Drilon, Belmonte disagree on Cha-cha

By Jenny Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 03 2014 12:36 PM | Updated as of Mar 03 2014 08:36 PM

MANILA - Leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives are coordinating their legislative agendas ahead of the summer break, which starts on March 12, and the adjournment in June.

Congress leaders met today to thresh out bills that can already be passed on third reading.

House Speaker Sonny Belmonte said the leaders will make an effort to meet every month to make sure that the legislative agenda of both chambers are in sync.

In attendance were Belmonte, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senate Deputy Minority Leader Tito Sotto, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II, House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora, and House ways and means committee Chair Miro Quimbo.

Both chambers have 7 bills ready to be passed on third reading including bills on picture-based warnings on cigarette packs and free SMS alerts ahead of disasters. These are expected to be approved before the summer break.

The Senate is also planning to pass the freedom of information bill this week.

Senators said they have yet to discuss Charter change because they are waiting for the Lower House to pass the bill before they look at it.

Drilon has already voiced his opposition to Charter change.

For his part, House Speaker Sonny Belmonte assured they will be able to pass the measure before his term ends. The proposal for Charter change is still pending before the House committee on constitutional amendments.