IN a bid to prevent rushing the filing of proposed bills of senators in the 17th Congress, the Office of the Senate Secretary has issued new guidelines effectively doing away with the old practice of the first-come, first-served basis of bill filing.
In a two-page advisory issued on Monday by lawyer Oscar Yabes, the Senate secretary, said the order of the filing of bills will have three rounds and for the first round the sequence will be in accordance with the principle of seniority or the length of service of a senator in the Senate.
This means that the most senior senators will be the first to file their proposed measures on June 30, 2016.
Since Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd is the most senior among the members of the Senate in the incoming Congress, he will be the first to file his bills, followed by Senate President Franklin Drilon, then Senators Gregorio Honasan, Loren Legarda, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, Ralph Recto, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Antonio Trillanes 4th, Richard Gordon, Aquilino Pimentel 3rd and Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Senators who have served the Senate for three years–Juan Edgardo Angara, Paulo Benigno Aquino 4th, Nancy Binay, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Grace Poe and Cynthia Villar–ill be allowed to file their respective measures after the senior lawmakers finished the first round of filing.
To determine the order by which they may file their bills and resolutions, they will draw lots on June 23, 2016 at 10 a.m. at the Office of the Senate Secretary.
The newly elected senators will also draw lots on the same date to determine the order by which they may file their proposed legislation that will happen after the three-year senators completed the first round of filing.
The list include incoming Senators Leila de Lima, Sherwin Gatchalian, Risa Hontiveros, Manny Pacquiao and Joel Villanueva.
The same sequence will be observed by senators on the second round of filing.
In the third round of filing, the senators may file any number of bills on a ‘”irst-come, first-served” basis.
During the first and second round of filing, the senators are only allowed to file a maximum of 10 bills.
“These guidelines, formulated in consultation with the Office of the Senate President and concerned officers of the Legislation Department, are prescribed to prevent early and long queuing, conserve human resources and manpower and maintain order within the Senate premises,” Yabes said in his advisory.