- Toby Tianco wants to push for House Bill 412 which is a policy for No Work No Pay for Members of the Congress who are chronic absentees
- Senator Lacson thinks it is demeaning
- Said that it might not be passed but it has gotten the media’s attention
A Navotas Congressman wants to put a stop to a longstanding problem of absenteeism in Congress meetings.
Toby Tianco, Navotas Representative, filed House Bill 412 which proposes to impose the “no work, no pay” policy for all the members on the House of the Senate.
Explaining his desire to push for this policy, Tianco stated, “Notwithstanding the express mandate of the Constitution and existing laws, some members of Congress have failed to promptly, effectively, and efficiently carry out and perform the mandate of their office by reason of their failure to regularly attend sessions of Congress.”
Currently, Tiangco maintains that there are no existing policies addressing absenteeism and encouraging members to actually attend the meetings. There are no policy on discouraging certain members of Congress to be consistent in attending meetings.
“This situation may very well be seen as unfair, considering that ordinary citizens are subjected to the ‘no work, no pay’ policy,” he explained.
The representative proposes this structure for the policy:
Monthly Salary / Number of Session Days = Salary per Session Day
Salary per Session Day x Number of Absences = Total Deductions
MonthlySsalary x Total Deductions = Net Monthly Salary
This lack of discipline in Congress has further delayed and hampered many of the passage of important bills. This includes the Freedom of Information Act and the proposed Bangsamaro Basic Law.
In lieu of that, civil society leaders from 14 Mindanao-based groups had even filed a petition to the Office of the Ombudsman in December of last year to investigate the “chronic absenteeism” in Congress following the failure of passage of BBL.
He said that even if there is already a change in session days, the attendance of some House members has still not improved.
Tiangco filed the bill to promote professionalism in Congress and hopefully, it will allow a more effective passage of bills and a more structured legislative arm of the government.
“With the adoption of this policy, the avowed goal of government to improve the standard of living of the ordinary citizen, and to achieve sustainable development through effective legislation will be more efficiently achieved,” he said.
However, Senator Panifilo Lacson had mentioned that Tianco’s proposal to be, “demeaning.”
The senator stated, "The proposed legislation is good copy for the media but I think it won't pass. I will oppose it if only to maintain the dignity and honor of the legislature and its members.”
Lacson further added, "We are responsible officials and we answer to our constituents when we misbehave or commit misdemeanor like not attending sessions whimsically or without justifiable reason." -TU, Kami Media