Villanueva seeks review of lawmakers’ pay, benefits, funds for officesBy Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Bangon Pilipinas party’s lone senatorial candidate Bro. Eddie Villanueva asserted on Sunday that lawmakers’ salary computations should not be different from those covering ordinary government personnel, calling a congressional post as “just another job, not a position of entitlement.”
The evangelist said “senators and congressmen should be mindful that they are working for the people and the people are the ones paying for their salaries.”
“Public service should be their most important consideration. That is why, they do not deserve special treatment, salary-wise. Legislators should bear in mind that a congressional position is just another job,” he also said.
In a statement, the Jesus is Lord church leader emphasized “lawmakers should receive the same treatment in compensation and benefits as other state employees.”
“Tighter rules should also be adopted for the allocation and disbursement of their office budgets,” he also stressed.
He said that “aside from instituting a no-work, no-pay policy and the adoption of a bundy clock or biometricts system to improve attendance in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, both houses of Congress should likewise revert to the old appropriation policy which reduces opportunities for corruption.”
According to Villanueva, legislators should “adhere to common workplace rules on attendance and punctuality.”
“It’s common knowledge that senators and congressmen work only a fraction of a regular government’s employee’s work days a year.”
“By my count, there are only about 50 session days in a congressional session versus the more than 300 working days for state employees,” he pointed out.
Villanueva recalled “in earlier Congresses, no lump sum appropriations were given to congressional offices, and everything was liquidated to account for how the people’s money was spent.”
He called for “upping the ante on suggestions to improve Congress’ accountability and probity.”
“All senators and congressmen should reject any offers of gifts, both in cash and in kind, if elected to office,” he said as he also challenged fellow senatorial bets to “publicly declare the same commitment.”
He added, “rewards, financial or otherwise, should not be the main driver behind candidates’ decision to run for public office. Senators and congressmen should always be reminded of their role as servants of the people who are expected to perform their duties well.”