Neophyte Congressmen undergo Legislators Executive Course at HOR

Maris Federez   •   June 17, 2019   •   1034

Newly elected congressmen have begun their training on legislation Monday (June 17) for them to get oriented on their roles and responsibilities as lawmakers in the 18th Congress that will officially open on July 22.   

Fifteen neophyte congressmen formed the first batch of three who will undergo the 3-day Legislators Executive Course at the House of Representatives (HOR).

The HOR and the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG) organized the executive course for new members of the incoming Congress.

The three batches of training are from Monday to Wednesday on June 17 to 19, June 24 to 26 and July 1 to 3.

By the end of the course, “participants shall have gained knowledge, honed skills and imbibed good values on policy-making particularly on development policy, planning, and programming for a better quality of life, well-being and sustainable human development” as indicated in the course overview.

UP National College on Pulbic Administration dean Maria Fe Mendoza assured, “tutulungan namin sila na malaman nila kung ang legislative process ang policy proces paaano sila gagalaw sa policy system mayroon tayo kasi hindi lahat ng gusto nilang gawin ay mangayayari mahirap kasi ang bill to become a law.”

House secretary-general Robert Maling said they will also focus on delineating the difference of the workflow between the local and national governments.

“Marami sa kanila ang galing sa local yung transition kasi from the local to the congress medyo kailangang gawin nating madali para sa kanila,” said Maling.

One of the trainees, Navotas Representative John Rey Tiangco, said that as a former city mayor, he embraced the necessity of undergoing the course, although such is not a requirement from them, as he recognizes the fact that the work of a mayor is so much different from that of a congressman.  

“Iba ang trabaho ng mayor sa Congressman. First time natin magiging congressman at iba sa legislation,” Tiangco added. (with reports from Grace Casin) /mbmf

Cayetano assures no delay in passing 2020 proposed National Budget

Marje Pelayo   •   September 17, 2019

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano assured that there will be no delays in the passage of the proposed National Budget for 2020 in the House of Representative (HOR).

However, there will be slight changes in the budget of several agencies such as the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Energy and Health.

The Lower House also vowed to scrutinize the funds for infrastructure projects to prevent ‘cuts’ or corruption in the government’s projects.

“There will be no post budget enactment intervention by any member of Congress dyan,” Cayetano said.

“So iyong ‘no pork, no parking, no delay,’ iyan na rin ang mantra namin, ( ‘No pork, no parking, no delay, that is our mantra now to),” Cayeteno said. – MNP (with details from Vincent Arboleda)

Neophyte Senators get key committees in Senate

Marje Pelayo   •   July 23, 2019

The Senate of the Philippines released on Tuesday (July 23) its first batch of elected chairpersons for different committees this 18th Congress.

  1. Agriculture & Food – Sen. Cynthia Villar (retained)
  2. Blue Ribbon Committee – Sen. Richard Gordon (retained)
  3. Constitutional Amendments & Revision of Codes – Sen. Kiko Pangilinan (formerly chaired by Sen. Franklin Drilon)
  4. Economic Affairs – Sen. Imee Marcos (formerly chaired by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian)
  5. Energy – Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian (retained)
  6. Finance – Sen. Sonny Angara (formerly chaired by ex-Senator Loren Legarda)
  7. Foreign relations – Sen. Koko Pimentel (formerly chaired by now House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano)
  8. Games & Amusement – Sen. Lito Lapid (formerly chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson)
  9. Health & Demography – Sen. Bong Go (formerly chaired by ex-Sen. JV Ejercito)
  10. Labor, Employment & Human resources development – Sen. Joel Villanueva (retained)
  11. Local Government – Sen. Francis Tolentino (formerly chaired by Sen. Sonny Angara)
  12. National Defense & Security – Sen. Panfilo Lacson (formerly chaired by now DICT chief Gringo Honasan)
  13. Public Information & Mass Media – Sen. Bong Revilla Jr. (formerly chaired by Sen. Grace Poe)
  14. Public Order & Dangerous Drugs – Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa (formerly chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson)
  15. Public Services – Sen. Grace Poe (retained)
  16. Public Works – Sen. Manny Pacquiao (retained)
  17. Social Justice, Welfare & Rural Development – Sen. Leila De Lima (formerly chaired by Sen. Cynthia Villar)
  18. Tourism – Sen. Nancy Binay (retained)
  19. Ways & Means- Sen. Pia Cayetano (formerly chaired by Sen. Sonny Angara)
  20. Women, Children, Family Relations & Gender Equality – Sen. Risa Hontiveros (retained)

Meanwhile, the Senate has yet to announce the chairpersons for the following key Senate Committees:

  1. Accounts
  2. Agrarian Reform
  3. Banks, Financial Institutions, and Currencies
  4. Civil Service and Government Reorganization
  5. Climate Change
  6. Cooperatives
  7. Cultural communities
  8. Education
  9. Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation
  10. Environment and Natural Resources
  11. Ethics and Privileges
  12. Government Corporations and Public Enterprises
  13. Justice and Human Rights
  14. Peace, Unification, and Reconciliation
  15. Rules
  16. Science and Technology
  17. Sports
  18. Trade and Commerce
  19. Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement
  20. Youth

Sotto reminds colleagues: Respect resource persons during Senate hearings

Robie de Guzman   •   July 22, 2019

Senate President Vicente Sotto III

MANILA, Philippines – Reelected Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Monday reminded his colleagues to respect the rights of the resource persons they invite in their inquiries, saying they are primarily legislators and not prosecutors.

“We are not prosecutors, we are not Judges, our hearings had been known to be precursors of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and even self-injury. It should not be the case,” Sotto said in his speech after he was reelected through viva voce.

“The constitution expressly provides that the rights of the invitees must be respected,” he added.

However, Sotto was quick to clarify that respecting the rights of resource persons does not mean they will be soft on those lying to them.

“I only mean that our inquiries should really be in aid of legislation, although I also believe that those who lie in our face must stay in our premises or Muntinlupa if they continue to do so. What I am only saying is that we are legislators, primarily,” he said.

Sotto retained his post as Senate President after he was after majority of senators voted for him at the start of the First Regular Session of the 18th Congress on Monday.

READ: Sotto retains post as Senate President

Sotto said the Senate will continue to be cooperative but independent and transparent on issues.

The senate leader also outlined some of the priority bills they will deliberate on in the 18th Congress, including the proposal to amend the Human Security Act of 2007 which will be called the Anti-Terrorism Act, the proposed Public Services Act, and the proposed national budget.

Sotto, meanwhile, sees heated debates ahead for the proposed revival of the death penalty. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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