(Almost) Burning Down The House

Your correspondent would not have had anywhere to post from had a fire that broke out at the House of Representatives been serious, and not just trolling.

Although the House has its own firetrucks, much like many of the congressmen at the House, they do not work:

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., however, was dismayed after fire trucks inside the Batasan Pambansa complex which responded to the incident were (found) not functioning.

“I just want to find out why nobody is saying or even informed us that the fire truck is not functioning but I am unhappy,” Belmonte said.


Belmonte has reportedly summoned the House’s engineering department to explain. Fire trucks from nearby barangays Commonwealth and Fairview were first on the scene even though, technically, House fire trucks were already there.

House Secretary General Marilyn Barua-Yap said there was no actual fire.

In a text message, she said the smoke was caused by faulty wiring inside the electrical box near the building’s elevator.

As a result of the incident, House employees whose offices were affected by the power-line spark were sent home.

Barua-Yap said personnel from the House engineering department and the Quezon City fire department were fixing the situation as of posting time.

Members of the House, on vacation when the incident happened, cursed at the ill timing of the potentially convenient excuse to skip the afternoon legislative session.

(thx, House Indio)

Just Another Day At The Office

Our friends at Congressional Observer (who are even more indolent than us when it comes to updates) report the House of Representatives has been as quiet as a tomb these past few weeks.

Have you ever seen a Congress that is really quiet? During session breaks, it is really a ghost town. With the exception of a few personnel with security, ancillary and auxiliary functions, Congress is indeed silent.

Check it out:

North Wing Lobby, House of Representatives


Second Floor, North Wing

With our honorable congressmen and -women presumably in their home districts (but actually lording it up in some foreign land, most probably), the halls of the House are haunted only by bills still-born or talked to death. Like the past versions of the Reproductive Health bill and the various bills against political dynasties that have gathered dust in committees headed by members of political dynasties.

Ah, but hope springs eternal!

 All Congress employees will get back to work on November 8. Most of the Chamber’s 285 members (that’s Congressmen and Congresswomen for you) will get back to work on November 14 after a month off from legislative work.

Which, actually means very little.

As this picture tweeted by Kabataan Party-List Representative Mong Palatino shows, most congressmen are on vacation even when Congress is in session:

Says Kabataan Rep. Mong Palatino: "It's an empty house, and it's only 6pm"

Anyway, see you on the 14th, House-mates! ;p