Cebu lawmakers check in, out-A A +A
Friday, January 18, 2013
REP. Rachel “Cutie” del Mar (Cebu City, north district) recorded a perfect attendance in all sessions of the House of Representatives last year, while ALU-TUCP Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza had the most number of absences among Cebuano legislators.
A report posted on the official website of the House of Representatives showed that while other Cebuano lawmakers missed some sessions, they also spent days in their districts to attend to the needs of their constituents.
Rep. Eduardo Gullas (Cebu, 1st district) missed only one session last year.
In 2012, the 15th Congress held a total of 61 sessions at the Batasan Pambansa complex in Manila.
Rep. Pablo P. Garcia (2nd) also missed one session and reported one constituency work.
Rep. Luis Gabriel “Luigi” Quisumbing (6th) had three absences while Rep. Arturo Radaza (Lapu-Lapu City) had four.
Although Rep. Benhur Salimbangon (4th) had four absences, he also reported to Congress that he had to do constituency work six times.
Constituency work is when a congressman reports to his district instead of attending the session to be with his constituents.
Rep. Pablo John Garcia (3rd) was absent three times and declared doing constituency work 14 times.
“It’s because I’ve had to double time on my visits to my district, as well as the other districts, since invitations have more than doubled since I announced I was running for governor,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.
Despite his absences, he said he was able to participate in deliberations on major laws, such as the Sin Tax Law and the Reproductive Health and Responsible Parenthood Law, as well as the 2013 budget.
He also filed the Firearms Regulation Bill, the Private Security Agency Bill and the bill removing the height requirement for the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Bureau of Fire Protection personnel, he said.
For Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (Anad) Partylist Rep. Pastor Alcover Jr., it’s the quality of one’s legislative work and not their attendance that matters.
“There are those who are always present in sessions but are not participating. When we are absent in Congress, we are with our constituents, attending to their needs,” said Alcover, who had three absences.
For his part, Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) Partylist Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza explained that his absences were due to his official trips with labor leaders abroad.
He attended the International Labor Organizations (ILO) convention in Geneva, Switzerland last June.
Mendoza also attended a conference with banana industry leaders in Taiwan last year, and just last month, they had to assist farmer and workers who were affected by typhoon Pablo in Mindanao.
Sun.Star Cebu tried calling other Cebuano lawmakers, but they could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 18, 2013.