Atienza decries manipulation of plenary attendance report to fast-track approval of bills » Manila Bulletin News

Rosario, B. (2019, September 12). Atienza decries manipulation of plenary attendance report to fast-track approval of bills. Retrieved September 13, 2019 from

Atienza decries manipulation of plenary attendance report to fast-track approval of bills
By Ben Rosario, MB ON September 12, 2019

Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza on Thursday accused the leadership of the House of Representatives of “manipulating” the plenary attendance to fast-track passage of legislative measures, including the proposed 2020 national allocation.

Atienza aired the accusation a day after Lower House leaders boasted of an “unprecedented average attendance of 247 congressmen per session”.

A total 300 congressmen have already been included in the rolls of the chamber.

Asked to comment on the 18-day attendance report of the Lower House, Atienza said he was able to “prove the other night” that the attendance report was being falsified by marking as present congressmen who failed were actually not in the sessions

“We want this to be the malpractice of our legislative processes, Roll call is a roll call,” the partylist lawmaker declared during the Partylist Forum sponsored by the Partylist Coalition Foundation Inc.

Now an independent congressman, Atienza decried the alleged failure of the floor leaders to strictly observe the rules on roll call and attendance.

“Quorum is a basic requirement of any deliberative body, huwag dapat nila binabaluktot,” he said.  “We cannot pass the budget bill with only 30 people on the floor.”

The Lower House is currently deliberating on the proposed 2020 national budget.

Atienza is a stickler for attendance rules, and usually rises to question the presence of a quorum whenever he notices the lack of “warm bodies” at the plenary hall. In fact, he has been able succeed in forcing adjournment a number of times in the past.

He recalled that his advocacy for a quorum call during session was supported during the 17th Congress.

Atienza cited former president and Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for supporting him.

“We would like to be as bending backwards as possible. The thing is we must train our new congressmen to their job of making laws properly,” the former Manila mayor stated.

Published on News » National | Manila Bulletin

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