Workers to be signed into law by December

FOCUS ON OFWs. Legislators are pushing for the bill creating the Department of Overseas Filino Workers. File photo by Noel Celis/AFP

Rappler Talk: Rufus Rodriguez on amending the GCTA law

Sep 15, 2019 - 11:43 AM

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez discusses how to improve the GCTA law he had co-written

House passes Citira bill on 3rd reading

Sep 13, 2019 - 3:22 PM

A total of 170 members of the House of Representatives vote in favor of the Duterte administration's 2nd tax reform package

'Record attendance' in House? But Atienza says lawmakers leave after roll call

Sep 12, 2019 - 5:00 PM

House rules, however, allow legislators who are physically absent during the plenary session to still be recorded as present, under certain conditions

A LOT OF EMPTY SEATS. As the hours tick by during House plenary sessions, seats of lawmakers become empty one by one. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Legality of PAO forensic laboratory questioned once again

Sep 11, 2019 - 8:56 PM

Ex-DOH chief turned Iloilo 1st District Representative Janette Garin, who has an axe to grind against the Public Attorney's Office, says it does not have the mandate to have a forensic laboratory

HOT SEAT. The forensic laboratory of the Public Attorney's Office headed by Persida Acosta is once again under fire. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

LP lawmakers seek P13.19-billion cash aid for rice farmers

Sep 11, 2019 - 3:45 PM

Liberal Party stalwart and Occidental Mindoro congresswoman Josephine Ramirez Sato says direct cash assistance, not the government's zero-interest loans, would help rice farmers

AID FOR FARMERS. Liberal Party lawmakers Jose Christopher Belmonte, Josephine Ramirez Sato, Stella Quimbo, and Gabriel Bordado file House Resolution No. 15 on September 11, 2019. Photo from Liberal Party Media

Ombudsman’s GCTA probe covers ex-BuCor chiefs Faeldon, Dela Rosa

Sep 11, 2019 - 2:52 PM

Deputy Minority Leader Carlos Zarate extracts the confirmation from the Office of the Ombudsman as it defended its proposed 2020 budget in the House plenary

PRISONS CHIEFS. Two former BuCor chiefs, now Senator Ronald dela Rosa (R) and the controversial Nicanor Faeldon (L) before the resumption of the inquiry into the release of convicts through GCTA oN September 5, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

House kicks off plenary debates on 2020 budget

Sep 10, 2019 - 7:25 PM

The House plenary deliberations are expected to run until September 20

BUDGET DEBATES. The proposed 2020 budget has reached the House plenary on September 10, 2019. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Cayetano: House unlikely to reinstate billions of district funds in 2020 budget

Sep 10, 2019 - 5:40 PM

'We just have to be honest with the congressmen that it might not be solveable in this budget,' says Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on legislators' bid to regain their vetoed infrastructure funds

BUDGET WOES. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano says it would be difficult to accommodate all lamwakers to request to bring back the multi-billion infrastructure funds that was previously vetoed in the national budget. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

House passes bill simplifying passive income, financial taxes

Sep 09, 2019 - 7:50 PM

But Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas says the Pifita bill 'grossly favors the rich who make fortunes out of thin air in the financial sector'