MANILA - The House of Representatives on Tuesday started implementing a "lockout" policy for latecomers to plenary sessions.
The session began 4 p.m. Tuesday and after the national anthem, the roll was called and doors to the plenary were closed to prevent tardy congressmen from entering the session.
The move is in fulfillment of a memorandum issued by House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas last May 22 wherein he said the consensus was reached in a majority caucus, a move that seeks to discipline House members who often come late.
"Except those who are deemed present under section 71 of our rules, all members are enjoined to be at the session hall before 4pm as those appearing after the roll call shall be marked absent," the May 22 memorandum read.
Plenary sessions are scheduled Mondays to Wednesdays at 4 p.m. The session was often suspended so that lawmakers coming in late may still make the roll call, and the House could reach a quorum.
The 17th Congress has had no problems mustering a quorum during its first regular session from July last year. The roll of members has been called consistently every session day, unlike in previous sessions.