A wishful citizenry’s tips for neophyte solons

my latest article for POC.

The incoming 15th Congress is expected to be a playground for a major realignment of political forces under the new Aquino administration. On the other hand, the general notion is that nothing fresh is to be expected from the House of Representatives as it consists largely of the old elite, what with “mainstream politicos” and “household figures” the likes of Arroyos and Marcoses winning seats anew.

Old blood, same old antics, nothing new? Congress neophytes are begging to disagree.

To prove their case, celebrities-turned-congresswomen-elect Lani Mercado and Lucy Torres-Gomez finished Congress 101, a crash course for first-time solons. Mercado, representing the second district of Cavite, and Torres-Gomez, incoming representative of Leyte province’s fourth district, both say that they hope to disprove cynics who are saying that they would only serve to “beautify” Congress.

World boxing champ and congressman-elect of Sarangani province Manny Pacquiao, meanwhile, seemed to convey that he could also deliver punches in Congress by flaunting his newly-acquired high school diploma. Pacquiao recently finished his high school studies through the Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System (ALS), a program utilizing non-formal and computer-based approaches for out-of-school youths to get their diplomas.

These are, admittedly, impressive jump-starters for Congress’ first-timers. Their message: Neophytes mean business. Unfortunately, it takes more than enthusiasm and a glorified piece of paper to instill much-needed change in legislature and governance.

Below are ten tips from a citizenry who wish neophytes well and hope that they fulfill their promises and duties to the people who gave them mandate:

read the full article here.

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