MANILA -- The wife of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad Jr. was assigned as chair of the House energy committee while an absentee lawmaker will head the committee on science and technology.

Nine more House chairmanships were assigned in Wednesday's session including the committee on energy to Representative Henedina Abad (lone district, Batanes) and the committee on science and technology to perennial absentee Representative Julio Ledesma IV (first district, Negros Occidental).

Some leftist groups earlier criticized the Abad family for occupying too many posts in government. The daughter of the Abad couple, Julia, is the Presidential Management Staff head while her brother, Luis, is the chief of staff of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

Meanwhile, asked whether Ledesma's attendance record will affect the performance of his committee, Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales II told Sun.Star in a text message that "he has already promised to attend (sessions and committee hearings)".

Gonzales added that there are only nine committees out of 69 left to be organized by the House of Representatives. Some committees have already started their organizational meetings this week. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)