HOUSE RULES

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XII. DECORUM AND DEBATE

Section 88. Manner of Addressing the Chair. When any Member desires to speak or deliver any matter to the House, such Member shall rise and respectfully address the Chair as "Mister Speaker" or "Madam Speaker", as the case may be, and, on being recognized, may address the House from any place on the floor. Debate may include references to actions taken by the Senate or by committees thereof which are a matter of public record, references to the pendency or sponsorship in the Senate of bills, resolutions, and amendments, factual descriptions relating to Senate action or inaction concerning a measure then under debate in the House, and quotations from Senate proceedings on a measure then under debate in the House and which are relevant to the making of legislative history establishing the meaning of that measure, but may not include characterizations of Senate action or inaction, other references to individual Members of the Senate, or other quotations from Senate proceedings.

Section 89. Recognition of Member. The Chair shall recognize a Member who rises to speak. When two (2) or more Members rise at the same time, the Chair shall recognize who shall speak first: Provided, That as far as practicable, Members of the Majority and the Minority shall be allowed to speak alternately on the floor.

Section 90. Time Limit. A Member shall not be allowed to speak for more than one (1) hour in debate on any question. No Member shall speak more than once on the same question without leave of the House, unless the Member is the proponent of the motion or has introduced the question of the matter pending, in which case the Member shall be permitted to speak in reply, but not until every Member who chooses to speak on the pending question or matter shall have spoken.

Section 91. Sponsor to Open and Close Debate. The Member sponsoring a measure shall open and close the debate. If the debate extends beyond one (1) day without being closed, the Member shall be entitled to an additional thirty (30) minutes to close the debate.

Section 92. Decorum. AMember who has the floor shall speak only on the question under debate, avoid personalities in all cases and refrain from indecorous words or acts. The Chair may, motu proprio, or as the House may direct, declare statements, remarks or words unparliamentary, and order that these be stricken off the record. A Member who calls to order another Member for words spoken in debate, shall indicate the words objected to. The Secretary General shall note and read aloud such words. However, the Member who is called to order shall not be held to answer nor be subject to censure by the House if further debate or other business intervenes.

Section 93. Conduct and Attire During Sessions and Committee Meetings. Members shall wear proper attire which is barong filipino or coat and tie for men, and Filipina dress or business suit for women, and observe proper decorum during sessions and committee meetings. During Monday sessions, female Members are encouraged to wear traditional Filipina dress and male Members are encouraged to wear barong filipino. Members who are not in proper attire shall be considered absent. Officers and members of the Secretariat shall also wear proper attire which is the prescribed official uniform during sessions and committee meetings.

Members shall not be allowed to stand near the Secretary General's desk during roll call or counting of votes, pass between the Chair and another Member who has the floor, walk out or walk across the session hall while the Speaker is addressing the House or putting a question. Cellular phones and other similar electronic devices shall be put in silent mode so as not to disrupt the proceedings.

Section 94. Smoking Prohibited. Smoking is prohibited inside the session hall, conference rooms and other enclosed areas except in smoking areas designated as such by the Secretary General.

SOURCE: Committee on Rules