FOI, RH bills take backseat

Posted at 03/15/2012 11:10 PM | Updated as of 03/16/2012 10:37 AM

MANILA, Philippines - House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales on Thursday said the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill and the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act will wait until the resumption of House sessions in May.

Gonzales said they will concentrate on priority measures for the last week of sessions next week.

House Speaker Sonny Belmonte said the FOI bill will be tackled but did not give a specific time frame.

Belmonte earlier admitted that the majority cannot pass the RH bill with the same ease that the Lower House impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona.

"I wish I could do that. We managed to elevate it from committee to floor pero wala pa ring nagawa. I have to admit I wish we could it. yung people give me separate statement as to who are pro, anti, so forth. We will not actually know till we put it to a vote," he said.

Belmonte said some members of the House leadership and majority are against the bill.

The Palace-backed revised FOI bill, meanwhile, will require all government agencies to publish contracts and agreements, as well as Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth (SALNs) of officials on the Internet.

The proposed measure, which the Palace has endorsed to the House of Representatives Committee on Public Information, will also require the mandatory disclosure of budgets and expense plans of government agencies, according to Presidential Strategic Planning Undersecretary Manuel L. Quezon III. - with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News