Online participation in the crafting of bills sought-A A +A
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
MANILA -- To strengthen public participation and transparency, Senator Teofisto Guingona III filed Wednesday a bill that would allow people to comment and access proposed legislation through the Internet.
Under Senate Bill 3300 or the Crowdsourcing Act of 2012, it also extends the people’s right of participation to include the ability to reach their congressmen and senators even during the period of interpellation and debates.
Furthermore, the bill Guingona believes that the people’s views on this point in the lawmaking process will serve as vital guidance for the senators and congresspersons to make their final vote on pending measures.
“Crowdsourcing recognizes and allows the individual and collective power of the people, with the use of the Internet and/or other information and communications system, to contribute to the formulation, improvement, and creation of laws that benefit the entire nation,” he said.
Since lawmaking is a shared privilege and duty of legislators and citizens, Guingona said Congress has the duty to hear the opinion of people beyond the walls of the Senate or the House of Representatives.
“From Batanes to Sulu, people must be allowed to participate in the process of law-making. When people are allowed to participate, we have better laws. When people are allowed to participate, we have better people,” he said.
Calls for public engagement in the passage of bills have snowballed after netizens and media groups slammed the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, whose provisions like online libel did not pass through consultation with stakeholders.
The Supreme Court has already issued a four-month temporary restraining order against the implementation of Republic Act 10175 after tackling several petitions seeking to declare it, either in full or in part, as unconstitutional. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)