Press Release
April 24, 2012

Drilon leads delegation to the 126th IPU in Kampala, Uganda

Senator Franklin Drilon highlighted the country's progress in addressing the "digital divide between the government and the people" during the General Assembly of the 126th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) held in Kampala, Uganda, last March 31 to April 5, 2012.

"By keeping in step with the rest of the technological world, the country has moved forward in addressing the people's needs through enhanced e-government web services, allowing individuals to gain better access through faster, and more reliable online transactions with various government agencies," Drilon said.

"In fact, as a means to bring both Houses of Congress to the Filipino people, the Philippine Senate and the House of Representatives now feature live-streaming of our Plenary Sessions in our respective websites, allowing people to view Congressional proceedings through the internet," Drilon added.

The Senator also underscored the country's information communication technology (ICT) programs such as the "iSchools Project" and "GILAS", which aim to provide computers and internet access to public high schools around the Philippines.

Prior to the Assembly proper, Drilon participated in the 263rd Session of the powerful IPU Executive Committee as an elected member representing the Asia-Pacific Group, which is comprised of 29 Parliaments. Drilon was also elected as member of the IPU Gender-Partnership Group, and was deeply involved in the discussions concerning the IPU Budget, and the inclusion of other parliaments into the IPU, particularly Myanmar and Haiti. The decisions made by the Committee were afterwards reported by Senator Drilon during the meeting of the Asia-Pacific Group.

Apart from his IPU attendance, Drilon took time to meet with the officers and members of the Filipino community in the Ugandan capital in Kampala to hear their stories of living and working far from their homeland.

In April, 2005, Drilon was elected as President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) 112th General Assembly. He was elected the following year as Chairman of the IPU Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians, the prestigious international body that investigates violations of human rights of lawmakers throughout the world. Drilon is the first Filipino legislator to be elected to the position since the IPU was established in 1889.

Other members of the Philippine delegation to the 126th IPU included Deputy Speaker Raul A. Daza, Congressmen Rufus B. Rodriguez, Janette L. Garin and Roilo S. Golez, House Secretary General Marilyn Barua-Yap and Senate Deputy Secretary for Legislation, Edwin B. Bellen.

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