SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives this week concluded its first Bill Drafting Contest 2017 with the bill on the protection and conservation of the whale sharks or “butanding” getting the plum prize.
The bill entitled “An Act Promoting The Protection And Conservation Of The Whale Sharks Within The Philippine Waters, Regulating And Maintaining Sustainable Ecotourism For Whale Shark Related Activities And Penalizing Illegal Whale Shark Tourism Activities, Appropriating Funds Therefor, And For Other Purposes” clinched the victory for TEAM JUSTIFIED of the University of San Carlos composed of Joshua Monsanto, Kervin Jun Pablo and Elmer Tasong.
In his opening remarks during the awarding rites, House Secretary-General Atty. Cesar Strait Pareja said the bill drafting contest is one way to strengthen the role of the youth in nation-building through participatory policy making.
“Through this bill drafting contest which was initiated by the Office of the Speaker in collaboration with the House Secretariat Offices, we encourage the youth’s involvement in the legislative branch by letting them come up with legislative measures that are timely, well-researched, well-written and responsive to the people’s needs,” Pareja said.
Pareja hoped the experience would ignite the fire of genuine public service in each of the finalists.
“Remember that you’re already active partners for change when you responded to our call,” he added.
Meanwhile, in his closing remarks, Office of the Speaker Head Executive Assistant and Inter-Parliamentary and Public Affairs Department Officer-In-Charge Deputy Secretary General Atty. Darren De Jesus said all the bills presented in the final round tackled the main points of ordinary Filipino citizens.
“This just proves that when given a chance, our youth can do greater things that can immensely contribute to the change we all desire. To borrow a word from the millennial dictionary, the youth are lit,” De Jesus said.
He said the teams’ initiative to participate in the bill drafting contest activity was truly remarkable.
“During the Bill Drafting Seminar, I wished you all luck by saying ‘may the odds be ever on your favor.’ Today, allow me to congratulate you all because you are all on fire,” De Jesus added.
He also thanked the board of judges for helping the Bill Drafting Secretariat turn the participants’ aspirations into reality.
“We are very grateful to your consistent assistance from day one, from giving them an overview of bill drafting to screening the entries and to hailing a winner among them. This event will not be a complete success without you,” De Jesus said.
Aside from Pareja and De Jesus, the other members of the Board of Judges were Office of the Speaker Deputy Secretary General Alan Tan, Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department Director General Dr. Romulo Emmanuel Miral Jr., Legislative Operations Department Deputy Secretary General Artemio Adasa, Jr., Legislative Information Resources Management Department Deputy Secretary General Edgardo Pangilinan, Legal Affairs Department Officer-In-Charge Deputy Secretary General Annalou Nachura and Reference and Research Bureau Executive Director Rosario Amatong-Buendia.
In the final stage of the bill drafting contest, the five finalists were given the chance to give their sponsorship speech and defend their bill during the interpellation with the Board of Judges.
They were judged based on the following criteria: Defense – 40 percent; Content and Technicality 30 percent; and Feasibility and Practicality 30 percent, for a total of 100 percent.
First runner-up was TEAM PHILIPPINE WONKS! of the University of the Philippines-Diliman composed of Rovin James Canja, Jelor Gallego and John Cedrick Valencia for their bill entitled “An Act Establishing The Emission Cap-And-Trade System In The Energy Generation And Supply Sector To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions And To Protect The Environment”.
Second runner-up was TEAM SAN BEDA X of San Beda College led by Vida Camille Flores, Elisa Angela Abillar and Angelo Ortiguera for their bill entitled “An Act Providing For The Protection Of Rights Of And Determination Of The Status Of Children Born Out Of Assisted Conception, Otherwise Known As ‘Declaration Of Rights And Status Of Children Of Assisted Conception Act Of 2017’”.
The third-runner up was TEAM SUPPLY of the University of Santo Tomas composed of Ean Dominique De Castro, Earl Christian Pelagio and Mark Anthony Ponce for their bill titled “An Act Promoting The Establishment Of Scrapping And Salvaging facilities For Surrendered Vehicles, And For Other Purposes.”
And fourth runner up was TEAM SINAGTALA of the University of the Philippines-Manila composed of Amir Najim Pangcoa, Mayrll Louise Santos and Raven Ace Villanueva for their bill entitled “An Act Providing For A Mandatory Annual Waterways System Cleanup Drive Program In The Identified Flood-Prone Barangays In The Philippines Between The Months Of March To May, Providing Penalties, Appropriating Funds Thereof, And For Other Purposes.” / MVIP