• Junk Congress to save P35B each year

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    The Philippine government can save P35 billion if Congress is abolished, former Manila Mayor and now Rep. Lito Atienza of Buhay party-list said in a forum on Tuesday.

    The lawmaking branch of government would still remain through the governors and city mayors who will sit in a national assembly meeting to make laws for their respective jurisdictions, Atienza averred.

    Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal earlier said that Congress should be abolished since lawmakers fritter away so much taxpayers’ money by drafting “useless laws.”

    “Congress should really be abolished and yet how much do we cough up for it? P35 billion including pork barrel outlays for inane laws,” Macalintal said in the vernacular.

    Atienza clarified that he “could not support at this time” Macalintal’s proposal, but said that the election lawyer was right and accurate in his observations.

    He said that the abolition of Congress is not yet the best solution this time, but to elect competent legislators and to implement a constitutional reform.

    Atienza is also pushing for the proper observation of congressional sessions, noting that some legislators have been used to discuss agenda even without a quorum.

    On the other hand, Macalintal explained that a quorum is a representation of a nominal number of people on duty to thresh out a particular bill.

    He urged that Congress should enact a law punishing any legislator who allows passage of a measure even without a quorum.

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