Gonzales: No time for Charter change

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 11 2012 12:05 AM | Updated as of May 11 2012 08:05 AM

MANILA, Philippines -  There may be no more time for charter change, House Majority Leader Boyet Gonzales said.

"Palagay ko mahirap na," he said on Thursday.

"Madami priorities before we adjourn on June 9 -- witness protection, anti-trust, Department of housing, sin taxes," Gonzales said in a text message to ABS-CBN News.

"Senate busy sa impeachment. Marami na kami na third na wala pa sila action, including AMLA. When resume sa SONA, budget naman will take most of our time. Nandiyan pa RH, FOI etc. Pagkatapos ng budget, problema na quorum.

"May three weeks break sa 3rd week of October - 2nd week November. Christmas break, to return 2nd week of January. After two to three weeks, we will adjourn to give way to the 90-days campaign of senators. We resume mga third week of May 2013 for perhaps two to three weeks and then sine die adjournment na," he explained.

House Speaker Sonny Belmonte earlier said the House of Representatives expects to pass in plenary the bill indexing taxes for alcohol and cigarettes before Congress adjourns its 2nd regular session next month.

Belmonte added that the lower House has 5 weeks of sessions left until June 7 and they are hoping to tackle more bills.

While he doesn't see the reproductive health and freedom of information bills being passed, he expects the sin tax bill to be passed after it hurdled the committee level on Wednesday.