• Familiar names to take crash course for neophyte lawmakers

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    Neophyte lawmakers from established political families will be among the second batch that will take the crash course in legislation at the House of Representatives next week.

    The House’s Public Relations and Information Bureau said Thursday that 44 lawmakers will take the Executive Course on Legislation July 8 to 11.

    They include Francis Gerald Abaya of Cavite, Lino Cayetano of Taguig, Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu, Sherwin and Weslie Gatchalian of Valenzuela and Alay Buhay, respectively, Sitti Hataman of Anak Mindanao party-list and Edcel Lagman Jr. of Albay.

    Abaya is the brother of Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Abaya, while Cayetano—a professional director—is the brother of Senators Alan and Pia Cayetano.

    Garcia, the former Cebu governor, is the daughter of ex-Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia. The Gatchalians are brothers of Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian.

    Hataman is the wife of Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Lagman is the son of former Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, one of the principal authors of the Reproductive Health law.

    Other prominent names in the second batch are Magdalo party-list Rep. Francisco Acedillo and OFW party-list Rep. Roy Señeres.

    Acedillo was the spokesperson of the Magdalo group which advocates benefits for soldiers, while Señeres was the Philippine ambassador to the United Arab Emirates during the Ramos administration.

    The topics in the course include: Philippine Administrative System, The Philippine Development Plan and the Economy, roles/challenges facing Philippine legislators, the national budget process, role of Congress in the budget process, negotiating the legislative mill, working with the executive agencies to provide constituent needs and working with peers.

    Last week, 31 first-time legislators went through the same course.

    LLANESCA T. PANTI

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