AS THE regular congressional season gets underway, our newly-elected representatives are scrambling all over each other, trying to make "pogi" points by grandstanding about their pet issues and proposals, of which few or none of their constituents are aware.
You'd think they would be consulting their constituencies first, checking out perceptions, priorities and proposals for the public agenda. But no, they seem more preoccupied with their private agenda, hobnobbing with their favorite local officials but with not the people. The people are outside wondering what their representatives are cooking up, what surprises are in store, looking in as if they're impertinent spectators.
When will representatives understand what their title means? To be a representative is, precisely, to represent a principal or principals - in this case, the people. But we have yet to hear of any public consultations undertaken by the congressmen of the city's two districts, or the province's for that matter.
They're off to an inauspicious start, a portent of things to come. There are myriad issues they ought to be consulting on. Are they saying they know everything and don't need to check out or validate their perceptions with the people?
It seems farthest from the minds of these putative public servants to serve in accordance with the people's wishes. At the very least, they should be announcing what they're working on before proceeding or doing any filing of their proposals. They should consult and keep their constituents up to speed and not act like oligarchs.
With the onset of the rainy season, for example, the problem of floods ought to get priority attention now. What concrete proposals do they have in mind? The people are entitled to know. There are many local issues concerning basic services, welfare, infrastructure, agriculture, livelihood, education, and so on. What do they have in mind?
They should also be consulting with the institutions -- universities, churches and civil society -- that have studies and recommendations on what can and should be done about these issues. Otherwise, they'll be wasting time and resources, again, trying to educe from elsewhere what's already at hand.