'eCongress' highlights legislative synergy under Marcos admin

The "synergy" between the House of Representatives and the Senate can now be clicked and viewed in the form of a website.

House Secretary General Reginald S. Velasco (right) and Senate Sec. Renato N. Bantug Jr. (left) sign the memorandum of agreement for the launching of eCongress at the National Museum in Manila Thursday morning (Speaker’s office)

This, after ranking officials of the two legislative chambers launched the digital platform known as “eCongress" during a simple event Thursday, March 9 at the National Museum in Manila.

This integrated digital legislative management system can be reached at www.econgress.gov.ph.

Leading the attending House officials was Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 2nd district Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who attended in lieu of Speaker and Leyte 1st district Rep. Martin Romualdez; while Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri led the attendees from the Senate.

Romualdez's speech was read by Arroyo, who is a former Philippine president.

The Speaker said President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA)in July last year, brought up the need to digitize, harmonize and share government records across departments and agencies.

“In response to this call, the House of Representatives, along with the Senate, now jointly establish and maintain an integrated and secure digital legislative management system for the Congress of the Philippines,” he said.

Romualdez said eCongress represents the “synergy” between the Senate and the House in their common aspiration to digitize their processes, services, and records, and share information.

He noted that such an effective communications system not only amplifies the capacity of government organizations, ensures greater transparency, and deters corruption but also serves as a mechanism for public information to promote citizen engagement in policy-making.

A highlight of the event was the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the details of operating and maintaining eCongress by House Secretary General Reginald Velasco and Senate Secretary Renato Bantug Jr.

“e-Congress will also provide updates on the status of bills, and resolutions and report legislative undertakings to inform the public and encourage citizen participation,” Romualdez said.

“It is our vision to make eCongress a key contributor in modernizing our core legislative processes towards a people-centered legislative governance and in enhancing our adherence to the democratic principles of transparency, accountability, and responsiveness,” he stressed.

The Speaker said e-Congress would use information and communications technology and other digital means of facilitating the delivery of services.

To ensure the success of the project, he said there would be continuous capacity building to enhance the digital skills of lawmakers, legislative staff, and other stakeholders.