The senators get the larger portions of the budget compared to what congressmen get. But I had no idea it was that big. Here's an excerpt from the news article.
Each congressman gets P70 million for his or her district each year.
By comparison, each senator receives P200 million in pork barrel funds annually or P1.2 billion in six years—P2.4 billion if the senator gets reelected for another six years.
Last year alone, the 23-member Senate had a total budget of P1.38 billion while the 236-member House had only P2.93 billion.
Both houses passed only six laws last year but spent P4.31 billion—the equivalent of P718 million for each bill that was enacted into law. [Manila Standard Today – Senate fears…]
My gulay! That's really how much they get? Every year??? And yet they were only able to pass 6 laws last year. Nice.
No wonder it's the senate who totally opposes the shift into parliamentary. Again, part of me is thinking that maintaining a bicameral form of government is not really about maintaining check and balances within the government: it's about maintaing their power and their money.
It's like the 80-20 in economics. The larger portion of resources is controlled/owned by a very small number of entities.
And lastly, it seems that the congressmen are now seeing the benefits if being part of a unicameral system: equal power and money among the members (future ex-senators included) of the legislative body. I'm getting this feeling that there's gonna be a fight between the the congressmen and the senators. It's also funny to wonder if Malacanang is using the greed and envy of congress to further the cause of charter change.
How I wish that charter change does not only change the system, but also change the people there. More than the proposed revisions in the constitution, I want to change those people.
Kasi, pare-pareho lang sila. Mga sakim.