Lawmaking 101 for House neophytes set
Incoming new members of the House of Representatives next year need not undergo trainings and workshops on legislation and legislative work somewhere else because Congress now has its own Institute for Legislation and Legislative Governance, or simply Legislative Institute, to train and orient them on lawmaking and legislative governance, among others.
This came after the House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 212 of Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., that will pave the way for the establishment of the Legislative Institute.
The resolution, co-authored by Majority Floor Leader and Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II, Minority Floor Leader and San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora and representatives of major political parties in Congress, seeks to establish the Legislative Institute as an institutional continuing education program to further develop the capabilities of legislators and the House of Representatives Secretariat to strategically manage legislation, the legislative process, and legislative governance.
“The Legislative Institute will principally serve as a continuing training and education program for members of the House and their staff, the officials and staff of the House Secretariat, including applicants for positions therein and such other persons and entities who may have need of knowledge and skills on legislation and the management of systems, processes and resources relating to legislation and legislative governance,” Belmonte said.
Belmonte also said the Legislative Institute will also develop, provide for and implement training courses, inclusive of conducting seminars, workshops and other educative projects and learning activities to impart, enhance and expand skills knowledge and more related capabilities on legislation, legislative systems and procedures.
Under the HR 212, the Legislative Institute will also manage and administer legislative support services, including the harnessing of information and communication technology in legislation, and the undertaking of such activities relating to the generation of resources in support of the conduct of these activities.
“This is a dream come true for us because now we have our own Legislative Institute to educate more and train House members, especially the newly elected ones, on everything about legislation and the legislative process. Even our legislative support service staff will be included in the knowledge and skills enhancement programs,” Belmonte said.
Belmonte pointed out “the Legislative Institute will harness the experts of professionals in disciplines impacting on the conduct of legislation, legislation management and legislative support services inclusive of the expertise and institutional knowledge of former members and legislators who have had extensive experiences and exposure in the field of actual legislation and the dynamics thereof.”
The resolution named the House secretary-general as the program Manager of the Legislative Institute and tasks the official to supervise and coordinate the formulation and implementation of training and education activities, modules and other related initiatives.
In a statement, House Secretary General Marilyn Barua-Yap said the establishment of the Legislative Institute is a historic development in Congress this year, and a landmark achievement of the 16th Congress under Belmonte’s leadership.
Barua-Yap said it is about time Congress, the primary lawmaking branch of the government, has its own training institute just like the other branches and agencies of the government.
“The Judiciary has a Judicial Academy. The Executive has its Development Academy of the Philippines while the local government units (LGUs) have their Local Government Academy. The Legislative, the branch of the government primarily making laws, which stabilize our policy structure and strengthen our government, deserves to have its own institution that will enhance knowledge acquisition about the legislative Congress,” said Barua-Yap.
Barua-Yap said the Legislative Institute has three centers one of which is the Center for Legislation, which provides legislators knowledge acquisition and skills enhancement on legislation and legislative work through trainings and workshops. For 2016, the Center for Legislation will be offering various executive courses, among them: Legislation; Parliamentary Rules and Procedures; Legislative Bill Drafting; Principles, Practices and Imperatives of the Power of Legislative Oversight; Dynamics and Politics of the Budget Process; Legislative Ethics and Accountability; and Legislative Staff Management.
The other two centers of the Legislative Institute are the Center for Legislative Governance, which aims to enhance the knowledge of the legislative support service workers to enhance professionalism especially in the legislature, and the Center for Legislative Governance, which produces printed and electronic knowledge resources on legislation and legislative governance.
The Center for Legislative Governance publishes the following: Philippine Legislative Governance Journal; Compendium of Laws and Executive Issuance; In the Name of the People, an annual publication of privilege and bill sponsorship speeches of lawmakers; Legislative Information Resource Files; and Course Manual.