Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004


@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

The current categorization of Congress bills and resolutions is dull and uninformative. If we want the public to know more about the legislative process, we should review our practice of merely classifying the bills into first reading, second reading, and third reading.

Bills filed on first reading are worthy to mention only if they would disrupt and titillate the political landscape. Identifying the bills which hurdled the second and third reading is proper but the Congress journal doesn’t distinguish the bills with parochial intent from those with national significance. And even bills which reached third reading aren’t sure of being signed into laws since they still need the concurrence of the senate, bicameral committee (the third and most powerful house of congress), and the president of the republic.

So what should we do? Below are some suggestions to make the categories more interesting and precise.

The Priority bills have the support of the Congress leadership. They are usually Ledac bills. If a measure is authored by the Speaker, it’s a bill with Mandate From Heaven. Congress can approve a bill on a single day if it has a certification from the president which makes it a Lightning McQueen bill.

Through the tyranny of numbers, Congress can ignore public opinion and approve controversial measures like the Con-Ass in 2009. They are Shock And Awe bills or from the point of view of the ruling party: What We Are In Power For bills. Unconstitutional measures can be called Infirmary bills because they are legally infirm.

Lolit Solis resolutions are often filed to greet influential church leaders and Filipino global achievers. They are similar to Sunrise/Sunset measures which are automatically filed after a huge national or natural disaster is reported by the media.

It’s a popular practice to revive Zombie or Undead bills which were ignored by the previous Congress. Sometimes, legislators make the mistake of refilling bills which have already been passed into law; hence they are called Second Life bills. Archived bills which are reintroduced should be known as Recycled bills. Amending a law is often done by filing Viagra bills especially if the goal is to enhance or enlarge the scope and functionality of the law. Sex Change bills are possible if the original author wants to change the committee referral of the measure. A bill suffers from an Identity Crisis if its title contradicts its own explanatory note and even the main text of the document.

It’s not wrong to adopt a substitute bill which is often done to consolidate several bills that deal on a single subject; but that substitute or consolidated bill mutates into a Prostituted bill if it contains so many provisions that fundamentally alter its intended objectives.

Most legislators are guilty of proposing resolutions not in aid of legislation but In Aid Of Next Elections. Many local bills are actually Reelection bills. Some legislators are also fond of using the official power of Congress to embarrass and weaken their rivals by filing I Hate My Enemies bills.

To improve their political curriculum vitae, some legislators are unnecessarily bombarding the Bills and Index Service with their Bilbil bills. While many measures are sensible, there are also several Everything I Need To Know, I Learned In Kindergarten bills. Long And Winding Road bills have a very lengthy, sometimes superfluous, introductory notes.

My favorite topics are the Padre Damaso and Hallelujiah bills which seek to propagate the Catholic dogma or direct the attention of Congress to unanswerable philosophical and divine questions like the beginning of life.

Those that require substantial funding from the (eternally) bankrupt local and national governments are Bilmoko bills. Good intentions are not enough since the conservative block often brands a well-meaning measure as unrealistic or impossible to implement which makes it a Man in the Moon bill.

Mona Lisa bills remain trapped at the committee level. They are also Bungalow bills since they don’t reach the Upper House. If archived, they are condemned as Basement bills.

Contractor bills are infrastructure measures that benefit a favored public works agency or a private contractor. Uncle Sam bills pay tribute to our former colonial master while Big Brother China or Bad Bully China bills address our dynamic, often tenuous, relationship with the Asian giant.

Here is my congress page and you are very much welcome to classify the bills/resolutions I authored and co-authored based on the categories I listed above.

Next: Privilege and Non-Privilege speeches

3 Responses to “House Bills and Resolutions Reloaded!”

  1. That’s a good one. Haha. 😀 and a nice break from all your serious entries. 🙂


  2. Very funny, Mong. I do miss your humor. :p


  3. […] There are bills, resolutions, joint resolutions, and concurrent resolutions. Legislation takes time and the tyranny […]

    Mong Palatino » Blog Archive » Congress Lobbying

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