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Only one law passed by legislators in 2013!?
« on: January 18, 2014, 01:03:23 PM »
from a Philippine Star columnist:

Change the Constitution for political change

carmen-n-pedrosa - Only one law passed by legislators in 2013!? - Philippine Business News
FROM A DISTANCE
By Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star)
January 18, 2014

I received an interesting posting from election lawyer Romulo Macalintal. He said “With only one law passed, it’s time to abolish Congress.“

He goes on to say just how much was spent by Filipino taxpayers to have that one law passed. “The very dismal performance of our legislators in 2013 with only one insignificant law enacted for that year with a whopping P35.2 billion budget, is enough justification to call for a Charter change to abolish Congress and let the provincial governors and mayors of highly urbanized cities to form the legislative assembly.“

Worse he adds that “based on the 2013 budget of Congress, the annual appropriation for the Senate and the House of Representatives was P3.3 billion and P6.4 billion respectively.”

-emphasis mine

Linkback: https://tubagbohol.mikeligalig.com/index.php?topic=77366.0
Republic Act 8485 (Animal Welfare Act of 1998, Philippines), as amended and strengthened by House  Bill 6893 of 2013--- violation means a maximum of P250,000 fine with a corresponding three-year jail term and a minimum of P30,000 fine and six months imprisonment

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Re: Only one law passed by legislators in 2013!?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2014, 01:05:28 PM »
He cites even more shocking details like “P500 million was the annual budget of the Commission on Appointments made up also of senators and representatives.”

“The annual pork barrel of a senator is P200 million or a total of P4.8 billion for 24 senators; while the annual pork barrel per representative is P70 million or a total of P20.2 billion for 289 representatives.”

In effect we spent P35.2 billion for that one law passed in 2013. The one page law was RA 10632 which suspended the 2013 Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

-emphasis mine

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Re: Only one law passed by legislators in 2013!?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2014, 01:06:51 PM »
Macalintal is right and I think it is a reasonable demand to “abolish Congress.” But there is a caveat and that is what I want to warn my readers about. It may be true that we spend a shocking amount for a useless Congress but abolishing that branch of government is not enough.

On the contrary, it has its dangerous streak. Lurking at the back of what looks like a good thing is something that can even be more tragic to Filipinos — absolute control of government by the executive. If you consider that it is the executive that corrupts Congress with PDAF and DAP, then it would be a mistake. Why remove one and not the other? The briber in fact is more reprehensible than the bribed.

I am glad that he adds, however, that given our predicament we ought to consider seriously the need to amend our Constitution. But I do not agree with him that “the abolition of Congress should be its first priority. “ Indeed that would be dangerous and reckless if in the interim we would be left with the dictatorship of the executive. Piecemeal amendments will not solve the evil governance that the 1987 Constitution has spurred and sustained to the detriment of the Filipino nation. We need to change the entire Constitution for a new politics with a new governmental structure.

http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2014/01/18/1280094/change-constitution-political-change

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Re: Only one law passed by legislators in 2013!?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2014, 11:34:22 AM »
As I See It

P35.2B for just one law in 2013

By Neal H. Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Tuesday, January 28th, 2014


Do you know that we taxpayers spent P35.2 billion last year for just one insignificant law? That’s how much we spent for Congress, including the Commission on Appointments (CA) which is composed of senators and congressmen, and their pork barrel, which had not yet been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last year. In return, Congress last year passed only one minor law: the one-page Republic Act No. 10632, which suspended the 2013 Sangguniang Kabataan elections. For that one law, Filipino taxpayers spent P35.2 billion! That merits a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

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Re: Only one law passed by legislators in 2013!?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2014, 11:35:00 AM »
This was revealed in a statement given to me by election lawyer Romulo Makalintal.

“While Congress also passed the 2014 budget in 2013, the same should not even be considered an accomplishment since it is Congress’ obligation to pass [it]…,” Makalintal said. “As a matter of fact, the Constitution provides that if Congress fails to pass the budget law for a particular year, the budget for the preceding year is ‘deemed reenacted and shall remain in force and effect.’

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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2014, 11:35:54 AM »
“In year 2011, the Senate’s budget was P2.6 billion, HR (House of Representatives) with P8.3 billion, and the CA with P400 million. In 2012, the Senate’s budget was P2.9 billion, the HR  P5.8 billion and the CA P500 million. Again, with this huge amount and their respective pork barrels, the years 2011 and 2012 did not likewise prove to be very significant years for Congress in terms of performance and accomplishment. It only came up with the reproductive health bill and the postponement of the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to synchronize with the 2013 national and local elections, as their major legislation.”

Makalintal proposed the amendment of the Constitution to abolish Congress. Legislation can be enacted by the provincial boards which accurately know the needs of their constituents, he said.

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Re: Only one law passed by legislators in 2013!?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2014, 11:36:33 AM »
The huge savings that would be generated when Congress is abolished can be used to finance more urgent needs, like the rehabilitation of areas devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” he added.

We do waste a lot of taxpayer money on Congress, but I will not go as far as to call for its abolition. Limiting its session time would be enough.

That’s what is done in other countries. Urgent bills are accumulated and then the legislature is called to a session, for a limited time, to act on these bills. The legislators are paid only when they attend the sessions, unlike here when they are paid for the whole year and even when they do not attend sessions.

Not a bad idea. It would reduce absenteeism in Congress and save the people a lot of money.

http://opinion.inquirer.net/70503/p35-2b-for-just-one-law-in-2013#ixzz2rolIRLCA



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