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Are lawmakers working? House attendance record ordered released

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House of Representatives. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Tension caused by the delays on the passage of key measures at the House of Representatives has prompted its leadership to release copies of their attendance at session.

Asked whether they would do a “shame campaign” on legislators who keep on skipping sessions, House majority leader Neptali Gonzales II said that Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has already directed House secretary general Marilyn Barua-Yap to release copies of their attendance and show who among their ranks were usually absent.

Lawmakers’ attendance records are part of the House journals which are available for download in PDF form from www.congress.gov.ph/download/index.php?d=journals

Since the resumption of session last November 5, lawmakers have only been able to muster a quorum once. This was last Monday when they approved on third and final reading the controversial K-12 measure.

Despite the House leadership’s text brigades reminding legislators of the need to attend sessions by Tuesday, lawmakers once again failed to constitute a quorum.

Manila Representative Amado Bagatsing on Thursday said he had no problems with a shame campaign on congressmen who were always absent but pointed out that work in their respective districts weigh more for many lawmakers.

“You might be superman in Manila but a son of a gun in your district. Then you are nobody. Take care of your district and their needs and basic services [and you’ll return to Congress],” he said in a media forum.

Absenteeism has sparked discord within the ranks of congressmen and has particularly angered lawmakers pushing for the approval of the Reproductive Health Bill. Pangasinan Representative Kimi Cojuangco on Wednesday started her criticisms on the House leadership’s inability to make their members show up during session.

She revealed in her Twitter account that House majority leader Neptali Gonzales II told her that the RH Bill’s passage was unlikely in the 15th Congress and that the measure would have to be repackaged for the next Congress.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. himself said that they kept on reminding their members to attend session but could not do anything else aside from that.

Gonzales said that they could not resort to threats on their colleagues, pointing out on Wednesday “we’ve been doing our share of what should be done. The most we can do is appeal to them.”

“They’re already grown up. We need not resort to making threats,” he said, explaining that since the RH Bill was an unfinished business at the plenary it could be taken up anytime.

He admitted that passing the RH Bill was a challenging task but said “there are many things that should be done with the RH Bill.”

“Of course that will depend on the people,” he said, referring to the presence of enough warm bodies at plenary. “How will you discuss it, once an objection is raised we will stop.”

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Tags: Nation , News , RH bill

  • popeyee

    Mr. Bagatsing, Kung matimbang ang trbaho nyo sa inyong district kaysa sa umupo sa congress at magpasa ng mga batas, bakit di na lang kayo kumandidato ng barangay captain o mayor o konsehal ng sa ganon ay lagi kayong nakatutok sa inyong constituents? Ipokrito!

    • calipso_2100

      Walang pork barrel executive branch. WALA.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6UL2UG4OGTMCLSYGB5MVJ7USE InSearchOfTruth

      mas maganda kung barangay kagawad para pwede sya lagi rumoronda sa mga constituents nya :-D

  • azkal futbol

    kapal ng mga mukha ng mga tongresman na mga to, parang totoong nagtatrabaho… mahiya kayo, pera ng taumbayan yan, karma sa mga pamilya nyo

  • calipso_2100

    “pointed out that work in their respective districts weigh more for many lawmakers.”

    What work? Like building of bridges, concreting of roads, waiting shades, basketball courts, basketball leagues, miss barangay, miss gay, etc etc?  Are these the job of a LAWMAKER?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6UL2UG4OGTMCLSYGB5MVJ7USE InSearchOfTruth

      yan nga nga ata ang bagong trabaho ng kongreso…

    • tukmoldinako

      baka dun ginagastos yung pork barrel sa miss gay, lol

  • ApoNiLolo

    “You might be superman in Manila but a son of a gun in your district. Then you are nobody. Take care of your district and their needs and basic services [and you’ll return to Congress],” he said in a media forum. ”

    The main duties of congressmen is to enact laws, be a member of a committee, appropriate funds for their district and act as its representative. Taking care of its needs and basic services is the job of the governor and the local government.

    • tukmoldinako

      looks like only enact laws, no implementation of laws, sarap naman pala ng buhay nila, pano gagampanan itong pork barrel kung walang services. tanong lang po

      • ApoNiLolo

        Kung hindi ma-epal ang kongresman nyo, gasino bang ipasa nya sa local government ang “appropriated funds” or pork barrel.

