MANILA - Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. clarified that committees in the House of Representatives can still hold public hearings even during the current break.
"The House in plenary has approved a resolution last February 6 authorizing all committees to, if necessary, conduct their respective public hearings or inquiries, in aid of legislation, during the current break until resumption in June," he said.
The second regular session of the 15th Congress ended last February 7. It will resume on June 3 and then adjourn again on June 7, the end of the third and last regular session of the 15th Congress.
The latest break is only to allow members to campaign for the coming May polls.
Records show there are 304 Congress-approved measures - 79 of national and 225 of local concern - now under review by the Office of the President for subsequent enactment into law or, in rare cases, could be vetoed by the President.
These include the following:
1) HB 4241 - An Act Providing for early voting to qualified members of media;
2) HB - Amendment to "The Rural Bank Act of 1992";
3) HB 5484 - An Act providing for a comprehensive regulation of firearms. Light weapons and ammunition, penalizing violations, repealing PD 1866;
4) HB 5509 - An Act mandating the use of highly accessible polling places for persons with disabilities, senior citizens and expectant mothers;
5) HB 5490 - An Act providing stiffer penalties for acts in violation of the meat inspection system amending R.A. 9296 or "The Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines";
6) HB 4484 - An Act providing for a Magna Carta of the Poor;
7) HB 5990 - An Act providing compensation to victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime, documentations of said violations, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purposes;
8) HB 6735 - An Act institutionalizing the Philippine National Health Research System;
9) HB 6685 - An Act strengthening Tripartism, amending the Labor Code of the Philippines;
10) HB 6548 - An Act promoting agricultural and fisheries mechanization development in the country; and
11) HB 6565 - Further strengthening the Anti-Money Laundering Law, amending RA 9160, among other vital bills of national importance.