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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

House launches “Bill Drafting Contest 2017” for youth
11 July 2017 10:50:14 AM

Students from different colleges and universities across the country trooped to the House of Representatives last week to attend the seminar on the preparation and writing of House Bills which is a prerequisite to confirm their participation in the first-ever “Bill Drafting Contest 2017” sponsored by the chamber.

The “Bill Drafting Contest 2017” is an initiative of the Office of the Speaker and aims to strengthen the role of the youth in nation building and participatory governance through engagement in policy-making.

About 40 teams from Arellano University, Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), De La Salle University (DLSU) Manila, University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, University of Caloocan, UP-National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG), Malayan Colleges Laguna, Mindanao State University -Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa, San Beda College, UP Los Baños (UPLB), UP - Manila, University of Santo Tomas (UST), Bulacan State University (BulSU) Main, Immaculate Concepcion I – College of Arts and Technology, and Urdaneta City University, attended the bill drafting seminar.

Lawyer Darren De Jesus, Head Executive Assistant of the Office of the Speaker, welcomed the students on behalf of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez at the start of the seminar.

De Jesus said the seminar is necessary to equip the participants with formal background in bill drafting before they proceed to actually proposing legislative measures.

In his welcome remarks, De Jesus said the bill drafting contest is an initiative of the Office of the Speaker together with the House Secretariat.

“On behalf of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, I would like to welcome you all to this bill drafting seminar. This is the first time that we’re doing this, this is the first time that this will happen in the House of Representatives and we are really very happy that you took the time to participate, like the page, join us in the Facebook group and send an entry and be part of this groundbreaking event that we hope to replicate for the years to come,” said De Jesus who is also the Officer-in-Charge Deputy Secretary General of the Inter-parliamentary and Public Affairs Department.

De Jesus enjoined all participants to do their best in coming up with their draft bills.

“If your entry does not win, we’ll make sure it will reach the people who could make use of it and it could have a good effect on society. I understand you come from different schools and different areas. Your vibrancy is our nation’s battle cry for change, the burning passion in your heart is indeed our nation’s hope,” said De Jesus.

De Jesus urged the students that “Together let us all be partners of change by supporting #onehouseforchange which is the thrust of Office of the Speaker. We want to infuse new ideas in this institution so we could introduce better and creative bills.”

Lawyer Renato Camelon III of the House Reference and Research Bureau explained during the seminar the mechanics, form and style of bill drafting.

As an institution of, for, and by the people, it is the duty of the House of Representatives to empower and ensure that all members of the Filipino society are represented and given the platform to participate in governance. The Bill Drafting Contest is one way in which the House can strengthen the role of the youth in nation-building through participatory policy-making.

Through the Bill Drafting Contest, the House encourages 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.

The competition will inspire, empower and maximize the youth’s potential by providing them the opportunity to participate in the Legislative branch of government.

Furthermore, the bill drafting contest is envisioned to encourage the youth to identify and respond to the people’s needs, contributing to their growth as compassionate and responsible individuals and setting them in continuing the work for a better future.

Participation in the competition is open to undergraduate students who have completed at least three terms or semesters in universities and colleges in the country. Interested participants may join the competition by forming a team of three students from the same college or university. Only one bill entry shall be allowed per team and the competition will have two stages – the preliminary round and the final round.

The proposed bills of the participants must: be national in scope; be a special law; consist of 10 to 20 sections; and use the prescribed format/outline which, together with the other details of the contest, is posted at the House website.

Five winners will be chosen with the overall champion to receive P50,000, medal, certificate of recognition and HREP merchandise while the first runner up will receive P30,000, medal, certificate of recognition and HREP merchandise.

The second runner up will receive P15,000, a medal, certificate of recognition and HREP merchandise while the third and fourth runners up will both receive P2,000, medal, certificate of recognition and HREP merchandise.

The chosen bill will be referred to the appropriate committee which will in turn use and formally file it. / MVIP