We need less, not more, congressmen
April 25, 2009 by cocoy
We don’t need more congressmen, whether party list or regular. In fact, we would be better off if we reduced the present number of congressmen.
The argument that there should be one congressman for every so many thousand population to represent them in Congress is all bunk. That is good only in theory; in practical terms that is bad for the taxpayers.
We will need hundreds of millions of pesos for each congressman, not only for the salary, allowances and pork barrel of the congressman himself, but for the salaries of his staff, drivers, bodyguards, office space, office supplies, air conditioning, telephone, electric and water bills, expensive vehicles both for the congressman and his bodyguards, transportation costs going regularly to and from his home province, and for frequent junkets abroad. Multiply that by the 32 party-list congressmen that the has just decreed and the 50 more that the House wants elected next year, and the costs run to tens of billions of pesos. That would be enough to feed the millions of poor Filipinos who do not have enough to eat. And how many kilometers of roads, how many bridges, how many schoolhouses and health centers would that build? And all for what? For almost nothing.
The sole duty of congressmen is to enact laws. But we already have a surfeit of laws that few obey anyway. Even lawyers and judges can’t keep up with the new laws being churned out every year. And the police and other government regulatory agencies don’t enforce them anyway. So we do not need more laws. We only have to obey the existing ones and this would be a better place to live in.
If we do not need more laws, then we don’t need congressmen. And even if we need some important laws, they can be enacted by fewer congressmen. When it comes to congressmen, fewer is best. Fewer congressmen, less allowances, less graft and corruption. With so many congressmen having little to do, they just propose silly bills like that stupid right of reply bill.
In fact, more than half of the present congressmen do nothing but answer the roll call, collect their pork barrel and eat at expensive restaurants. Check the and you will discover that most of them have no bill passed at all. They don’t participate in discussions to improve bills. The biggest committee in the House is the committee on silence because most of the congressmen are its members.
The House has proposed the abolition of the Senate. Why don’t we turn the tables on them and propose the abolition of the House instead?