MANILA - Congressmen have started sprucing up their congressional offices in time for the opening of the 1st regular session of the 16th Congress.
Outside the House of Representatives, workers are repainting and fixing various parts of the buildings.
Inside, congressmen also sprucing up their offices, pieces of furniture are being repainted and rooms are being fixed.
This has been going on for weeks now.
ABS-CBN was also shown a video of the repair work inside the session hall.
House secretary-general Marilyn Barua Yap said they are bracing for more street protests during the State of the Nation Address on July 22, 2013.
"We have some reports. Yan ang papel ng security agencies and peace and order agencies. They are receiving reports baka mas maraming mag-stage ng mass actions. They are prepared for it. We leave it to them," he said.
Attendees to the SONA are advised to wear Filipiniana or business attire. Security will not allow anyone without an invitation. Each lawmaker is entitled to 2 guests.
"Two guests - one in first gallery, one in 2nd gallery. They should be seated by 3:30 pm. Lahat ng latecomers dadalhin sa North Lounge. Di na papapasukin sa loob kaya nga inaadvisan," the secretary general said.
Yap said congressmen are free to do as they please in their new rooms.
The House official said preparations for the SONA are going on as planned. These include the seating arrangements, program, reception and accommodations for the media.
"Everything is on stream. Makikita niyo inaayos faciltiies from ground to fence to lights...Namrublema tayo sa airconditioners. About 10 days before SONA, everything will be in order. Depende sa system na may problema. Iba naman may seepage sa daanan ng tubig. Iba-iba yung target namin," Yap said.
Yap said the renovations are covered by the regular budget of the House.