  • speedstream2

    Excuses, excuses. That’s all we get for the millions of hard-earned taxpayers money we allocate for so-called lawmakers? Truth be told, this taking-care-of-our-district alibi is kind of lame, rings hollow and already getting tiresome. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RRFGBCEJ6OURIE3PW3I5YCH3FQ Hideki

    #1 sa absenteism..cong.pacquiao…#2 jules ledesma..

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4RTUWGDGU2Y6GH23BBJGJ6HJHI JOLO

    I think the idea here is good but hopefully the speaker will advise the house secretary general to release a summarized attendance report before the election. Moreover, it would be better also to release the the legislative work of all the congressmen. Having this the people will get to know more their representative.

  • basilionisisa

    Can Manila Representative Amado Bagatsing give us examples of work in his District he is so busy about that he always skips Congress where his principal job is as an elected Lawmaker?

    Well, he is not afraid to be shamed, so can the Inquirer please do a research on his personal accomplishments, things good and beneficial to his district, excluding early campaigning?

  • Timothy Te-Co

    The primary purpose to which Congressmen are voted upon by their respective districts is to enact laws, what the….does Cong. Bagatsing mean by “You might be superman in Manila but a son of a gun in your district. Then you are nobody. Take care of your district and their needs and basic services [and you’ll return to Congress],”  Attending to basic services of the people in your district is the job of local executive department. Naloko na….

    • calipso_2100

      We have to oversee projects funded by our pork barrels is the usual excuse.

    • Timothy Te-Co

      Maganda po nyan Cong. Bagatsing, sa tuwing may ipapanukalang batas ang isang Congressman na tulad mo, ay may pagpupulong na gagawin sa distrito nyo, ipatawag ang karamihan sa mga nasasakop nyo at ipaliwanag sa kanila ang kahihinatnan ng batas na yon, yung epekto sa kanila, para bang SONA din. Tapos balik ka na sa Congress para sabihin naman dun ang saloobin ng mga sinasakupan mo, kung ayaw nila o ok lang sa kanila. Anak ng tipaklong naman Congressman yung katwiran mo, muntik akong mahulog sa upuan ko sa pahayag mo.

  • francis820

    I think the distinguished gentleman from Manila has mistaken his position for a mayor or barangay captain… sigh…

  • tukmoldinako

    wag lang attendance ang halughugin, pati key performance ng mga mambabatas kung may mga nagawa nga ba sila puro butas silya lang ata mga yan at paano manipulahin ang kanilang pork barrel ang inaatupag.

    mga nasasakupan nyo nakakaawa naman

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6UL2UG4OGTMCLSYGB5MVJ7USE InSearchOfTruth

    “You might be superman in Manila but a son of a gun in your district. Then you are nobody. Take care of your district and their needs and basic services [and you’ll return to Congress],” he said in a media forum.

    but the primary job of the house of representative is to “represent” their constituents in the national congress.  so, anong ipo-provide na basic services sa bawat distrito?  hindi ba ang basic services eh under ng local government?  alam kaya ni bagatsing ang trabaho ng kongreso?

  • joshmale2004

    Kung gusto natin talagang tumino ang mga pulitko natin at magtrabaho at mabawasan corruption,   mas maganda siguro i revise ang constitution at gawing 1 term lang lahat mamumuno mula Barangay Captain hanggang Presidente. Bawalan din tumakbo ang immediate family pagkatapos ng 6 years ng bawat namumuno. Imagine ang matitipid sa gastos. Imbes na every 3 years may election, minsanan na every 6 years. Di rin makakapag pundo para sa politkal dynasty mga nakaupo. Madali ding mahuhuli ang mga nagnanakaw na pulitiko dahil hindi pang habangbuhay matatakpan ang ginawa nila.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MXOWXSFICOTS2EABQMULUO7UTY Rommel Jason

    Hindi ba alam ni Bagatsing that they are legislators and are not part of the executive branch? Kaya nga in the first place dapat ang legistators walang pork barrel e. Dahil ang trabaho nila gumawa ng batas at hndi intindihin ang needs and services ng distrito nya.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VUFRGRCCA5JXOLKEVCJQ3FBW3Y Concerned Citizen

    Most congressmen do not really like their jobs.  This is a fact that hopefully the real lawmakers will address because the house of representatives as an institution has reached its lowest points and is in fact almost negligible now. The people even view congress now more as a burden and an unnecessary cost.   If the legislative branch of government continues with their output, the country will continue to slide in every aspect that is measurable.  We might find ourselves at the bottom of rankings sooner than we might even think.

