THE House of Representatives has unanimously approved the naturalization bills for Ange Kouame and Bienve Maranon on third and final reading on Tuesday.
The House Plenary's decision grants the Ivorian center and the Spanish striker Filipino citizenship in the hope that their respective national teams can field them for future international competitions.
House Bill No. 8632 for Kouame, penned by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) vice chairman and Antipolo First District Rep. Robbie Puno, got an overwhelming 210-0 vote on third reading.
Meanwhile, House Bill No. 8631 for Maranon, authored by Manila First District Rep. Manny Lopez, received a 206-0 vote on the floor.
The ball is now on the Senate's court where Kouame's case is championed by SBP chairman Sen. Sonny Angara, whose Senate Bill No. 1892 is listed as still pending as of Nov. 9, 2020.
On the other hand, Maranon has Sen. Miguel Zubiri backing him up with Senate Bill No. 1391, with its status also pending as of March 3, 2020.
Once the bills are passed by both chambers, both Kouame and Maranon would need the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte to be full-fledged Filipinos.