MANILA, Philippines – In its effort to generate funds at the end of the year, the Senate concurred to reduce the congressional oversight committee which is expected to save P50 million.
“We have reached a consensus that there is a need to rationalize the oversight committees so that we can save on public funds,” Senate President Franklin Drilon said.
Congressional oversight refers to the review, monitoring, and supervision of federal agencies, programs, activities, and policy implementation. Congress’ oversight authority derives from its “implied” powers in the Constitution, public laws, and House and Senate rules.
Meanwhile, there are 35 oversight committees – 25 of which are created by law including e-commerce, ecological water waste, clean air act, clean water act, power commission, anti-money laundering act, agricultural and fisheries, drugs, Bureau of Internal Revenue, official development assistance, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, vehicle act, overseas voting, chain saw, automated election, civil aviation, medicines, cooperatives, human security, bio-fuels, agrarian reform, tourism, expenditures, overseas Filipino workers and risk management.
The remaining 10 of are by Senate resolutions namely labor, visiting forces agreement, science and technology, climate change,economic affairs, intelligence fund, bases conversation, local government, procurement and suffrage.
Former Senate President and now Minority Leader Juan Ponce-Enrile questioned the high number of oversight committees in the alleged wastage of the Senate funds raised against him in the last Congress.
Moreover, Drilon said that they have yet to identify which oversight committee will be abolished or retained and it is just one of the reforms that are going to be implemented in the 16th Congress.
Dayanara L. Brazil
Leyte Normal University