• Lawmakers take crash course on legislation

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    Less than half of the neophyte lawmakers are taking lessons on governance and legislation, according to the Public Relations Information Bureau (PRIB) of the House of Representatives.

    The PRIB said only 31 of the 66 newly-elected lawmakers enrolled in the four-day course spearheaded by the House of Representatives and the University of the Philippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG) which will run from June 24 to June 27.

    They include representatives-elect Alfred Vargas of Quezon City who is also an actor, former ABS-CBN reporter Marisol Aragones-Sampelo of Laguna, Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao of Pampanga, Kit Belmonte of Quezon City who is the nephew of Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Zajid Mangudadatu of Maguindanao, Eric Olivarez of Paranaque City, Aileen Radaza of Lapu-Lapu City and Leni Robredo of Camarines Sur, the widow of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.

    The crash course provides working knowledge of the theories, concepts, and dynamics of legislation, specifically in the context of the strategic development of the Philippines and the participants’ legislative districts.

    There will be lectures on the Philippine administrative system, 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.

    “The crash course is always important as it jumpstarts them so to speak. At 31, it is already a vast improvement from 2010 when there were only 12 of us there,” House Deputy Majority Leader Romero Quimbo, one of the resource persons in the crash course, said.

    Aside from Quimbo, other resource persons include Dean Edna Co of UP-NCPAG, Prospero De Vera 3rd who serves as the Vice President for Public Affairs of the UP system, Professor Raul Pangalangan of the UP College of Law, House members Edcel Lagman of Albay, Janet Garin of Iloilo and Rolando Andaya of Camarines Sur.

    Lagman and Andaya both served as chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, while Quimbo and Garin served as House Deputy Majority Leader during the 15th Congress.

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