EDITORIAL: Wanted: A Real Professional Philippine Senate
Our senate has deteriorated in its membership and quality of work. Just look at the present composition: brothers all, brothers and sisters, mother and son, TV show personalities, movie stars, social activists, pure oppositionists, crime investigators, and silent fence-setters. Only one or two are acting as lawmakers.
Do we deserve this expensive body that we expect to make meaningful policy legislations for national interests and development? What happened with our democracy? Where did we go wrong?
A few members may be doing their job, although in accordance with their personal agenda, or of their uninvolved political party. However, since the Senate is a collegial body, the quality of their jobs is diminished by the negative effect and influence of their peers who also have their own personal interests.
The Senate has duties to address the most pressing needs and problems of the country. They include health, education, environment, economy, security, and governance. Most of these concerns may require in-depth study and consultation with the people. Hence, we need to hear or watch the Senate meetings in the communities or with local stakeholders. We don’t want to watch daily investigations on areas that are supposed to be under the responsibility of the executive branch, we want to watch debates on issues involving bills of national importance.
We need senators who talk sense based on social and economic philosophies to show their wisdom and competence as lawmakers, not as showbiz personalities, crime investigators, or social activists.
If we cannot improve the quality status of the present senate maybe it is time to look at other strategic options: ABOLISH THE BODY, OR ELECT SENATORS BY REGION. The first may solve the problem once and for all, and the second option may force the senators to work with their local constituents. Ironically, however, both need the approval of the very body that we are questioning. Do we have other options?