Naturalization candidate Angelo Kouame. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/Tristan Tamayo
MANILA, Philippines — Angelo Kouame is a step closer to gaining Filipino citizenship as the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on second reading a bill seeking his naturalization.
Voting via viva voce, the lower chamber approved House Bill No. 8632, which seeks Filipino citizenship to the Ivorian cager, a step required for the athletes to compete under the Philippine flag.
The bill still has to go hurdle the third and final reading, which requires nominal voting, before it goes to the Senate.
Once it passes in the Senate, the bill will lapse into law after 30 days, although President Duterte can sign it before the 30 days are over to speed up the process.
Kouame was included in the 16-man lineup of Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers in Manama, Bahrain, but was not able to suit up due to his pending naturalization.
The center from Ateneo was named UAAP Rookie of the Year in 2018.
The Philippines is set to host the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup with Japan and Indonesia.

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