THE House of Representatives is now composed of almost three hundred congressmen and congresswomen from different legislative districts and various party-list organizations. The number is still growing due to election cases that are being resolved one after the other.
Given this huge number, the reasonable expectation of the people is for this select group of people enjoying pay, perks and privileges to be worth every single centavo of our taxes.
Traditionally, there are prolific members of the House who file a long list of bills and there are unproductive members of the House who are sleeping on their jobs.
This is not a good tradition to continue considering that our country is, on one hand, suffering from very meager resources, and on the other hand, spending very precious funds for these members of the House.
There ought to be, therefore, a quantifiable way of measuring whether or not the members of the House deserve the huge amounts of money that at most goes to their pockets or at least passes through their hands.
Since the primary function of the House is to enact laws, then it is but logical that the way of measuring the performance of its members is through their individual legislative performance.
It is then only rightful that the House leadership will require, or just strongly influence if require is unparliamentary language, that each and every committee produces at least one bill that will be passed into law, in order to ensure that no Committee comes up with nothing. Of course, one is the minimum and this number can be increased.
In any case, said demand, or just fervently request if demand is unparliamentary language, is not just to conduct hearings on the bill but to actually produce a Committee Report and sponsor it in the Plenary and eventually work on it at the Bicameral Conference with the end in view of the bill being signed into law by the President. This will ensure a working House rather than a winking House.
This system shall also be applied to each and every party-list organization. Their filing of bills and passage of laws related to their respective marginalized sector shall somehow justify the continued existence of marginalized representation in the House and shall somehow neutralize the accusation that the party-list system is being used as an extension of the dynasties and the powers that be.
It should be noted, however, that quantity is not the sole measurement. To be sure, quality is the better measurement, but quantity is a good start.
Anyway, in addition to this number of bills filed and number of laws passed, there shall be made and kept a legislative record of some sort which shall be published and which shall always be available for public viewing.
This legislative record shall contain not only the acts, proceedings and updates of the different House Committees and the various Party-List organizations but also the number of bills filed by each and every member of the House, the attendance record of each and every member of the House, the pork barrel projects of each and every member of the House, and such other data and other information that may later on be found necessary and desirable in making an assessment of legislative performance.
In the interest of transparency, the people should know what their representatives are doing, or not doing. In the interest of accountability, the people should know how their representatives are spending, or not spending.
If and when this system of measurement is implemented, then the people can read inspiring stories about their House and about their representatives, and not just the diary of a wimpy kid.
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