Lawmakers who skip work and don’t attend plenary sessions must have their salaries deducted just like other regular employees, as per a bill filed by Navotas City Representative Tobias Tiangco.
House Bill 412, otherwise known as “An act providing for a ‘No work, No pay’ policy for members of Congress,” sought to encourage quorum in the 17th Congress, Philstar reported.
“Kasi ang ordinaryong trabahador ‘no work, no pay,’ so siguro kami rin dapat ‘no work, no pay.’ Kung gusto natin ng pagbabago eh manggaling rin mismo doon sa Kongreso,” Tiangco said.
However, not all lawmakers agree with the proposal. Senator Panfilo Lacson, for one, said he would oppose Tiangco’s bill, as lawmakers cannot be compared to daily wage earners.
“We are responsible officials and we answer to our constituents when we misbehave or commit a misdemeanor like not attending sessions whimsically or without justifiable reason,” Lacson told the Inquirer.
Under Tiangco’s proposal, a lawmaker’s P97,163 monthly salary will be divided by the number of session days to determine his salary per session day.
This salary per session day will then be multiplied by the number of absences, which will be subtracted from the original monthly salary.
Aside from achieving quorum, the measure also aims to prevent absenteeism while ensuring that the duly elected lawmakers’ respective constituents get proper representation in Congress.
In 2014, former Sarangani Rep. and now Senator Manny Pacquiao and former Negros Occidental Rep. Jules Ledesma were listed as the top absentees in the House.
Pacquiao was present in only four sessions while Ledesma only reported to work for seven out of 70 session days.