  • bugoybanggers

    Dapat lang, yung attendance ng mga representative nila kasama na ang mga Party List Rep. I-post ito na naka BILLBOARD sa harap ng CITY/MUNICIPAL HALL o sa Provincial Hall. Mas maganda pa nga sa PUBLIC MARKET para kita ng lahat ng antas na BOTANTE. Masaktan na kung masaktan at dapat lang, pero yung mga DAHILAN (Rason ng ABOGADO) isa sa sisira sa patakarang ito. Sarili nilang kagustuhan kaya nabababoy ang Gobyerno ng PILIPINAS.

  • isprikitoy

    “Manila Representative Amado Bagatsing on Thursday said he had no problems with a shame campaign on congressmen who were always absent but pointed out that work in their respective districts weigh more for many lawmakers.
    “You might be superman in Manila but a son of a gun in your district. Then you are nobody. Take care of your district and their needs and basic services [and you’ll return to Congress],” he said in a media forum. ”
    Dapat pala Mayor or Governor na lang ang pwesto nila!!!!

  • sakinlang

    For the nation’s sake Mr. Speaker, impose discipline among your ranks! Give orientation to congressmen like Bagatsing kung ano talaga ang trabaho nila. If they want to act like Barangay Captains, then they must not be in Congress! Kung hindi mo kayang idisiplina yang mga tongressmen mo, umalis ka na diyan! Mabuti pa sigurong gawing gas chamber yang kongreso.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AH7MNEFRF4G4ZQ6PA2OE4Z3BEU Verlito

    Congress and Senate are a financial burden to the nation. The Filipino people need to find ways to get rid of them once and for all. If we had to examine their legislative outputs and the quality thereof, it cannot even justify the billions of pesos they are spending annually.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6NVJE4NYLGDSCO6KQ4GWP35SVM Macario

    Pwede bang, sa tuwing absent ang isang congressman e may memo na parang ordinaryong manggagawa tapos pag nakailang ulit e terminated na? O kaya naman, bawas sa sahod kada absent. Siguro naiisip ni Cong. Bagatsing e napakadami nang batas ang nandyan at di nakailangan pang gumawa ng bago kaya lamyerda lamyerda na lang. Baka nagtatraffic aid si Congressman pag wala sa kongreso…sakit mo sa ulo Congressman…madapaka ka…

  • Hey_Dudes

    This is the biggest scam ever committed to the citizens with the Filipino people being the culprits for easily influenced into electing these scam experts of the highest order.

  • $5699914

    No attendance, no pay dapat!

  • Gerald Abueva

    Speaker Belmonte is being less than transparent here. Instead of providing us the information of Congressional Attendance Record in clear understandable tabulated format, he is providing the minutes of the meeting or house journals. In short, Speaker Belmonte is hoping to discourage citizens from finding out the attendance record by letting them tediously comb through each house journal and tabulate on their own.

    If Speaker Belmonte truly wanted to release the attendance record of the Congress, he should direct the House Secretary to provide the tabulated attendance for the last three years and UPLOAD them under the tab of STATISTICAL MEASURES. The House Journals can be used as reference should detailed information be needed. As of 1600h today 22-Nov-2012, the said tab (STATISTICAL MEASURES) is completely empty. E-M-P-T-Y. The House of Representatives under Speaker Belmonte maintains a website with virtually no useful information in it. The website of course requires a web server and a web administrator which all cost money. In short, Speaker Belmonte is wasting our tax money on a website the House rarely updates.

