The Senate and the House of Representatives signed a memorandum of agreement Thursday, March 9, for the establishment of an integrated digital legislative management system called the eCongress.
Senate president Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri led the Senate delegation while House senior deputy speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo attended on behalf of speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez in a ceremony held at the National Museum in Manila.
Zubiri said the eCongress website will allow the two chambers of the legislature to strengthen coordination and make the inter-chamber processes much better and faster.
The eCongress Web portal will be the official website of Congress that will carry and maintain information from both chambers of the legislature and shall serve as a source for legislative information, such as names, contact details, measures authored and co-authored by lawmakers, status of bills and resolutions, live streaming of sessions, common legislative agenda, parliamentary activities and other joint legislative undertakings that are of interest to the public.
According to Zubiri, the system will streamline Congress’ legislative process, and lead to the more efficient passage of laws for the Filipino people.
“We will also be giving the Filipino public a more accessible platform, where they can keep track of our work, as it is their right. In improving our transparency, we can also enjoin the public to be more active participants in the legislative process. In this way, we can truly function as a Congress for and of the people,” said Zubiri who was joined by senators Loren Legarda, Joel Villanueva and Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito during the event.
The agreement was signed a week after the Senate adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 6 introduced by Zubiri, Legarda, Villanueva and Sen. leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III establishing the eCongress in a bid to improve, strengthen, and streamline communications between the upper and lower chamber.
The establishment of the eCongress website would enable both chambers of Congress to efficiently and effectively perform their essential functions of representation, legislation, and oversight.
“It is high time that we modernize our processes between the Senate and the House of Representatives. If the legislative branch carries the responsibility of creating timely laws, then our processes must keep up with the times as well,” Zubiri said.
Senate secretary Renato Bantug Jr. and House of Representatives secretary-general Reginald Velasco sign the memorandum of agreement on the establishment of the eCongress.