Bill allows ‘netizens’ to participate in amending, enacting new laws

(BUSINESS MIRROR) Senator Jinggoy Estrada, moving to allow netizens to participate in lawmaking, asked Congress to pass an enabling legislation that will “allow the public to participate in every step of the legislative process, whether to amend or enact new laws, through online platforms.”

As proposed, the Estrada bill provides individuals or groups will allow netizens to join the lawmaking process.

Sa ilalim ng panukalang ito, maaari silang lumahok sa legislative process—mula sa First Reading, Second Reading at Third Reading—sa pamamagitan ng crowdsourcing,” Estrada said referring to his Senate Bill No. 2344, or the proposed “Crowdsourcing in Legislative Policymaking Act.”

Estrada explained that the bill, if enacted into law, “would enable individuals or groups to engage in crowdsourcing, which is defined as the practice of engaging individuals or a group towards a common goal, often at innovation, problem-solving, or efficiency in the delivery of services.”

The senator said he envisions that “through social media or online portals of the Senate and the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office [PLLO], the public can post or submit their inputs or comments to the committee deliberating on a bill.”

Estrada added that after the filing of a bill in the Senate or after the First Reading stage, the public can submit their comments within 15 working days, which shall be part of the inputs to be discussed during the committee deliberations.

“Once the bill is reported on the floor during the Second Reading of the measure, the public is given three working days to submit their comments, and in the Third Reading, another three working days are allotted to the public for their inputs,” the senator clarified.

Estrada added that the bill provides the PLLO website will be tasked to create an online platform where the public can start a campaign or petition to review, amend, or repeal a law or create a bill, the result of which may be transmitted to any member of both houses of Congress for appropriate action. The PLLO shall also provide an online crowdsourcing feedback report to inform the proponents of the actions taken.

Noong kasagsagan ng pandemya, naging virtual ang lahat, pati ang pagpapasa ng batas at dito nakita natin na lumalahok ang mga resource persons sa mga pagdinig sa Senado o committee hearings,” the veteran lawmaker noted.

Estrada said he expects the bill will help broaden the reach of Congress in considering the inputs, suggestions, recommendations, and objections of the people on a particular legislative proposal.

“It will also provide channels that will help lawmakers prioritize the issues and problems that need to be addressed, solicit ways on how to solve them, and obtain feedback on the implemented solutions and policies,” he added.