House of Representatives - updates

Rappler's latest stories on House of Representatives


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 reins in Duterte's special budget powers

Mar 25, 2020 - 3:45 PM

Cures and fixes notwithstanding, the new law may still be unnecessary because it is superfluous

SURPRISE INSPECTION. President Duterte talks to cops manning a checkpoint at the Valenzuela-Meycauayan boundary on March 17, 2020. Photo of PSG Commander Col. Jesus Durante, posted on the Facebook page of PCOO Usec Lorraine Badoy

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

Cayetano lashes out: ‘If holding up sign gets people to stay home, I will do it again’

Mar 24, 2020 - 8:03 AM

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano argues House and Cabinet members 'meant well' when they posed with the now-viral manila paper signs

ADDRESS TO CRITICS. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano delivers a speech during the special session on March 23, 2020. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

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

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

Duterte's request to take over private business 'merely standby power'

Mar 23, 2020 - 12:15 PM

(UPDATED) Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea says the power to take over private business would only be used 'when our most critical institutions are nearing total shutdown and government is left with no choice'

LIVE: House special session on bill giving Duterte emergency powers for virus outbreak

Mar 23, 2020 - 10:04 AM

Watch the House special session live on Rappler at 10 am on Monday, March 23

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

2nd House employee dies of coronavirus

Mar 21, 2020 - 10:24 AM

The 65-year-old man, who had underlying medical conditions, is the second employee of the House of Representatives to die of COVID-19 in less than a week

BATASANG PAMBANSA. The facade of the House of Representatives in Quezon City. Photo by House of Representatives of the Philippines/Wikimedia Commons

Lawmakers ask DOF, BIR: Don’t be ‘heartless,' extend tax filing deadline

Mar 18, 2020 - 7:11 PM

'Hindi kami nanghihingi ng pera. Magbabayad kami ng buwis. Pero huwag mo naman sabihin sa amin na magbayad kami 2 araw matapos ang quarantine na in-impose niyo,' says Congressman Joey Salceda

GHOST TOWN. An almost lifeless Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City hours after the government enforces an enhanced community quarantine over Luzon island on March 17, 2020. Photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

Another House employee tests positive for coronavirus

Mar 17, 2020 - 3:38 PM

This is the second case of coronavirus infection at the Printing Service Office in the House of Representatives

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

Printing service staff member in House tests positive for coronavirus

Mar 13, 2020 - 9:45 AM

(UPDATED) But it is still unclear if the patient is among the 52 confirmed cases already reported by the Department of Health

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

ROUNDTABLE: Women take charge in the House of Representatives

Mar 12, 2020 - 2:07 PM

On Thursday, March 12, join our discussion about the crucial role female leaders play in Philippine politics

Busy with NPA, ABS-CBN cases: Calida skips House probe on energy debt

Mar 12, 2020 - 12:01 AM

The Office of the Solicitor General handles a Meralco debt dispute pending before the Supreme Court since 2004, as government tries to beat a 2026 deadline to collect

BUSY. Solicitor General Jose Calida skips a House investigation on energy debt because he says he is busy attending to Supreme Court cases like ABS-CBN quo warranto. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

P400-B uncollected power charges show 'dead end' in energy laws

Mar 11, 2020 - 8:30 PM

Lawmakers want to collect debts now, as government lawyers stand firm on proper procedures on compromise agreements

POWER CHARGES. Officials of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) arrive early to the House of Representatives hearing on March 11, 2020, on the P400 billion worth of uncollected power charges. Photo by Lian Buan/Rappler

‘Lord’ Alan Peter Cayetano? Speaker has painting of lawmakers praying over him

Mar 11, 2020 - 7:32 PM

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano loves this unique painting inside his office

PRAYING TO THE 'LORD.' Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (center) leads a press conference with other House leaders with a unique painting as their backdrop. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

House OKs bill creating Department of Filipinos Overseas and Foreign Employment

Mar 11, 2020 - 5:50 PM

But Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman says the measure will encourage and promote the 'export of Filipino manpower'

OFW WELFARE. Filipino domestic helpers line up to send money at a remittance center in the central district of Hong kong on November 30, 2008. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

Foes to allies? Fierce critic Alan Cayetano woos Gloria Arroyo

Mar 11, 2020 - 4:53 PM

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano tells his predecessor, 'hopefully, ma’am this bridge, from your speakership to mine, will also serve as bridge from your family to mine'

ALL SMILES. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (L) sits beside former president and speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo inside the House of Representatives on March 11, 2020. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

WATCH: House briefing on PH coronavirus status

Mar 11, 2020 - 8:39 AM

For discussion: Measures undertaken in containing the virus and the state of public health emergency in the Philippines

House approves bill hiking road users' tax starting 2020

Mar 10, 2020 - 10:28 PM

The proposed tax increases are expected to generate P9 billion that would go to the general fund for road safety and the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program

ROAD USERS' TAX. Bumper-to-bumper traffic is seen along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on October 25, 2016. File photo by Joel Liporada/Rappler

