MANILA, (PNA) — Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and his independent bloc on Thursday filed a resolution to resurrect the congressional oversight committee aimed at further promoting transparency and accountability in the government.
Romualdez spearheaded the filing of House Resolution 268 to ensure that performance of different government agencies are monitored, especially in meeting revenue targets.
“Legislative oversight is the process by which Congress takes an active role in understanding, monitoring and evaluating the performance of state bodies and instrumentalities and applies this knowledge to its three other functions, namely, making laws and public policy, setting budgets, and raising revenues,” the resolution said.
The resolution is also urging Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., to support their resolution who would help the government to strictly monitor disbursement of funds and follow what had been started in fighting graft.
Aside from Romualdez, the resolution was also introduced by La Union Rep. Victor Ortega, Surigao del Sur Rep. Philip Pichay, Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla, Quezon Rep. Aleta Suarez, Buhay party list Rep. Lito Atienza, Abakada party list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, Lanao del Norte Abdullah Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte Rep. Imelda Dimaporo, former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her son Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado Arroyo.
The bill proposes that the Committee on Oversight “shall exercise the duties and powers of a standing committee and shall have jurisdiction over all matters directly relating to transparency and accountability in government operations, including those manifested in audit reports of COA, referred complaints by civil society organizations and other executive oversight instrumentalities.”
It will be recalled that the standing Committee on Oversight was constituted in the 12th to 14th Congresses and was given the jurisdiction on “all matters directly and principally relating to the coordination of executive development planning and congressional action specifically the review of the execution and effectiveness of laws pursued through the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC), and the corresponding implementing rules and regulations thereof.”
The panel, whose main function was to evaluate the performance of all government agencies, was abolished during the 15th Congress due to “redundancy.”
But Romualdez pointed out that the “constitutionally-mandated corollary doctrines of separation of powers and checks and balances among the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary is best achieved through the effective functioning of the legislative oversight.”
“If the House truly wants the strengthening of democratic institutions, this is one way to do it — strengthening the oversight function of the chamber, through the standing Committee on Oversight and the subcommittee on oversight of the regular committees, if there is any,” the resolution stressed.
In their explanatory notes, Romualdez explained that a strong coordination between the oversight committee and all standing committees should be in place– just like the United States Congress — as its main functions include submission of oversight plans and reports of each standing committee to the Committee on Oversight and Government reform.
“If that can be done, there would be complementation in oversight work if the regular committee cannot handle the function. There should also be a research arm for oversight work, if the staff complement cannot be increased,” Romualdez said.