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Please don't waste any precious time Congs!

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If ever the plan of the some private and public organizations to conduct public information drive re: the creation of the 3rd Legislative District for Zamboanga City would push through as planned and publicly divulged, it would not only be an insult to our multi-awarded and outstanding representatives to Philippines Congress but also an act of usurping their legislative duties and functions.

An insult because it would appear that our well-educated and highly qualified congressmen do not know what their legislative duties and functions are as stipulated in Article VI of the 1987 Fundamental Law. Usurpation of their legislative functions and duties,  because public information drive pertaining to legislative matters or about the procedures, prerequisites, and standards to be complied with respect to law-making or how a bill is prepared and enacted into law, is generally perceived as their primary official function. 

But activities which are supposed to be conducted by our representatives to enlighten and inform their respective constituencies about constitutional requirements, prerequisites, standards, and procedures involved in the reapportionment of legislative districts and other constitutionally mandated functions  are not regularly undertaken and given importance and priority. Instead, they concentrate their energies, talents, and expertise on matters and concerns which have no pragmatic or essential relation or connection to their basic duties and responsibilities as national lawmakers. No wonder, there is a gaping miss-match between their pork barrel funded projects and the number of landmark and nationally applicable legislative measures they have successfully sponsored and finally enacted into laws. Factually, there is only one in our present Philippine Legislature that truly deserves to be called as a l00% lawmaker, I’m referring to Senator Ping Lacson who does not receive a single centavo of pork barrel allocation, now euphemistically termed as Countryside Development Fund or CDF.  If there’s anyone else please correct me.

Nonetheless in fairness, with the pork barrel allocations they received over the years which are appropriated out of the taxes of the people, they are able to undertake public works and other development projects in their respective legislative districts. But the negative effect of this is the relegation or neglect of their primary law-making function. The pork barrel is one huge fiscal resource which if properly utilized for the development of our rural communities, would accelerate the general progress of the city.  This is the greatest development-related justification why our Hon. Congressmen should not waste any precious time in working for additional legislative district once the fundamental constitutional requirement is met which is basically the standard ratio of 250, 000 inhabitants to one congressional district. Of course, the other constitutional justification is equitable representation in Congress.

Please don’t waste any precious time anymore Hon. Congs. The people might be driven to take extreme initiatives and actions which could jeopardize or cut short your political career or reign.  It might be a very useful input to remind you that because of desperation and frustration over your non-action and reluctant attitude to file the bill for the additional congressional district for Zamboanga City, some people-welfare oriented groups are now bent on requesting a Party-list or the Zamboanga Sibugay Province representative to sponsor the bill for this purpose. If this materializes, this would certainly be a big black eye on both of you. The suspicion that both of you are just taking the people for a ride on this very urgent legislative matter which is generally beneficial to the people of Zamboanga City, is now snowballing.

By Clem M. Bascar




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