Senate committee membership nearly complete: Sotto
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said on Thursday the chairmanship of committees for the next Congress is ''95 percent complete''.
In a phone-patch interview with reporters, Sotto said he along with incumbent and new members of th
The Senate discussed this during a meeting Wednesday night.
"(The meeting) went well because we made it as an introductory welcome dinner for the incoming (senators). There were five incoming senators who attended. (Senator Cynthia) Villar was not able to go because she's still abroad," Sotto said.
Sotto said committee chairmanships might resolve itself after asking senators to write their preferred committees after the dinner. He said some senators have high chances in securing their preferred committees.
According to Sotto, Senator Christopher ''Bong'' Go will handle the committees on health and urban planning, both previously chaired by former Senator JV Ejercito.
Sotto also said Senator Manny Pacquiao has offered Go the committee on sports "so that Go can lead the upcoming Southeast Asian Games."
In a TV interview Thursday, Pacquiao said he will let go being chairman of the committee on sports asked Go take over.
"I actually offered the sports committee to Bong Go because I have a lot on my plate so he can see the situation of sports in our country," Pacquiao said.
Go might be vice chair for the committee on education.
Sotto added Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa will chair the committee on public order and dangerous drugs, previously led by Senator Panfilo Lacson. Senator Lito Lapid will lead in committee on games and amusements also held by Lacson.
Senator Koko Pimentel will chair the committee on foreign relation and Senator Kiko Pangilinan still retain the chairmanship of the committee on constitutional amendments.
Senator Nancy Binay will take over as the chair for the committee on climate change, last handled by former Senator Loren Legarda. The committee on finance, which was also Legarda's committee, will be soon led by Senator Sonny Angara.
Senator Grace Poe will get the committee on public services and is eyeing to grab former Senator Chiz Escudero's committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies, Sotto said.
Sotto said Poe is set to give up the committee on public information and mass media, which might go to Senator Imee Marcos or Senator Bong Revilla.
"Senator Bong Go wants the (committee on) civil service and public information and mass media. However, Imee was also interested in the committee on public information and mass media," Sotto said.
Marcos is also eyeing for the committee on social justice, welfare, and rural development of Senator Leila de Lima; and Senator Cynthia Villar's committee on agrarian reform, said Sotto.
Senators Francis Tolentino and Pia Cayetano have no committees yet.
Other committees whose composition was not settled were the committee on ways and means as well as the committee on agrarian reform, Sotto said.
Sotto clarified that the senators will not decide what committees they will chair.
"It depends on the majority, whoever we will elect. We will still discuss it. Bong (Revilla) might give way to Imee," he said.
"We will vote. It is not the lone or the individual senator who says what he wants or what he does not want. Everything that you are talking about will be voted upon on the 23rd of July."
Sotto said the committee chairmanship is crucial for senators because it allows them to promote their advocacy. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS