LP, NP members head Appropriations, Tourism, Accounts panels in House

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At least two congressmen from the ruling Liberal Party (LP) and one from the Nacionalista Party (NP) will get three prime committee chairmanships in the House of Representatives, it was learned Thursday.

A member of the 16th Congress who did not want to be identified because he lacks the authority to speak on the matter, said Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento will head the Committee on Appropriations and Nancy Catamco of North Cotabato, the Committee on Tourism.

Sarmiento and Catamco belong to the LP.

Nacionalista Eleandro Jesus Madrona of Romblon will chair the Committee on Accounts, the source said.

“These three are most likely to get it [chairmanships]. I believe that the Speaker and Cong Boyet Gonzales are having a meeting today to discuss Committee matters,” he said in a text message.

The source was referring to Reps. Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. and Neptali Gonzales 2nd of Mandaluyong who are set to retain their Speaker and House Majority Leader spots in the 16th Congress.

Sarmiento, the LP secretary general, was Vice Chairman of three House Committees in the 15th Congress: Appropriations, National Defense and Security and Public order and Safety. He is on his second term in Congress.

The second-termer Catamco, will head the Tourism panel after serving as the vice chairman of the Committees on Land Use and National Cultural Communities.

“Catamco applied for it because she wants to promote tourism for the Indigenous People (IP), being an IP herself. She hails from the Manobo tribe,” the source pointed out.

The last-termer Madrona will be reclaiming his post as the chairman of the Accounts panel. In the 15thCongress, Madrona was the vice chairman of the committees on Games and Amusements and Transportation.

The party-list lawmakers, the source added, will also get a fair share of the committees.

“The Committees given to party-list lawmakers during the 15th Congress will be the same that will be given to them for 16th Congress such as Committees on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Overseas Workers Affairs, among others,” the source said.

There are at least 69 committees in the House, including special committees.

LLANESCA T. PANTI

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