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‘No work, no pay’ for solons sought

Lamenting that the lack of quorum has hampered the immediate passage of bills, Navotas City Rep. Toby Tiangco is pushing for the adoption of a “no work, no pay” policy in both houses of Congress.

Under House Bill 412, he proposed a monthly salary deduction against members of Congress who fail to attend, participate, and take part in the regular and special sessions due to “unjustifiable cause.”

“At present, there are no existing policies that will discourage, if not sanction, the frequent absences of members of Congress. This situation may very well be seen as unfair, considering that ordinary citizens are subjected to the “no work, no pay policy,” Tiangco said.

He said his measure seeks to promote professionalism, dedication to duty, and efficiency in the performance of duty of the members of Congress.

“During the past Congresses, the session of Congress starts on Monday up to Thursdays. During Thursday sessions, however, only few members would attend the session because according to them, they attend to their districts to attend to constituent functions. For this reason, the leadership of past Congresses shortened the number of days and removed Thursday as session day. Despite this change in session days, still, the attendance of House members has not improved,” Tiangco lamented.

The bill provides that the monthly salary divided by number of session days equals salary per session day and salary per session day multiplied by number of absences equals total deductions.

HB 412 mandates the Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, and the Department of Budget and Management, in coordination with the Accounting Department of Congress to issue implementing rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this Act.

“With the adoption of this policy, the avowed goal of government to improve the standard of living of the ordinary Filipino citizen, and to achieve sustainable development through effective legislation will be more effectively achieved,” he said.

Among the absentee lawmakers in the previous 16th Congress were former Negros Occidental Rep. Jules Ledesma and former Sarangani Rep. now Sen. Manny Pacquaio. (Charissa M. Luci)