Quezon City, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – The government may never recover the Ten Billion pesos that disappeared into phony projects and pockets of politicians in the pork barrel scam in the Philippines. This, despite recent indictments that have led to the arrest of top senators, businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles and others implicated in the case.
So now, the government is focusing its energy into recovering up to 24 Billion pesos from piggy banks, drawers and closets of ordinary citizens. House Bill 4411 which passed on third reading makes it illegal to be in possession of excess coins. Coin possession will lead to eight years in prison and/or a fine of up to 300 Thousand pesos.
The proposed bill has encouraged politicians and citizens involved or intending to involve in the much more serious crimes of plunder, graft and corruption. The reason? The penalty for these greater crimes range from hospital arrest to detention in bungalow-type jails, and eventually, pardon.
A true testament to the Department of Tourism’s promotional meme of “It’s More Fun in the Philippines!”
Manila, Philippines – Freedom of Information, Death Penalty, Anti-Political Dynasty, Reproductive Health — these are issues too overwhelming for members of the Senate and House of Representatives in the Republic of the Philippines. Theses issues are so controversial that passage of corresponding bills have become almost impossible. And the Philippine Congress is worried about its emerging reputation as a “Do-Nothing Congress.”
So, in their respective current sessions, both houses are busy drafting and hearing numerous bills that would easily gain bi-partisan support, among them:
- House Bill 3926 to make adobo national dish of the Philippines, authored by Representative Rene Relampagos of the province of Bohol.
- Senate Bill 1863 seeking to impose fines on establishments that refuse to serve half-cup rice orders, authored by Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
- House Bill 3979 to require bottled water to be included in the menu of restaurants and fast food chains, authored by Representative Lorna Velasco (Partylist, AMA).
Marcos’ bill aims to prevent unnecessary waste in the country’s main staple and to ensure enough rice supply even in times of calamity. Velasco’s bill seeks to replace sodas and sweet drinks which are responsible for obesity, diabetes and other health issues faced by Filipinos.
In addition to these measures, the bi-partisan committee on ways and means has proposed two resolutions pertaining to the Congress itself:
- Resolution to change the official name of the Congress of the Philippines to “Restaurant Congress of the Philippines” to better reflect its legislative priorities.
- Resolution to rename bills to “menu.” So, henceforth, the above bills will be known as House Menu 3926 and 3979, and Senate Menu 1863.