MANILA, Philippines – New legislators will not be coming in from the cold when they join the 15th Congress starting July 26 because the Center for Policy and Executive Development of the National College of Public Administration and Governance of the University of the Philippines is offering courses for them.
This was announced by Professor Leonor Magtolis Briones, the Course Director, and stated the course gives attention to the similarities, as well as the distinct requirements of both district and party list legislators. The subjects cover general as well as specific national issues, she said.
She said the focus of the course will be on the appropriations process which is the main responsibility of Congress. Legislators will be briefed on new trends in budgeting like participatory budgeting and climate change finance. They will also be given an overview of the Alternative Budget Initiative by civil society organizations which are proposing additional allocations for education, health, agriculture and the environment.
The array of faculty includes leading members from U.P. NCPAG - policy experts Doctors Prospero de Vera, Danilo Reyes and Fe Mendoza. Legal luminary lawyer Teodoro Kalaw IV will elucidate on the constitutional provisions on party list as well as district legislators.
“The course will surely be useful for new legislators. How come this course wasn’t offered when we were neophytes in Congress?” said Representative Joel Villanueva, who will share his experience in legislative work as a party list congressman.
Another distinguished personality, former Representative Etta Rosales, will also clarify the special role of party list legislators.
“I will share practical tips on how one can be an effective legislator even if one is in the opposition and has no pork barrel,” said Representative Erin Tanada, who recently proposed the reduction of congressional “pork barrel” by P10 million for each members of Congress.