    Moreover, the tabulated attendance record must be broken down into (1) Full attendance, (2) Present only in the beginning, (3) Present only in the closing and (4) Absent. Going through the house journals, it is easy to spot the huge difference between names present during opening roll-call and quorum roll-call. Simply put, cutting classes ang maraming congresista. Pucha naman!

    Speaker Belmonte, konting pulido naman sa trabaho niyo. Wag yung incomplete submission.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDXEVEFHW2ZT5VWHDWBNM6XGE4 RyanE

    “Take care of your district and their needs and basic services [and you’ll return to Congress],”

    What the heck! That’s the work of the LGUs, mayors or governors. Your work as representatives is to protect jueteng lords err propose bills and enact laws!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/E4QT2QOIDHINWJ2CE2WIHNYNIA Shine

    Working congressmen ~ oxymoronic

  • kypros

    Are lawmakers working? I doubt it. nandiyan lang sila para sa pork barrel at sa proteksyon ng sarili nilang interest. ni hindi nga siguro alam ng karamihan diyan kung ano talaga pangangailangan ng mga nirerepresent nila. tingnan niyo pag tinatawag silang mga buwaya tatawa-tawa lang mga buwaya ng inang mga iyan!

  • TwiggyRamirez

    “Manila Representative Amado Bagatsing on Thursday said he had no problems with a shame campaign on congressmen who were always absent but pointed out that work in their respective districts weigh more for many lawmakers.”

    — eh, sana po pala nag Mayor or Baranggay Kagawad na lang kayo kung ganyan pala ang pagkaka intindi ninyo sa trabaho nyo sa Kongreso. Talaga bang ganito ka bobo ang mga nasa Kongreso natin? Halatang Pork Barrel lang hinabol ng mga pulpol na ‘to.

  • artz555

    Majority of the Filipino people are in favor of the passage of the RH bill based on past surveys. These folks and the enlightened others believe that a sensible RH bill will ultimately improve the quality of life of every Filipino with higher living standards in the very near future.

    These rising of living standards would actually happen because, with a balanced population growth there would correspondingly be higher per capita GDP; and  that is there will fewer and fewer people that will get a bigger and bigger slice of the GDP pie, or the annual wealth created by the country, ( the latter case already being enjoyed by the more progressive, or developed countries of the world).

    If the people wants this better quality of life, then they should tell their representatives in Congress ( by phone, e-mail, text, etc ) to pass the RH bill ASAP. And if these current representatives in Congress are not doing the job the voters want them to do, then the people should warn these representatives that they will replace them accordingly, in the next election with new representatives that will represent them well in the future.

  • Mike Henry French

    “pointed out that work in their respective districts weigh more for many lawmakers. ”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QZZKXPEA67I7HELEIYM35QVYFA Jon

    What weak leadership in the House if they cannot compel the simplest of duties-attendance.
    If you can’t do your jobs effectively, then why not just resign the post?
    That is, if there is still a shred of delicadeza from among the leadership of the House.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2LBGIWPKSBM4HYJACU2VNXIFEU Jet H

    tama ang sabi ng karamihan dito.  ang job description nila ay gumawa ng mga panukalang batas… hindi mag ala barangay captain, mag mayor o governor.  leave the implementation to the executive branch mr. bagatsing.  ibigay mo rin yang pork barrel mo sa kanila.  nasa legislative branch ka… know the difference between those branches. 

  • disqusted0fu

    after this question, the next question should be what are they working for? is it for the betterment of the country? or the betterment of themselves? then they should ask the same questions to all government officials especially the president.

  • Your_King

    The answer to that is who knows! For sure the people in government are making a lot of money but if they are working as hard is open for debate. Maybe they are all taking half days just like Aquino. For the average citizen, progression in the country is unnoticeable.

  • indiosbravos2002

    I believe congressmen should be reminded of their primary role as physical representatives of their districts in the national congress. If they are not in congress, their districts will not be heard or be counted in national debates. Their absence is a clear dereliction of duty. They should run for an executive position next time if they want to be nearer their constituents.

  • indiosbravos2002

    Baka lahat gumagaya kay Pacquiao. 90% on leave/training, 10% present.

  • indiosbravos2002

    Bagatsing might be thinking he is working for city hall instead of congress. Pakisabihan please.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza


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