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To cut costs, House plans to go ‘paperless’

By: - Correspondent / @melvingasconINQ
/ 05:55 AM August 04, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Remember that joke about legislators being overeager to affix their signature on any document, “even on toilet paper”?

Under a proposed change in the House of Representatives’ administrative processes, that scenario has become unlikely.

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The House leadership is pushing for a shift to “paperless” transactions to cut down paper costs and digitize the chamber’s legislative process.

“The House has been spending an estimated P9 million every year for paper. Going paperless will result [in] savings,” said Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Cavite Rep. Crispin “Boying” Remulla in a press statement.

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P6M needed for tablets

Remulla said the House would go paperless by providing computer tablets to the 300 legislators for use in their legislative work.

An estimated P6 million is needed to acquire the gadgets, or about P20,000 for each lawmaker to have an Android-powered tablet, he added.

Remulla said the shift would be among the reforms to be instituted by the present House leadership when the 18th Congress approves its new rules in December.

“The new rules will be adopted by December this year after the House passes the 2020 national budget,” the senior deputy majority leader said.

Vetoed bills

Aside from the shift to paperless transactions, the amendments to the House rules will include provisions meant to speed up the process of approving bills vetoed by the executive department, after some refinements, he said.

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“We are going to avoid the normal long process of legislation for any vetoed bill. An expeditious process should be observed after the refinements,” said Remulla, the vice chair of the House committee on rules.

The 18th Congress is also set to adopt the 2017 Supreme Court ruling on the election of the minority leader. The ruling states that lawmakers who did not vote for the winning Speaker, as well as those who abstained, will elect their leader among themselves and manifest this in the plenary.

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TAGS: 18th Congress, House of Representatives, paperless House
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