After being away from the senate because of the campaign and break, I find myself doing what I have been doing for 6 years… running down the hall of the 5 th floor, past the elevator to the stairwell to the 2nd floor. That’s where the session hall is. It’s faster that way. Plus healthier.
I’m running because I have to be on time for the roll call. Just like school, if you are not there when your name is called, you are marked “not present.”
So I made it. I’m seated in the front because I’m a nerd. I get distracted in the back. In the front with me is the minority floor leader, Sen. Alan on my left and Sen Joker Arroyo on my right.
That makes up the minority. The three of us. The role of the minority bloc is crucial in every democracy. We provide the check and balance. We are the fiscalizers.
During session, I raised two issues in connection with the filing of senate bills: 1. The antiquated system of filing bills where the staff lines up all day and night para lang mauna magfile ng bill. Waste of time and energy. Plus waste of paper in this day of modern technology. Buti pa ang University of the Philippines. When I was a student, we used to line up at dawn to get the subjects we want. Now, it’s all computerized, and 2. A lot of bills are refiled by a number of senators without acknowledging the principal author of the bill, some of whom are no longer members of the current Congress who have worked on the bills for a number of years. I believe it is only fair to acknowledge the work that other senators have put in. I asked the Committee on Rules to study this.
My clean table in the session hall
Talking to the Majority Floor Leader
Being interviewed on the role of the minority
In an interview before the start of session in my office