Cayetano: ‘Congress is not here to comfort ABS-CBN’

Mar 10, 2020 - 9:16 PM

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano seems to be getting fed up the House being told what to do on the renewal of ABS-CBN's soon-to-expire franchise

FRANCHISE ISSUE. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (center) holds a press conference with House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez (L) and House committee on legislative franchises chair Franz Alvarez (R) on March 10, 2020. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

House leaders slam 'anti-Filipino' bill allowing foreign ownership of public services

Mar 10, 2020 - 7:55 PM

(UPDATED) House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr and Senior Deputy Majority Leader Jesus Crispin Remulla vote no to House Bill No. 78, saying that it violates the 1987 Constitution

NTC 'most likely' to grant ABS-CBN provisional authority to operate

Mar 10, 2020 - 5:21 PM

The National Telecommunications Commission says its commitment to issue the temporary permit to operate is guided by legal guidance from the Department of Justice

FRANCHISE HEARING. The House committee on legislative franchises vote on the ground rules they'll follow for their hearings on the renewal of ABS-CBN's franchise on March 10, 2020. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

House passes bill allowing 100% foreign ownership of public utilities

Mar 10, 2020 - 5:07 PM

But Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas slams the bill as 'economic charter change without tinkering with the 1987 Constitution'

NOW IN SESSION. Lawmakers vote on bills during the House session on May 30, 2018. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

WATCH: House hearing on ABS-CBN franchise renewal

Mar 10, 2020 - 1:14 PM

Watch the hearing live on Rappler

Arroyo, De Venecia reunite as Lakas-CMD vow to ‘win’ members back

Mar 09, 2020 - 11:33 PM

The once formidable Lakas-CMD is slowly increasing its numbers in the House, where its party president Martin Romualdez is the influential Majority Leader

GOING STRONG. Former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (center), former House speaker Jose de Venecia Jr (3rd from L, front row) pose for a photo with other Lakas-CMD members in the House on March 9, 2020. Photo from the Office of House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez

PDP-Laban to support Cayetano as long as he’s Speaker

Mar 09, 2020 - 10:21 PM

Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, the man whom Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano accuses of trying to oust him, does not attend the meeting

DUTERTE ALLIES. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (center, back row) and PDP-Laban lawmakers do President Rodrigo Duterte's fist pose after their meeting on March 9, 2020. Photo from Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel

House panels summon Calida over power sector’s P95-B debt to gov’t

Mar 06, 2020 - 6:16 PM

Lawmakers want the Solicitor General to explain why he asked to intervene in the case of the multi-billion pesos that Meralco and First Gen Hydro Power Corporation still owe the government

SUMMONED BY HOUSE. Solicitor General Jose Calida holds a press conference at Camp Crame on February 10, 2020. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Duterte and our PTSD

Mar 06, 2020 - 8:00 AM

The hidden cost of journalism under Duterte

As coup rumors swirl, PDP-Laban sets meeting with Cayetano

Mar 05, 2020 - 7:22 PM

There are also plans for Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco to talk with Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano separately, but it remains to be seen if the latter would even be open to such a meeting

PARTY UNDER SIEGE. Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco addresses his party mates in the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan on March 5, 2020. Photo courtesy of PDP-Laban

Congress passes bill requiring GMRC in K to 12 curriculum

Mar 04, 2020 - 9:38 PM

The bill is now up for the President's signature

GOOD MANNERS. Elementary students inside listen to their teacher in a pubic school in Marikina City on September 27, 2017. File photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Sara Duterte's party to Cayetano: Ungab ouster ‘an insult to the President’

Mar 04, 2020 - 9:12 PM

But Hugpong ng Pagbabago says it 'does not want to spar with Cayetano' but merely wants to 'sit and watch his show' in the House where the Speaker is crying coup d'etat

DUTERTE AND CHILDREN. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Davao City 1st District Representative Paolo Duterte flank their father, President Rodrigo Duterte, before the latter's 3rd State of the Nation Address in July 2018. Presidential Photo

House to finally start hearing ABS-CBN franchise renewal on March 10

Mar 04, 2020 - 4:20 PM

(UPDATED) Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano says ABS-CBN executives will not be invited yet, as the hearing on March 10 will focus on the National Telecommunications Commission

Employees and supporters of ABS CBN continue their Friday protest to demand from the government to renew their franchise on February 28, 2020. Holding a rally at the ABS CBN compound at Sgt. Esquearra in Quezon City. Reiterating their call to defend press freedom and vowed to continue the protest actions until the franchise have been renewed. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

DOH: P530M 'enough' to combat coronavirus for now but more funds needed

Mar 04, 2020 - 4:16 PM

Secretary Francisco Duque III declines to comment on the effect of the ongoing power struggle in the House on the DOH request for a P2-billion supplemental budget

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES. Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (R) and Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire (L) hold a press conference on March 4, 2020. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

‘Unconstitutional’ anti-terrorism bill targets dissenters, not terrorists – Colmenares

