JULY 8, 2013

NR # 3158B

Trust in government most crucial -- neophyte solons
Earning the people’s trust and confidence in government is crucial to winning the fight against poverty. This is the collective sentiment of the new members of the House of Representatives on the opening day of the Executive Course on Legislation, jointly undertaken by the House of Representatives and the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG). During the opening ceremony, UP-NCPAG Dean Edna Estifania A. Co and House Secretary General Marilyn Barua-Yap, on behalf of Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., alternately welcomed the 2 nd batch of 46 new lawmakers to the three-and-a half-day course being held at the Andaya Hall of the Batasan complex. The first batch of 31 neophyte members of Congress completed the initial three-day course last June 25th to the 27th. Like the first batch, Dean Co said the program should give the participants necessary basic inputs at lawmaking based on an academic perspective and based too on the unwritten experiences of veteran members of Congress who have become well versed on the real dynamics of legislation. The issue of trust and confidence in government surfaced during the course overview conducted by Dean Co who underscored the joint effort signaling the lawmakers’ “journey together for a meaningful legislature.” On the other hand, Sec. Gen. Yap, stressed that the course is meant to enhance the new members’ capabilities at lawmaking being “not new in public service and lawmaking.” “Even with the member’s various and wide experiences in public service, nobody is ever completely prepared,” Atty. Barua-Yap said, adding that the course would allow members to share new ways and better dynamics at lawmaking. Winning the fight against poverty was the collective vision of neophyte lawmakers at the workshop’s opening and the focus of their concern in legislation and governance. To achieve this, the workshop identified the issues that need to be addressed by the incoming 16 th Congress. These include responsive legislation on: education; health delivery; employment generation; investorfriendly policies; strengthening the democratic institutions; proportionate distribution of the budget; property rights; agricultural modernization; creation of more economic zones; programs to minimize rural to urban migration; laws protecting OFWs; peace and order stability; and IRA releases, among other issues of concern. Besides the problem of implementation of laws, the lawmakers also urged the review of all existing laws that have been rendered irrelevant by time and circumstances. They said the country has so many laws. “The question is proper implementation and update of existing ones.” The participants also expressed their eagerness to help promote transparency in governance to help gain the people’s respect and trust in the institutions of government. This early, Dean Co challenged the participants on the possibility of holding an “alumni” gathering, maybe two or three years from now, to assess and look back on “what have we done?” (30) dpt