Absenteeism

In this news item in Inquirer, Rep. Teodoro Locsin defends chronic absentees in the House of Representatives.

Locsin rose to defend alleged absentee House members. They include Negros Occidental Rep. Julio Ledesma, Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro and Mountain Province Rep. Victor Dominguez who were reported to have attended only three out of the first 10 sessions.

He also cites that organization of committees isn’t finalized yet and that there are no bills to work upon yet .

That’s just outrageous!

You mean to tell me that a month after they have convened, they still haven’t accomplished anything? Hmm. Well, I wouldn’t really care if they’re present or not, unless they’re getting paid already.

But then, according to the same article, members are required to attend the sessions even if there aren’t any bills to be discussed.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, however, argued that House rules mandate members to attend sessions whether or not there are bills to tackle.

If attendance is mandated, then there shouldn’t be an excuse for not attending sessions now, is there? If we can’t count on these representative to follow a very simple rule of attendance, how are we to trust that they truly know the other rules that they need to abide by as public officials. We’ve seen them chase their own tails on technicalities time and again. They waste their time (and the people’s tax money!) debating on interpretation of  written rules. Sheesh.

It’s still apparent that some of them don’t really know what they got themselves into. They just managed to win the election, hoping that they figure out how the game is played without thorough knowledge of its rules.

And that’s short-changing the people.

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