Friday, May 1, 2009 | 1:55 p.m.
The Philippines' House of Representatives does not have enough members to legislate next week, as at least 50 members, including the speaker of the House, are traveling to Las Vegas to attend this weekend's boxing match between national favorite Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton.
The lawmakers are not expected to return until next weekend, the Philippine Star reports.
The House was forced to adjourn for the remainder of the week early on Wednesday night after a roll-call revealed that only 100 of the 263 members were present. Compounding the problem is that at least eight members of the House are traveling with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to Egypt and Syria.
Critics of the government have said the lawmakers should not spend so conspicuously at a time when Filipinos are suffering from the affects of the global recession. Speaker Prospero Nograles, responding to the Star in a text message, said, "Travel is not official but personal, so we can’t control physically those who want to watch it live at their own personal expense."
In other news, the Star also reported that First Gentleman Jose Miguel Nograles would, due to health concerns, miss only his second Pacquiao fight.