Press Release
July 4, 2013


SBN 73 allows citizens to participate in the lawmaking process online

Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III has filed the Crowdsourcing Act of 2013 (Senate Bill No. 73) in the 16th Congress. The proposed measure seeks to allow wider participation from the public in the legislative process through the use of information and communications technology.

"Laws are expressions of the people's dreams, goals and vision. Thus, elected legislators do not necessarily have the monopoly of the processes of determining what policies are good for the nation. A wider public participation in the legislative process will ensure that the nation's policies truly reflect the needs of our constituents," he said.

Under the Crowdsourcing Act, the State will promote and protect the right of the people and their organizations to effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political, and economic decision-making. According to Sen. Guingona, the bill will harness the productive and effective power of social media, as well as allow Filipinos across the country, and even abroad, to participate in the process of law-making.

"Crowdsourcing is an expression of the belief that despite our geographical separation, people can still participate in national affairs through the borderless world of the internet," he added.

The bill allows people to comment on pending bills through email and the internet. It also allows the public to access copies of bills and measures pending before the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The proposed measure likewise extends the people's right of participation to include the ability to reach their congresspersons and senators even during the period of interpellation and debates.

The Good Governance advocate believes that the people's views at this point in the lawmaking process will serve as vital guidance for the senators and congresspersons to make their final vote on pending measures.

Continuing his advocacy to promote and strengthen people participation in the formulation of vital national policies, Senator Guingona explains the principles of the proposed bill: "Crowdsourcing recognizes and allows the individual and collective power of the people, with the use of the internet and/or other information and communications system, to contribute to the formulation, improvement, and creation of laws that benefit the entire nation."

Sen. Guingona emphasized that lawmaking is a shared privilege and duty of legislators and citizens. Because of this, he believes that Congress has the duty to hear the opinion of people beyond the walls of the Senate or the House of Representatives.

"From Batanes to Sulu, people must be allowed to participate in the process of law-making. When people are allowed to participate, we have better laws. When people are allowed to participate, we have better people," Sen. Guingona said.

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