house of representatives - updates

Rappler's latest stories on house of representatives


Joint resolution extending ABS-CBN's franchise to June 2022 filed in House

Feb 25, 2020 - 1:35 PM

Cebu City 1st District Representative Raul del Mar says extending the validity of ABS-CBN's franchise would allow lawmakers to protect public interest in the grant of franchises

FRANCHISE ISSUES. A veteran lawmaker from Cebu files a joint resolution that would give Congress more time to deliberate on the ABS-CBN franchise bills. File photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Cayetano: House notice to NTC 'sufficient’ to allow ABS-CBN to keep operating

Feb 24, 2020 - 8:53 PM

The Speaker says the House leadership is talking to the National Telecommunications Commission to help secure a provisional authority for ABS-CBN

STILL NO HEARING. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano tells reporters on February 24, 2020 why the House leadership still finds no urgency in holding its first hearing on ABS-CBN's franchise renewal. File photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

House begins ‘proceedings’ on ABS-CBN franchise, asks for position papers

Feb 24, 2020 - 9:30 AM

House committee on legislative franchises chair Franz Alvarez says his panel will schedule a hearing only when all documents have been received

STILL NO HOUSE HEARING. The House committee on legislative franchises will formally ask all parties to submit their position papers on the renewal of ABS-CBN's franchise. File photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

What's taking Congress so long to tackle ABS-CBN's franchise?

Feb 23, 2020 - 7:35 PM

Data collated from the previous 17th Congress and the current 18th Congress show both the House and Senate are quick to renew franchises of major broadcast networks – except ABS-CBN's

Cayetano: Illegal for Senate to hold ABS-CBN franchise hearing ahead of House

Feb 20, 2020 - 8:10 PM

But Senator Grace Poe says there's nothing wrong with the Senate pushing through with its hearing, since the upper chamber has done this in the past for bills on the national budget and tax hikes

INTER-PARLIAMENTARY COURTESY. Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano, 3rd from left, is welcomed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III and other senators during a Senate hearing on the 2020 budget of the Philippine Sports Commission on November 19, 2019. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

House to delay ABS-CBN hearings until May or August

Feb 20, 2020 - 4:05 PM

(UPDATED) ABS-CBN's franchise expires on March 30, but Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano says the House must tackle priority bills first

NOT URGENT? Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, seen in this photo in a huddle with lawmakers, finds no urgency in holding hearings on the renewal of ABS-CBN's franchise. Photo courtesy of Cayetano's office

'Unconstitutional' to let foreigners own public utilities – opposition lawmakers

Feb 20, 2020 - 11:30 AM

If passed into law, House Bill 78 would allow foreigners to fully own telecommunication and transportation companies in the Philippines which is 'fatally violative of the Constitution' the lawmakers say

PDP-Laban loses another member as Biliran congressman joins Lakas-CMD

Feb 19, 2020 - 3:20 PM

Though not a major party in the House with just 30 allies, Lakas-CMD remains influential given its ties to former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez

OATH-TAKING. Biliran Representative Gerardo Espina Jr (3rd from R) takes his oath as Lakas-CMD member before party president and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez on February 19, 2020. Photo from Romualdez's staff

Congressmen looking to lower e-cigarette access age to 18

Feb 18, 2020 - 7:18 PM

Despite science behind brain immaturity until 25 years of age, some congressmen want to lower the access age to e-cigarettes to 18

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 22, 2018 shows Jeremy Wong blows vapor from an e-cigarette at The Vaping Buddha on January 23, 2018 in South San Francisco, California. Donald Trump's administration on September 11, 2019, announced it would soon ban flavored vaping products, amid a growing outbreak of severe lung disease linked to e-cigarette use that has claimed six lives. Justin SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

House one step away from passing bill letting foreigners own public utilities

Feb 18, 2020 - 3:33 PM

But opposition lawmakers argue that the 'unconstitutional' bill would lead to Filipinos being at the mercy of foreign firms

LIFTING OF FOREIGN RESTRICTIONS. The House of Representatives approves on 2nd reading House Bill No. 78 on February 17, 2020. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Cayetano stalls ABS-CBN franchise hearing, slams election coverage

Feb 17, 2020 - 9:22 PM

(3rd UPDATE) 'Can anyone honestly say, after watching the coverage of the network during the 2010 and 2016 elections, that ABS-CBN did not take sides and favor any candidate?' says Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

GHOST OF ELECTIONS PAST. Alan Peter Cayetano, then candidate for Taguig-Pateros congressman, shows the indelible ink on his finger after casting his vote on May 13, 2019. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

