Cayetano advises public to participate in budget hearings through social media

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House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is encouraging Filipinos to actively participate in the 2021 budget deliberation process, citing online platforms that have made it easier to share with the public the work being done in the House of Representatives.

“Since the start of this pandemic, Congress has taken advantage of these new technologies to continue doing our work.”

“Now, as we deliberate on the budget, we can use these same systems to allow our fellow citizens – not just to watch, but to directly participate in the process,” he urged

Both chambers have made use of videoconferencing in conducting their hearings and sessions to adhere to safety protocols. Even President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest State of the Nation Address made use of this technology with only a select few attending the actual event.

Cayetano floats the idea of public participation through social media or online platforms, said Cayetano. Congress needs the public’s ideas the same way it did for the creation of the recently ratified Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2, according to him.

House leaders will be meeting this week to discuss how the budget hearings would work virtually.

“This is going to be the first time that this will be done, so there might be some growing pains. But we want to make sure that it is as inclusive and comprehensive as possible. Dapat po lahat ng gustong magsalita ay mabibigyan ng pagkakataon na marinig ang boses,” said the House speaker.

[Everyone who wants to say their piece should be given a chance to.]

“They should be able to give us their opinion, tell us what they want us to prioritize, and witness the process firsthand. This also goes to show our transparency and accountability to our constituents,” added Cayetano.

The first set of budget hearings in the lower chamber is scheduled to happen on September 4.

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