The House of Representatives on Tuesday night recalled the third reading approval of the Palace-backed Public Private Partnership bill at the behest of several opposition lawmakers.
The House, in plenary session, agreed to cancel the approval of House Bill 6631 that was approved last Monday after House deputy minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares moved for a recall, saying it violated Section 28, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.
Earlier, the House in voice voting approved the proposed PPP Act.
But citing a constitutional provision, Colmenares, a member of the Makabayan Bloc, said that “no law granting any tax exemption shall be passed without the concurrence of a majority of all the members of Congress.”
“I voted ‘no’ to the PPP bill because it will institutionalize sovereign guaranty through the viability gap fund and take away checks and balance by castrating the local government unit’s role and centralize authority to Malacanang,” Colmenares said.
He said that PPP bill empowers the President to automatically grant permits and licenses, and even franchises to private sector participants.
“It even grants tax exemptions and deprives both the national government and LGUs of taxes, fees and charges. This will deprive the people of accessible public service and take away billions in public funds from our people’s needs,” Colmenares said.
House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales said there was nothing violative about its approval as claimed by Colmenares because the measure has yet to be enacted into law.
Gonzales said it was not the first time a bill like PPP was recalled after approval since the recall is part of the legislative process.
Congress will adjourn session beginning February 5 to pave the way for the election campaign.