By Ellson Quismorio
Two new members of the House of Representatives took their oath Monday on the resumption of sessions following a month-long recess.
Taking their seats in the chamber were South Cotabato 1st district Rep. Shirlyn Bañas Nograles and Marino Party-List Rep. Macnell Lusotan.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano separately administered the oaths of Nograles and Lusotan, who became the 300th and 301st members of the House in the 18th Congress, respectively.
The Supreme Court (SC) last September ordered the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) to proclaim the victory of Nograles as South Cotabato representative. She is a former General Santos City vice mayor.
Meanwhile, Lusotan replaced Jose Antonio Lopez as second nominee of Marino Party-List. The latter resigned from his post and the group due to “personal reasons” shortly after the start of the current Congress last July.
Solons chip in
In another development, Speaker Cayetano bared during the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony Monday that 90 congressmen, or almost a third of the House membership, have committed to donate to the relief and rehabilitation efforts in areas hit by the spate of major earthquakes in Mindanao.
“Walang minimum, kanya-kanya. May nag-pledge ng 20 (thousand) may nag-pledge ng 50, may nag-pledge 100. Galing ito sa sweldo nila (There’s no minimum donation, it’s up to them. There are those who pledged 20, 50, and 100 thousand. It’s from their salaries),” said Cayetano.
Since October 16, earthquakes reaching magnitudes of 6.3, 6.6, and 6.5 have jolted the southern region of Mindanao, damaging thousands of structures as a result. Around a dozen people were killed by the tremblors.
The House leader said cash donations are preferred since it would help the local economy of Mindanao to purchase relief goods in the affected areas.