House passes bill imposing stiffer penalties vs child abuse

Feb 17, 2020 - 6:50 PM

An overwhelming 228 legislators vote in favor of stiffening the punishment for child abusers

House closer to passing bill allowing foreigners to own PH public utilities

Feb 16, 2020 - 2:26 PM

For lawmakers behind the bill, the 1987 Constitution’s requirement that at least 60% of public utility enterprises' capital stock must be owned by Filipino citizens or corporations is limiting the country’s economic growth

QUICK WORK. Lawmakers are working fast to amend the Public Service Act. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Lagman to Cayetano: Stop foot-dragging on ABS-CBN franchise renewal

Feb 15, 2020 - 2:40 PM

Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman says Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano's timetable for the House to take up the ABS-CBN franchise renewal 'reveals a patent prolongation'

ABS-CBN employees and supporters hold a rally on Valentines Day, February 14, 2020, to demand the renewal of the broadcast giant franchise. Wearing red and chanting defend press freedom, they signed petitions and urged motorist to honk their horns as they passed by. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

House honors PH repatriation team for 'heroism' in Wuhan mission

Feb 13, 2020 - 10:54 AM

The 10-member team 'exhibited a strong sense of compassion for our kababayan and nationalism that motivated them to volunteer their services and expertise to undertake this critical mission' to Wuhan, China, says House Resolution 711

HOMEWARD BOUND. A member of the government repatriation team screens Filipinos during their flight from Wuhan in China to the Philippines on February 9, 2020. Photo from DFA

Task force on Cha-Cha scraps proposed Regional Development Authority

Feb 12, 2020 - 8:16 PM

The revision comes after lawmakers and local government units opposed the creation of the RDA

REVISED PROPOSAL. Lawmakers deliberate on proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution, which earlier included the creation of a Regional Development Authority and has since been removed. Photo by Loreben Tuquero/Rappler

Cayetano defends House session in Batangas: It's symbolic

Feb 12, 2020 - 7:52 AM

'If you're asking nakasagabal ba kami nang onti, yes.... But I think the symbolism at 'yung pakikiramay much, much outweighs [everything else],' says House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

DEFENSE. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr, and House committee on disaster management chair Lucy Torres Gomez answer questions from the media on January 22, 2020. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Lawmakers mull over ages 16 or 18 for minimum age of sexual consent

Feb 10, 2020 - 8:51 PM

One thing is for sure – lawmakers agree the minimum age of sexual consent must be raised from 12 years old, which is the lowest in Southeast Asia

House says SolGen petition to derail ABS-CBN franchise renewal

Feb 10, 2020 - 11:35 AM

The House franchise committee ‘might decide to hold in abeyance the conduct of hearing until the matter is settled by the Supreme Court,’ says Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel

Divorce bill hurdles House committee level

Feb 05, 2020 - 3:30 PM

The Philippines is the only other country without divorce, aside from Vatican City

NUP amasses power in House after 4 more lawmakers defect from PDP-Laban

Feb 05, 2020 - 3:20 PM

(UPDATED) La Union Representative Sandra Eriguel says she joined the National Unity Party as it is 'the party to reckon with, the party of the future'

NEW MEMBER. PDP-Laban loses two crucial members in Deputy Speakers Boyet Gonzales and Dan Fernandez, who are now allied with NUP.

House bills seek P2-B fund for DOH to buy masks, protective equipment

Feb 05, 2020 - 3:10 PM

House committee on ways and means chair Joey Salceda also wants to allot P20 million for the hazard pay of epidemiologists on the frontlines of battling the novel coronavirus

CORONAVIRUS SCARE. Lawmakers want to augment DOH's budget this year to help buy face masks and protective equipment against the 2019 novel coronavirus. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappelr

'Get your priorities straight,' lawmakers tell Duque amid coronavirus threat

Feb 05, 2020 - 1:24 PM

House members are upset that the DOH chief skipped a House hearing on Metro Manila's response to the novel coronavirus to inspect a quarantine center in Nueva Ecija, as directed by the President

MISPLACED PRIORITIES? DOH Secretary Francisco Duque lll skipped the House hearing on the novel coronavirus on February 5, 2020 to inspect a quarantine facility in Nueva Ecija. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

House approves bill protecting women, children vs electronic violence

Feb 04, 2020 - 5:40 PM

Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas says the passage of the measure will give women and children an 'increased chance' to combat all forms of abuse

House passes bill requiring GMRC subject from Kinder to Grade 3

Feb 04, 2020 - 4:31 PM

The proposed law says the GMRC class would teach students about human dignity and respect for others for their 'effective and holistic development'

