Without enough warm bodies on the floor, the House of Representatives failed to approve the P14.6 billion supplemental budget for disaster relief Monday night.
Only 129 congressmen responded to the roll call around 8:30 p.m—not enough for a quorum. Half of the House’s 292 House must be present in the plenary to constitute a quorum.
The roll call was made after Abakada Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, an opposition lawmaker, questioned the quorum.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd has certified as urgent House Bill 3423 providing for the supplemental budget.
Before dela Cruz questioned the quorum, the House was able to approve Joint Resolution 7—a measure which extended the validity of calamity fund, quick response fund, savings, among other unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations under the 2013 budget until December 2014—on third and final reading.
Of the 211 lawmakers who responded during the first roll call, 196 voted in favor of Joint Resolution 7.
Both the P14.6 billion supplemental budget and Joint Resolution 7 will be used to fund the rehabilitation of areas ravaged by typhoons Labuyo, Odette, Pablo, Sendong, Santi, Vinta and Yolanda, the Zamboanga siege staged by the Moro National Liberation Front faction led by Nur Misuari and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Cebu and Bohol.
LLANESCA T. PANTI