Extending the term of solons get flak

OPINION
By CRIS DIAZ
July 12, 2019

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Congressman Peter Cayetano wants an extension of the terms of elected Congressmen to another one year.  Under the present setup, the elected Congressman has a three-year term in office.

Cayetano, chosen as the House Speaker (under a sharing scheme with another Congressman in Mindoro), argued that a three-year term in office is a short period for a working Congressman.

“The first year in office is basically spent on orientation on various house rules - a time to get to know each other well,” Cayetano said.
He said that the second year in office focuses on election promises, legislations and projects for the constituents.

According to Cayetano, the third year in office, the last year for a three-year period term, is for the implementation of the various projects and the passage of various legislative bills.

Under a three-year term, the remaining one-year term is not enough for the completion of projects and the approval of various important legislative bills.

In contrast to the three-year term in office, a four-year term would mean the completion of projects and the passage of proposed House Bills into laws.

For the Filipino voters, Cayetano’s proposed extension of the present three-year term in office to a four-year term is unacceptable.

After all, the Congressman has an option to be twice reelected into office. Every term has a three-year term period. Thus, if the Congressman has a sterling performance, they could be easily elected into office for a total period of nine years.

Of course, we are talking about deserving Congressmen who are reelected into office. We are not talking about Congressmen who were voted and reelected because of massive vote buying.

In fact, the three-year term is too short for deserving Congressmen. On the contrary, the three-year term is too long for useless and inept Congressmen who were elected only because of massive vote-buying.
The comparative observation between the deserving and undeserving Congressmen who were elected into office could be sweeping.

However, it is worth a challenge to examine and evaluate the performance and output of elected Congressmen in many Congressional districts in the country. A bet on this challenge would prove that most, if not, half of the elected Congressmen in the country are not worthy to have a seat in Congress.

Now, Cayetano wants the term of office of the “scams” in Congress to be extended for another year?  Cayetano’s proposal is preposterous – it is an insult to the intelligence of the Filipinos.

Anyway, Cayetano is joking! For Cayetano, it would be advantageous for his term to be extended because it would also mean an extension of his term as the Speaker of the House.

By the way, Cayetano was elected Speaker of the House as a compromise to end the squabbling among members of the Lower House who were eyeing the coveted post.

What is there being the Speaker of the House? The House Speaker is co-equal with the powers and influence of the Senate President.

An election, as Speaker of the House, is the culmination of the dream of every Congressman. It is likened to the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) whose lifetime dream is seeing the star falling on their shoulders.

Getting a star in the AFP is a life time reward of hard work and sacrifice. However, the Speakership in Congress is gained through political maneuvering, influence peddling with the power that be and offers on a silver platter.

Why interested in the Speakership? Imagine that the approved budget for 2019 is 3.7 T. How much is allocated for the House Speaker is the bone of contention. Undoubtedly, the Office of the House Speaker gets a sizeable percentage of the country’s approved budget.

There is no point of disclosing where the budget for the Speaker goes. A hint: Asks about how the intelligence fund of the City Mayors is spent.  Then, one will have a pretty good idea why Congressmen fight for the speakership. – Email reactions/comments: crisguardian@yahoo.com


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