IVORIAN center Angelo Kouame and Spanish striker Bienvenido Marañon are one step closer to gaining Filipino citizenship.
The House Committee on Justice has formally approved the committee reports seeking naturalization for the two athletes on Thursday, with the House Plenary about to sponsor the bills by Monday.
Now, both bills will only need to go through second and third reading to get passed in the House of Representatives.
House Bill No. 5951, authored by Antipolo First District Rep. Robbie Puno, is seeking to grant Filipino citizenship to Kouame.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is aiming to make the UAAP Season 80 Rookie of the Year from Ateneo as one of Gilas Pilipinas' naturalized players for future competitions.
In the same grain, House Bill No. 7427, penned by Manila First District Rep. Manny Lopez, is hoping the United City skipper can be included by the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) in the Philippine Azkals' pool in the future.
Those bills have already been approved last Dec. 2.
The Senate has also made moves granting naturalization to the two athletes. Sen. Sonny Angara, who is the SBP chairman, filed Senate Bill No. 1892 for Kouame.
Meanwhile, Maranon's case was championed by Sen. Miguel Zubiri, who authored Senate Bill No. 1391.
Once passed by both chambers, both Kouame and Maranon need only the signature of President Duterte to become full-fledged Filipinos.