BACOLOD City Representative Greg Gasataya said majority members of the Visayan Bloc in the House of Representatives joined the lunch meeting called by former president and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in Quezon City last week.
"It was just a thanksgiving lunch and politics was not discussed during the occasion," Gasataya said.
He said there was no recruitment to join the regional party of Duterte-Carpio, Hugpong ng Pagbabago.
"We have manifested good working relationship with the regional party of Duterte because of the fact that most of its members are original members of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC)," Gasataya said.
He also said that those who attended the lunch were not only members of the Visayan Bloc but other congressmen from different political parties.
Duterte-Carpio supported Arroyo's speakership following a coup against former house speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Seven congressmen from Negros Occidental voted in favor of Arroyo as the new Speaker of the House.
They are Gasataya, First District Representative Melecio Yap Jr., Second District Representatoive Leo Cueva, Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez, Fifth District Representative Alejandro Mirasol, Sixth District Representative Mercedes Alvarez and Abang Lingkod party-list Representative Stephen Joseph Paduano.
Only Fourth District Representative Juliet Marie Ferrer was not able to cast her vote due to an official leave of absence.
Meanwhile, Gasataya said he filed a bill proposing to increase the bed capacity of Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) from 450 to 1,000 on July 25.
Gasataya said it is a given fact that 60 percent or more of the patients at CLMMRH are from Bacolod City.
With the bigger bed capacity, CLMMRH would be given a bigger budget, more facilities, and the needed infrastructure.
Hopefully, during the hearing of the proposed bill, concerns of all the stakeholders including the Department of Health would be heard, Gasataya added.