Rep. Pacquiao excused from being a congressman so he can train for boxing match

For the next few months, both houses of Philippine Congress will be tackling what is probably the most important law they will pass this year: next year’s national budget.

Passing the national budget is a grueling process that involves grilling heads of government agencies, waiting for them to justify their existence, and crunching numbers to see if the books are balanced.

Like so.

Luckily for at least one member of Congress, though, not everyone has to endure the mind-numbing exercise that is passing the budget.

Part-time Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, for example, will be missing the debates because he’ll be getting ready for his match with Mexican boxer Antonio Margarito.

Pacquiao, who flew into Los Angeles today, says he plans to sleep in his office at the Batasan Pambansa when he comes back so he won’t have to miss plenary sessions.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte has offered a solution that will allow Pacquiao to be both pro fighter and congressman. Rep. Pacquiao will be excused from Congress sessions when his training starts.

It doesn’t matter if he’s late or absent for a couple of days. Sabihin niya (He can tell us) he’s doing a patriotic duty,” he said.