Attendance at Congress Is Now Stricter Than Ever

Well, punctuality, at least.

( Remember President Rodrigo Duterte's quip about always being absent during his days as a member of the House of Representatives? It seems that Majority Leader Rodolfo C. Fariñas is now starting a crackdown against frequent latecomers and absentees after announcing the daily 4 p.m. roll call.



The memo, addressed to all House Members, was implemented today, July 25, as agreed upon “during the All-Party Caucus on May 17.” It states that the roll call would commence after the Call to Order at four in the afternoon. Otherwise, “all doors leading to the session hall shall be locked and shall be opened only after the roll call.” In a report by ABS-CBN News, the new House rule rendered 226 of 297 congressmen to be marked as present right before the doors closed. All latecomers were marked as absent.



“We’ve been wasting time waiting for members to trickle in for the Roll Call, to the prejudice of those who show up at 4 p.m.,” Fariñas told the lawmakers during the caucus. We couldn’t agree more. Considering that solons are our employees (as Duterte pointed out during his second State of the Nation Address) and that they “get the money from [our] pocket to [their] pockets,” it's only fair to expect punctuality.

Whether they actually stay until the end of each session is another story.


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