Mar 03, 2020 - 7:33 PM

'Hindi talaga para ito sa mga Abu Sayyaf or terrorista o sino pa mang tinatawag na terorista… Kailangan ito para doon sa dissenters, sa oposisyon,' says NUPL chair Neri Colmenares

REPEAL HUMAN SECURITY ACT. Activists gather outside the House of Representatives to protest against the proposed anti-terrorism bill on March 3, 2020. Photo courtesy of Saka, Sinag Bayan, and UMA

House approves bill granting more paid leaves to employees

Mar 03, 2020 - 4:50 PM

If passed into law, the House bill would increase the 5-day service incentive leave of Filipino workers to 10 days

WORK INCENTIVES. A man and a woman in an office setting. Image from Shutterstock

Who run the world? Women ‘take over’ the House of Representatives

Mar 03, 2020 - 3:56 PM

Congresswomen take the lead during the House session to mark the start of Women's Month

WOMEN TAKEOVER. Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos Recto presiding during the House session on March 2, 2020. Screenshot from House of Representatives' Youtube account

LIVE: House hearing on anti-terrorism bill

Mar 03, 2020 - 1:33 PM

Watch the House hearing on the anti-terrorism bill on Tuesday, March 3

Filipinos most satisfied with Senate, least happy with Duterte Cabinet

Mar 03, 2020 - 1:28 PM

The Senate got a 'very good' +62 net satisfaction rating in the last quarter of 2019, placing it at the top of a Social Weather Stations poll on key government institutions

PHILIPPINE SENATE. The facade of the Senate building. Photo from the Senate of the Philippines Facebook page

Hugpong ng Pagbabago: Ungab's ouster in House 'grossly unacceptable'

Mar 03, 2020 - 10:44 AM

The regional party led by Mayor Sara Duterte lauds Davao City 3rd District Representative Isidro Ungab for 'being a good soldier of President Rodrigo Duterte and for doing his job with pride and principle'

CLOSE ALLIES. Davao City 3rd District Representative Isidro Ungab poses with presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. Photo from Ungab's Facebook page

Cayetano: Ungab, Leachon ousted because 'they're more interested in intrigues'

Mar 02, 2020 - 11:23 PM

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano says issues with his 'working relationship' with Representatives Isidro Ungab and Salvador Leachon are the reason they lost their House posts

CHAIR NO MORE. Then-House committee on appropriations chair Isidro Ungab defends the proposed P4.1-trillion budget for 2020 during plenary session on September 10, 2019. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Cayetano to Velasco: You'll be Speaker if Duterte wants you to be Speaker

Mar 02, 2020 - 10:49 PM

''Wag kang matatakot na hindi ka magiging Speaker. Kasi kung 'yan talaga ang gusto ng Presidente...mangyayari 'yan, 'di ba?' Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano tells his rival Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco

MESSAGE TO VELASCO. Speaker alan Peter Cayetano talks to reporters after meeting with NUP and NP members in the House on March 2, 2020. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Ungab, Leachon stripped of key House posts amid coup rumors

Mar 02, 2020 - 5:05 PM

Davao City congressman Isidro Ungab and Oriental Mindoro congressman Salvador Leachon are booted out of key posts after drawing the ire of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his loyal allies

BOOTED OUT. Davao City 3rd District Representative Isidro Ungab (L) and Oriental Mindoro 1st District Representative Salvador Leachon. Photos from

Is there a House coup or is Cayetano just out to scrap term-sharing with Velasco?

Mar 02, 2020 - 2:04 PM

It seems an alleged failed coup attempt by Marinduque Lord Allan Velasco is working to the advantage of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

POWER SHAKEDOWN. Taguig City-Pateros 1st District Representative Alan Peter Cayetano (L) and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco (R) are supposed to share terms as Speaker. File photos of Cayetano, House by Rappler, photo of Velasco from his Facebook page

House leader surprised to be barred from Saudi due to virus travel ban

Feb 28, 2020 - 11:07 AM

'To my knowledge government functionaries on official trips are not covered by this ban...I am a government official traveling with a diplomatic passport and a travel authority,' says Abante

PH LEADERS. House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr (R) sits beside President Rodrigo Duterte (L) during the celebration of the 120-year presence of the Baptist Churches in the Philippines at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on January 16, 2020. File photo by Valerie Escalera/Presidential Photo

Cayetano: Duterte deferring to Congress means ABS-CBN likely to get NTC permit

Feb 27, 2020 - 7:00 PM

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano also insists it would 'do more harm than good' to ABS-CBN if the House would squeeze in a hearing on its franchise renewal before Congress takes a break in March

FRANCHISE WOES. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano talks about the fate of ABS-CBN's franchise renewal in the House on February 27, 2020. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Cayetano says Velasco is behind ouster plot

Feb 27, 2020 - 12:48 PM

(UPDATED) House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano says Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco has been doing the rounds offering funds and chairmanships

UNEASY RESTS. File photo of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler