Press Release
July 9, 2013

Transcript of Interview of Senator TG Guingona on Crowdsourcing Bill

Q: On your crowdsourcing bill, why is there a need for this kind of legislation?

STG: Ito ay enhancing ng pakikilahok ng taumbayan. If people want to participate in the process of law-making , they have to give their comments, ideas and suggestion and that happens now . Traditionally, what they have to do is they have to come here to the Senate. They have to be here at a certain point of time. For example, 8 am-12 in the afternoon. So, may limitation as to time, space at saka may gastos pa yan. Kailangan pa nila mag hotel or mag eroplano kung galing sila let's say Cebu o Mindanao. So may limitations ng time at space. Itong crowdsourcing bill, ang mangayayari niyan ay ilalagay sa isang wall for example Facebook. Meron wall at lahat ng gusto makilahok puwede makilahok via the internet. So maski na andoon ka sa Mindanao, puwede ka makilahok. Maski na alas kwatro na ng madaling araw puwede kang mag-participate. Wala ng limitations as to time. At anywhere in the Philippines, whether you are in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte or Polomolok, South Cotabato , you can participate. All the comments and all the suggestions become official record of the lawmaking process and all the lawmakers are forced to take into consideration your comments, suggestions and your views. This takes away the limitation of time, space and costs. Furthermore, it becomes a democracy enhancing sapagkat ang taumbayan ay madaling makilahok anytime, anywhere, wherever they maybe.

Q: Is this an off-shoot of what happened on the Cybercrime Law kasi nagkaroon ng outcry noon that they were not consulted?

STG: Yes, exactly. When we had a forum on the Cybercrime Law , it was clear to me when we got the views of people . They were saying "we were not given a chance to participate; we did not know about it and bulaga! Ito na yung Cybercrime Law". Sabi ko, oo nga naman, at this day and age, outdated na yung traditional way. Let's keep the traditional way, let's still have committee hearings but we must use technology. Andiyan na yung teknolohiya, libre naman , bakit hindi natin gamitin. Nang sa gayon hindi na maulit ang nangyari noon. At may isa pang innovation itong crowsourcing law. Pag nagawa na yung Bicam report, di ba pagkatapos ng Senate version and House version mag meeting may Bicam ang Senate and House, magkakaroon ng Bicam report at yung Bicam report iyon ang pupunta sa Malacanang para pirmahan ng Presidente. Kung pirmahan ng Presidente magiging batas at kung hindi pirmahan hindi magiging batas. Dito nakalagay , once natransmit na iyong Bicam report sa Malacanang for signature, Malacanang will be bound to post it again on the wall sa website for 5 days. So that for 5 days, the citizens can again give comments and suggestions. After 5 days, Malacanang will be given at least 3 days to go over everything that has been posted because this is part of the official records that Malacanang now can say even at that point people have been consulted. Marami kasing nagsasabi na pagdating ng Bicam madaming singit-singit. Hindi pinag-usapan sa House of Representatives, hindi pinagusapan sa Senado pero andoon sa final bill. This mechanism enhances democracy and people participative. Ito yung in line sa prinsipyo ng good governance . It makes it more transparent, it's easier for people to know what bills are happening. Accountability, may pananagutan ang lawmaker sapagkat kailangan making siya sa pinopost ng mga tao. And ithance people participation.

Q: Pero alam natin na ang internet ay sobrang daming gumagamit , hindi naman lahat makakapagbigay ng useful input. Paano ninyo mamoderate yung platform na iyon?

STG: That's one of the issues we have to tackle. On one hand some are saying there's no need for identity. The strength of the idea posted is what's important. Kung maganda naman ang sinabi, hindi na kailangan identity ng tao, yung strength ng idea. On the other hand naman, may nagsasabi na kailangan din natin ng accountability doon sa mamamayan. When you post it , you have to be accountable on for you post and also so that we can get back to you. Maganda yung posting mo , pero kailangan pa ng clarification, we can get back to you . That is a good observation and burning issue na pinaguusapan at pinagdedebatihan naming ngayon.