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

DILG: Proposed regional dev't authority 'not a political unit'

Feb 04, 2020 - 2:08 PM

But Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel says the proposal would 'complicate' the process of implementing projects in the regions

CHARTER CHANGE. Inter-agency Task Force on Federalism and Constitutional Reform chair Jonathan Malaya discusses before lawmaker their proposed changes to the Constitution on February 4, 2020. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Eddie Villanueva slams drug killings, but says Duterte not to blame

Feb 03, 2020 - 9:07 PM

The evangelical pastor, now one of the House of Representatives' deputy speakers, says 'scalawag' policemen are behind the drug killings

House Deputy Speaker and JIL Church founder Eddie Villanueva discusses the bloody drug war in a speech marking the National Bible Day on February 3, 2020. Screenshot from the House of Representatives' Youtube account

House health panel chair seeks P1B to help DOH combat novel coronavirus

Feb 03, 2020 - 3:15 PM

House committee on health chairperson Helen Tan says she wants to increase the P900-million additional budget that the DOH requested to boost the government's response to the new virus

CORONAVIRUS SCARE. Filipinos wear masks while walking at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City on Friday, January 31, 2020, following the first case of 2019-nCoV detected in the country. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Reporters Without Borders calls on Congress to renew ABS-CBN franchise

Jan 31, 2020 - 7:25 PM

RSF urges House committee on legislative franchises chair Franz Alvarez to 'resist the pressure from the President’s office' and put the franchise's renewal on the Congress' agenda

Lawmakers hit VFA termination, urge DFA to give Duterte 'sound' advice

Jan 29, 2020 - 6:30 PM

'Are we going to sacrifice the gains that we have made with the US-Philippine relationship just because of the cancellation of the visa of one senator?' asks Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel

BALIKATAN. Philippine and US soldiers hold an amphibious exercise during the 2019 Balikatan exercise in Zambales on April 11, 2019. Photo by Lito Boras/Rappler

Even with coronavirus scare, no mainland Chinese travel ban for now – Duque

Jan 29, 2020 - 5:43 PM

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III argues it would be 'very tricky' if the Philippines singles out China from all other countries with confirmed cases of the new disease

NO BAN VS CHINESE YET. DOH Francisco Duque III says the Philippine government is still studying imposing a temporary travel ban against Chinese tourists. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

‘We love you, Kobe’: House launches exhibit honoring NBA legend at Batasan

Jan 29, 2020 - 4:10 PM

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, a self-described big fan of the LA Lakers, publicizes a part of his personal NBA memorabilia collection to honor the late Kobe Bryant

MAMBA OUT. The left sneakers of the Kobe VI Blue Camo's that the late Kobe Bryant wore when he visited Manila in 2011. All photos by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Lawmakers urge TWG, MMDA to submit weekly reports on motorcycle taxis

Jan 29, 2020 - 3:40 PM

The overseeing body created by the transportation department has 'no details' in its data gathering. 'They only rely on assumptions,' notes the chairman of the House committee on Metro Manila development.

WEEKLY REPORTS NEEDED. The House Committee on Metro Manila Development asks for weekly reports from the motorcycle taxi technical working group to gauge apprehensions. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

LIVE: House question hour with health chief Duque on novel coronavirus

Jan 29, 2020 - 3:31 PM

Watch the House's question hour with DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III live on Rappler on Wednesday, January 29

U.S. House votes to warn China against meddling in Dalai Lama succession

Jan 29, 2020 - 12:44 PM

Under the proposal, Washington would freeze any US assets and ban travel to the United States of Chinese officials found to be involved in 'identifying or installing' a government-approved Dalai Lama

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (C) waves to the crowd during the third day of a series of teachings in Bodhgaya on January 4, 2020. STR / AFP

House seeks stronger regulation of e-cigarette use by minors

Jan 29, 2020 - 8:00 AM

The House is building on the provisions of the recently-passed excise tax law, such as the ban on flavored e-liquids for e-cigarettes that make it appealing to young people

RISKS. Juul faces mounting public backlash over the risks of vaping. Photo from Shutterstock

House OKs on 2nd reading bill protecting women, children vs electronic abuse

Jan 28, 2020 - 7:47 PM

Violators stand to face jail time up to 6 to 12 years and a fine between P300,000 to P500,000

House to hold question hour for Duque over coronavirus threat

Jan 28, 2020 - 4:59 PM

House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez says they are giving DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III a 'bigger platform' to allay fears about the new disease

QUESTION HOUR. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III briefs the media about the novel coronavirus during a press conference at the DOH headquarters in Manila on January 21, 2020. File photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

