NANAWAGAN si Buhay Party-list Rep. Jose “Lito” Atienza kay House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano na payagang dumalo sa plenaryo ang mga kongresista upang makasama sa mga importanteng pagdinig lalo sa panukalang pambansang budget para sa susunod na taon.
Desmayado si Atienza sa nangyayari sa Kamara na 25 kongresista lamang ang pinapayagang makadalo at halos lahat dito ay mga kaalyado ni Cayetano.
“Seven months into the pandemic, the House leadership has yet to come up with protocols that would allow the gradual reopening of Congress to more legislators and transition from legislating from a distance, Atienza lamented, as he lambasted Cayetano for conveniently using CoVid-19 to exclude majority of the lawmakers from doing their duties,” ani Atienza.
“To date, only 25, including senior citizens, out of the 304 House members are allowed to attend the plenary session in Batasan Hills, while the rest could only attend via video conference platform Zoom. Attendees need prior permission from the Speaker to be able to participate,” dagdag niya.
Tinukoy ni Atienza na mula noong Marso pare-parehong mga tao ang naka-attend ng pagdinig at sesyon sa plenaryo.
“Pare-pareho lang ang mukha ng dumadalo sa hearing at session. Sila lang ba ang mga elected representatives of the people?”
“CoVid-19 is being used as a convenient excuse to prevent a great number of lawmakers from effectively carrying out their responsibilities as representatives of the people while allowing only a few to personally participate and monopolize the deliberations,” giit ni Atienza.
“It is about time the House leadership reopen Congress to members who may wish to attend the session in person, subject to strict health protocols. Congress is a collegial body, at hindi Kongreso ng 25 mambabatas lamang,” diin ng party-list representative.
“‘Yung mga negosyo ay pinayagan nang magbukas pero ang Kongreso pitong buwan na nakasara pa rin sa aming mambabatas. Ano ba ang itinatago ni Speaker Cayetano at ng mga kagrupo nya?” tanong ni Atienza.
“Despite the risk many of our colleagues are willing to attend the plenary session so they can meaningfully participate in the debate and ensure there will be no railroading of any piece of legislation by a few,” ayon sa mambabatas.
“Bakit ayaw kumilos ni Speaker Cayetano para magawan ng paraan ito? Bakit hindi niya inayos ang health and safety protocols sa Kongreso para mas maraming congressman ang makapasok? ‘Yung counterpart namin sa Senado ay nagagawan naman ito ng paraan.
“It is the duty of the House leadership to make Congress safe enough for members to honor their constitutional duty to the Filipino people and conduct critical business in person,” ani Atienza.
Sa kasalukuyang 18th Congress, mayroong 243 legislative districts at 61 party-lists representatives.