Q: Would it be better kung yung senators may social media accounts or strong social media presence para they can also get intouch with the citizens who wants to contribute to lawmaking.

STG: Yes, there should be. This one will be a mechanism to force them. Hindi puwedeng traditional way lang, kailangan ipost mo sa internet yung bill mo. Whoever goves their comments, you must take them into considerations. Ofcourse you don't have to follow it. You must take them into considerations.

Q: Kasama ba sa bill ninyo dapat may live streaming ang mga committee hearings?

STG: Puwede iyon, we have just to look into the technology and the cost . I think it can be done . But what's more important is that the people can give comments anytime and anywhere.

Q: Yung wall po ba facebook po ba iyon or website?

STG: It can a website, it can be facebook. We're talking of the platform. Hindi pa kami nakakapag decide kung ano.

Q: Pinag-uusapan pa po ba kung magsign up pa ba yung tao?

STG: Oo.

Q: Saan kayo mas incline sir, kahit sino puwede magcomment or sa may accountability?

STG: Mas inclined ako doon sa may accountability lalong lalo na kung may tanong ka sa posting mo, maganda yung sinabi mo pero may tanong ako sa posting mo, hindi na kita mahanap kasi pseudo name lang nilagay mo eh. In Finland they have a crowdsourcing law but they have a national id law. That's something we have to refine . By the way , we have to crowdsource the crowdsourcing law. Of course it won't be official records yet because it's not yet a requirement. But we will crowdsource it on the 24th.

Q: How?

STG: We will advertise it online. Sasabihin natin na we have a crowdsourcing law, ito yung mga layunin. Tignan niyo and for one week , we will have this open for people to participate.

Q: Up to what stage of the process will you do the crowdsource?

STG: All stages. Even in the Bicam we will crowdsource it. Once a bill is filed by any lawmaker, after 3 days, dapat naka up na siya sa net . Of course we can do that now without the law, Of course it's not mandatory.

Q: When you allow the crowdsourcing even during the Bicam . How does that actually work?

STG: It's the same way. Before a Bicam bill signed into law, it's not done instantly. It does take time because Malacanang studies it. After consulting all these people, you also look at the website and look at the comments, baka may makita kayong maganda diyan and reason why should it be sign or not be sign into law.

Q: How do you protect against lobbying?

STG: Right now, how is it done here, there is also lobbying. It's the same. But here it is very transparent. Here can be done by whispering to someone, having dinner with somebody outside the senate. But with crowdsourcing , when you post it, everyone can see. There's more transparency. There you safeguard against lobbying and if its lobbying everybody can comment and counter lobby.

Q: Baka madelay yung certified urgent bill.

STG: We will take that into account. Pag certified urgent we might have a different take.

Q: On magnacarta for Philippine Internet Freedom

STG: It's ok. Anything that gives freedom of expression is very very welcome.

Q: Is it better than cybercrime?

STG: Most definitely. Kasi iyon, karapatan-based rather than restricting people's right to express themselves.

Q: On Online violence against women and children.

STG: We have to, that's one thing we've always been grappling with even with cyber bullying but it's not easy to craft something about, we are still studying how to do that.

Q: On SK elections . Yung 15-17 kasi, madaling mainfluence ng elders pero if we raise the age hindi ba naduplicate yung suffrage sa ibang positions?

STG: We're still studying it.

Q: Kailangan ba tanggalin ung adult influence doon sa grupo? How do you propose to do that?

STG: There is a proposal to put in anti-dynasty provisions. Nobody can be SK if they are related so many degrees by consanguinity or affinity. Yan ang unang pagkakataon sa pagdefine ng anti-dynasty kasi wala pang batas na nag define ng anti-dynasty. Ano ba ang dynasty? Kung magkapatid sila parehong mayor . yung isa mayor ng Pagupod, Ilocos Norte at yung isa mayor ng Jolo, Sulu. Dynasty bay un? Kailangan i-define natin at saka definition sa batas. Hindi yung kanya-kanyang definition ng dynasty. Definition by law of dynasty.

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