Citizens’ participation in lawmaking eyed

MEASURE that seeks to establish a framework for citizens’ participation in legislation and rule-making through the use of information and communications technology (ICT) has gained support from House panel members.

The House Committee on People’s Participation chaired by Agusan del Sur Rep. Maria Valentina Plaza has approved the bill.

The proposed “Crowdsourcing Act” aims to allow citizens and the public at-large to participate in the legislative process wherever they are through the internet or mobile platforms.

This principle is extended to the right of citizens to participate in the legislative process through the use of information and communication technology platforms

The bill defines crowdsourcing as the practice of engaging the individuals or a group for a common goal, often innovation, problem solving or efficiency, powered by new technologies, social media and Web 2.0 so that individuals or groups are able to contribute to the formulation, improvement, and creation of laws that are beneficial to the nation.

Information and Communications Technology refers to the totality of electronic means to access, create, collect, store, process receive, transmit, present and disseminate information;

The bill allows citizens and the public at-large to participate in the legislative process wherever they are through the internet or mobile platforms.

The crowdsourcing process for first reading of a measure shall be that upon the filing of a national measure, the Secretariat of Congress shall post a copy of the measure and give the public 15 days, except for bills certified as urgent by the President, to submit their comments upon referral of the measure on first reading. The comments from the public may form part of the inputs for committee deliberations.

The Standing Committee may incorporate the comments and issue a crowdsourcing feedback report online to inform the proponent of the action taken by the Standing Committee

For measures with committee report, the process shall be that upon submission of a committee report by the concerned Standing Committee to the Committee on Rules, the public is given one week to submit its comments on the measure, except for bills certified as urgent by the President, before the Committee on Rules includes the report in the calendar of the Order of Business;

For measures with third reading copy, the process shall be that once the measure is approved on third reading and before the Bicameral Conference Committee is convened, the public is given three working days to submit its comments and the concerned committee shall review the same for consideration at the bicameral level.  Only comments germane to the measure, as revised, shall be accepted and considered.

The bill allows all citizens and the public at-large to participate in the legislative process also through the legislative liaison system via the internet or mobile platforms.

The homepage of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) shall serve as the portal for the department legislative liaison system for crowdsourcing purposes.

The PLLO website shall provide a platform through the internet where people can start a campaign or petition to revive, amend and repeal a law or create a bill, the result of which may be transmitted to any member of both the Senate and the House of Representatives for appropriate action.