MANILA — Leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives gathered at the National Museum on Thursday to launch the Congress — a digital platform that will strengthen and streamline the coordination and partnership between both chambers of Congress.
Through a concurrent resolution, both chambers established the eCongress, describing it as an “integrated and secure digital legislative management system.”
“If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that we can and must take advantage of digital technologies to make our respective legislative proceedings much easier and much more efficient,” said Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri. “We had to transform ourselves.”
“We cannot be a Congress that is trapped in amber, archaic, and irrelevant. We have to be dynamic, forward-looking, and forward-moving. That is the only way we can be genuinely responsive to our people’s needs.”
The launch saw both chambers sign the memorandum of agreement for the management of the eCongress website. A mock-up of the website was also presented during the event.
The eCongress is seen to make the passage of laws more efficient and to make inter-chamber processes much swifter.
“We will also be giving the Filipino public a more accessible platform, where they can keep track of our work, as 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.”
“This will also help us save the environment,” Zubiri added. “In the Senate we have initiated a move, just like in the House of Representatives, to go paperless. This will save some of us trees and save us from generating too much trash, and it will help us move forward to a greener future for our people.”
Joining Zubiri were Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, House Majority Leader Mannix Dalipe, Senate Deputy Majority Leader JV Ejercito, Rep. Toby Tiangco, and Rep. Joboy Aquino.
“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.”