Lawmakers spot possible conflicts in proposed regional dev't authority

Jan 28, 2020 - 2:02 PM

The House committee on constitutional amendments says the appointment of the Regional Development Authority head chosen by the president could cause conflicts

POTENTIAL CONFLICT. The House committee on constitutional amendments chaired by Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez recommend changes to the proposed amendment to form a Regional Development Authority due to potential conflict. Rappler screenshot

‘Anti-democratic’ to ban dynasties, say lawmakers from political clans

Jan 28, 2020 - 1:20 PM

'This is very anti-democratic because there are families elected democratically,' argues Isabela 1st District Representative Tonypet Albano

YES TO POLITICAL DYNASTIES. Isabela 1st District Representative Tonypet Albano (2nd from L) and Surigao del Sur 2nd District Representative Johnny Pimentel (1st from R) oppose the anti-dynasty are against the proposed anti-dynasty amendment. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Trump impeachment prosecutor: Philippine EJK victims, kin look to U.S. for rule of law

Jan 25, 2020 - 2:02 PM

'They’re not going turn to Russia. They’re not going turn to China…. They look to us because we are still the indispensable nation. They look to us because we have a rule of law,' says US Congressman Adam Schiff

RULE OF LAW. US Congressman Adam Schiff says the Philippines looks to the United States for rule of law. Screenshot from Adam Schiff's Twitter

HRET junks poll protest vs Northern Samar congressman Daza

Jan 23, 2020 - 3:46 PM

The tribunal says Harlin Abayon's election case against Northern Samar 1st District Representative Paul Daza was 'insufficient in form and substance'

VICTOR. The HRET upholds the victory of Northern Samar 1st District Rep Paul Daza in the 2019 elections. Photo courtesy of

WATCH: Taal evacuees cry for help as House holds 'symbolic' session in Batangas

Jan 23, 2020 - 7:40 AM

The House of Representatives holds its plenary session in Batangas City, which sits just outside the danger zone of the restive Taal Volcano

OUT-OF-TOWN. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (standing in front of the Philippine flag) presides over the House plenary session at the Batangas City Convention Center on January 22, 2020. Rappler screenshot

Teary-eyed evacuees' appeal: Allow us to fish in Taal Lake again

Jan 22, 2020 - 8:25 PM

Agoncillo Mayor Daniel Reyes tells lawmakers that Batangueños also need psychological interventions to help them process trauma from the Taal Volcano eruption

APPEAL FOR HELP. Edwina Bilog, an evacuee from San Nicolas, Batangas, shares to lawmakers on January 22, 2020 how difficult life has been for her in the past days since the Taal Volcano erupted. Photo by Rappler

Batangas lawmakers seek P30-B supplemental budget for Taal eruption

Jan 22, 2020 - 4:10 PM

If passed into law, the bill earmarks a supplemental budget aimed to help victims of the Taal Volcano eruption valid until December 31, 2022

REHAB FUND NEEDED. Houses along the lakeside of Barangay San Isidro in Talisay, Batangas are still blanketed by ash from the eruption of Taal Volcano on January 20, 2020. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

LIVE: House holds session in Batangas amid eruption of the Taal Volcano

Jan 22, 2020 - 1:49 PM

Watch the House session live on Rappler

House names non-Cordilleran as Benguet caretaker congressman

Jan 21, 2020 - 8:18 PM

The law requires that a special election be held after the death of Benguet Representative Nestor Fongwan Jr, and that's what residents call for

Photo from

Lawmakers to recall Cha-Cha resolution they approved in secret

Jan 21, 2020 - 1:08 PM

The House committee on constitutional amendments also plans to reopen public hearings after the executive branch submitted a new list of proposed changes to the charter

CHA-CHA TALKS. House committee on constitutional amendments chair Rufus Rodriguez says he would reopen their public hearings on charter change this month. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

House willing to hike supplemental budget for Taal eruption to P50 billion 'if needed'

Jan 21, 2020 - 12:35 PM

Several members of the House committee on rules also donate P500,000 to districts in Batangas affected by the volcanic eruption

RELIEF FOR EVACUEES. Volunteers hand out aid donations to families affected by the eruption of the Taal volcano, in Buso Buso on January 20, 2020. Photo by Ed Jones/AFP

Ateneo's Kouame eyed for naturalization for Gilas Pilipinas

Jan 20, 2020 - 6:37 PM

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas seeks to add Angelo Kouame to its pool of naturalized players for the 2023 FIBA World Cup

IVORIAN TOWER. The SBP has taken notice of Angelo Kouame after helping Ateneo win back-to-back UAAP crowns. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler