House Minority lauds activation of oversight committee

A LAWMAKER has commended the move of the leadership of the House of Representatives to activate the Congressional Committee on Oversight, which scrutinizes fund
disbursements of government agencies.

“We welcome this move of the leadership of the House. The sooner the membership is announced and the Oversight Committee functions – it will be best,”  House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman (1st District, Albay) said during a press conference.

Lagman said the activation of the Oversight Committee will provide the proper avenue for Congress to look into how government agencies utilize their funds as allocated through the General Appropriations
Act (GAA).

The Oversight Committee is the only proper forum where pertinent investigations relating to the 2011 GAA can be conducted, Lagman said.

According to the House of Representatives website, the Oversight Committee’s functions include all matters directly and principally relating to the coordination of executive development planning and
congressional action specifically the review of the execution and effectiveness of laws pursued through the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) and the corresponding
implementing rules and regulations thereof.

“There is no precise limitation on the jurisdiction of the committee and that could be incidental to the exercise of its jurisdiction recommending the necessary sanctions against errant administrators or
executives,” Lagman said.

Meanwhile, Lagman said he does not consider the non-inclusion of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill from the list of priority measures for submission to the first LEDAC meeting as a setback.

“As long as the President does not backtrack from his endorsement of responsible parenthood and voluntary family planning, which are elements of the RH bill, then let me assure the public that it is very
much alive,” Lagman said.

Lagman said the House is already in the threshold of plenary debates, while in the Senate, the Chairman of the Committee handling the RH bill has already made several positive pronouncements.

“It is not a setback because the President did not backtrack,” Lagman reiterated.

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