National

House of Representatives Photo Journal: Hearing Break


16 January 2018 05:29:43 PM
SOURCE: House of Representatives Press and Public Affairs Bureau




House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chairman Rep. Roger Mercado (Lone District, Southern Leyte) and his colleagues share a light moment during a break on their hearing Tuesday on the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution, which include to a federal system of government. Under the proposal, the country will be divided into five Federal States, namely: Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and Bangsamoro. The proposed amendments also include the creation of a Bicameral Parliament to be composed of a 300-member Federal Assembly and a 15-member Senate, with each state electing three senators. With Mercado are Committee on Justice chairman Rep. Reynaldo Umali (2nd District, MIndoro Oriental), Committee on Ways and Means chairman Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua (Lone District, Quirino), Rep. Rodante Marcoleta (Party-list, SAGIP), Committee on Housing and Urban Development chairman Rep. Alfredo Benitez (3rd District, Negros Occidental), Reps. Arnolfo Teves Jr. (3rd District, Negros Oriental) and Joseph Stephen Paduano (Party-list, Abang Lingkod). / PC/ABR

Lawmakers keen on easing economic restrictions in Constitution via Con-ass




By Jovee Marie de la Cruz - January 8, 2018

Liberalizing the restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution and the possible removal or extension of term limits of government officials are among the top issues that would be discussed by Congress when it convenes into Constituent Assembly (Con-ass) early this year, a leader of the House of Representatives said last Sunday.

House Committee on Constitutional Reforms Chairman Roger G. Mercado of the Lone District of Southern Leyte said he sees no opposition among members of Congress on the proposal amending the Constitution’s restrictive economic provisions by removing the provisions that limit foreign ownership in various sectors of the economy.

Alvarez steps up criticisms vs Senate



By WENDELL VIGILIA
January 05, 2018

SPEAKER Pantaleon Alvarez yesterday denied that he has a rift with Senate President Koko Pimentel but continued to criticize his leadership for being too slow in acting on pending legislative measures.

Alvarez laughed off Pimentel’s claim that the Senate takes longer to approve measures passed by the House because it thoroughly studies bills before passing it.

“It’s just his defense,” he told dzMM. “Nothing good will happen to us if we’ll study everything for the rest of our lives. Our terms will end and we’re still not yet done studying.”

He said the Senate should face reality and admit its shortcomings, citing the bill restoring the death penalty on drug-related heinous crimes that the House has passed in March last year but remains pending in the Senate.

Federalism shift via Con-Ass pushed




Published January 5, 2018, 12:10 AM
By Charissa Luci-Atienza and Ellson Quismorio

House leaders are one with Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in pushing for federalism to fast-track the passage of the Duterte administration’s pro-people projects; and the best way of going about Charter change (Cha-cha), according to one legislator, is through a Constituent Assembly or Con-Ass.

Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu and Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone agreed with Alvarez that the snail-paced approval of significant legislation can be addressed through a shift to a federal form of government.

Congressman Albee Benitez’s big plans for show business





Simply Red by Isah V. Red
posted December 18, 2017 at 05:40 pm

Tomorrow, Alfredo Abelardo Bantug Benitez (a.k.a. Albee Benitez), a Filipino businessman and politician and congressman representing the 3rd District of Negros Occidental, turns 51 years old.


Congressman Albee Benitez (center, seated) in a photo op with entertainment press (clockwise), the author, Ricky Lo, Gorgy Rula, Salve Asis, and Lolit Solis, during an accidental meeting in Taipe in late November 

Visayas reps divided on martial law extension



Sunday, December 10, 2017
Keith A. Calayag

TWO lawmakers from the Visayas region have shared what would be their vote once the Congress deliberates the extension of martial law in Mindanao.

Negros Occidental Third District Rep. Albee Benitez, in an interview with Sunstar, said he will vote for its extension, for as long as the imposition of martial law will not hamper the basic human rights of the people in Mindanao.

MARAWI AFTER THE WAR | Hopes of returning to life, dreams of a peaceful future



By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez (text) and Bernard Testa (photos), InterAksyon | December 8, 2017, 11:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The chorus of tiny voices of a dozen children donned in colorful shirts rang inside the provincial capitol one afternoon.

They were singing Awit sa Marawi, a local composition by a Grade 5 student about the futility of wars and hopes for rebuilding. The singing became more spirited as a senator and foreign guests arrived. When the choir finished, the guests joined them and posed for photographs.



The city once bustled with life, but now most streets are quiet. Photo from Negros Occ. Rep. Albee Benitez.

Albee Proud of his biggest catch



FUNFARE By Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 6, 2017 - 12:00am

TAIPEI — “Guilty!” Without much ado and even before we could accuse him of anything, Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Bantug Benitez pleaded “no contest” when asked how he lost his innocence. Blushing a bit, Albee started doing arithmetic.



According to Albee, in big-game fishing, a 30-kilo fish is considered the smallest catch.

Albee Benitez Businessman heeds call of public service



posted December 08, 2017 at 05:40 pm by Isah V. Red

When you’re a successful businessman, will you have time in public service?

Most men who wear suits or barong Tagalog daily to their plush offices merely smile when asked the question.

At a recent dinner in a plush Chinese restaurant in a mall in Taipei’s elegant shopping district, Alfredo Abelardo Bantug Benitez also known as Albee Benitez, smiled, albeit shyly, when we (a group of entertainment journalists spending the weekend in now visa-free Taiwan led by the feisty Lolit Solis) asked him about the news he has been included in the PDP-Laban list of men and women the party will field in the 2019 senatorial race.



Alfredo Abelardo Bantug Benitez

Benitez shoos off corrupt contractors from Marawi rehab




Published December 7, 2017, 3:56 PM
By Ben Rosario

MARAWI CITY – The chairman of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development on Thursday warned crooks behind the multi-million peso irregularities in the “super-typhoon Yolanda” housing projects to stay away from government reconstruction and rehabilitation program in this war-torn Mindanao locality.

Senior administration Rep. Albee Benitez (PDP-Laban, Negros Occidental) aired this warning as he asked the local government of Marawi City to submit the master plan for the city’s reconstruction, saying that a carefully laid urban design could make it the centerpiece of urban development.

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