The Philippine Senate-A A +A
By Ben Emata
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I WAS laughing hard while reading the story of former senator Ernesto Maceda making comments about the present Philippine Senate. He said of the 23 senators at present, only about six are working, debating, talking and everything while the rest are just silent and doing nothing. He talked about the senators of yesterday who are really tough, professionals and qualified like senators Tolentino, Osmeña, Tañada, Salonga, etc. He blamed the quality of the senate to the advent of the celebrities and others.
I admire Maceda for his frank and honest observations, unmindful of the hatred and disgust of the present senators specially those who lack the qualifications and know-how of the legislative works. The country really needs people who can tell the truth and unafraid. And to think that Maceda used to be one of the senators of the yesteryears, we are doubly convinced of his honest knowledge of the past. He knows so much of the caliber and capacity of the senators during his time especially on the matter of educational qualifications.
Of course, we know very few people have the insight of the present senate as well as the qualifications of the senators. Many taxpayers do not know so much about the matter. They came out victorious during elections; it means they are the best.
Someone has to tell us the difference or the birds’ eye view of the senate and the quality of the senators.
What I really mean is that of all the elective positions in our government, congress and the senate should or must have the best people to handle because it involves the laws of our country. We need the best and just.
I had an article before which suggested that the government should establish a standard qualifications for people who run for the upper and lower house. At present, any man who walks in the streets can come forward and run for congress. Some of these candidates do not have enough education thus putting people in the legislative bodies who barely understand matters around them. This is terrible and really bad. The result is we produce laws that are half-baked or unnecessary. We must give this branch of government qualified persons who can produce better laws.
Congress enacts laws of the land. We need in this area highly qualified people like lawyers or people who have college degrees. With them we are assured to have good laws and other maters emanating from this source.
We need high quality legislations. We must elevate qualifications and standard of the congress.
Indeed, we used to have less educated congressmen and senators because agencies are open for anybody who can win in the elections. While I agree with these qualifications, I cannot admire some of their drafted laws for lack of sense.
I wish to reiterate my previous suggestions that a standard of qualifications should be established for the upper and lower house so that during elections, we can produce real qualified people who will handle the drafting of our laws.
Another thing, from these bodies we can get people for the cabinet as well as for the position of the chief executive. Let us make the legislative bodies the best place in the government where everyone is highly educated and qualified.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 23, 2013.