Heated exchange at House ends in a dance number

Posted at 09/04/14 7:55 PM

MANILA - A heated exchange ensued between Negros Occidental Rep. Pryde Henry Teves and ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio during the budget hearing for the Department of Health (DOH).

Tinio had gone beyond the 5-minute time limit for each congressman to ask questions. He had been asking about the alleged post-enactment intervention of lawmakers in identifying beneficiaries for the government’s medical assistance program.

The Supreme Court had banned lawmakers from any post enactment intervention for government projects in declaring the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) as unconstitutional.

Apparently frustrated, Teves took a swipe at Tinio, who had interpellated before him, indicating he would rather not be involved with anyone not interested in helping those in need medically.

Tinio attempted to respond.

House Appropriations committee chairman Isidro Ungab finally came in to defuse the tension.

Before recalling the session, however, Ungab asked Assistant Health Secretary Eric Tayag, who is famous for dancing in pursuing his medical advocacies, to dance to help defuse the tension.

When session resumed, Teves apologized for the delay he caused.

Earlier, Tinio wanted the Lower House to put an explicit penal provision in the budget against lawmakers’ intervention in the implementation of government projects, especially in choosing beneficiaries for medical assistance.

Tinio earlier accused the DOH of offering lawmakers a chance to nominate beneficiaries for medical assistance despite the Supreme Court’s ruling. The offer allegedly took place in an executive session.