Current Events and Issues Affecting the Philippines

Philippine contingent to APEC Peru 2008

MANILA, Philippines –

Leaders of 21 member countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation will meet on November 22 to 23 in Lima, Peru to re-align APEC’s commitment to economic development, among other issues, in the Asia Pacific region. These countries are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Republic of the Philippines, Russian Federation, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United States of America, and VietNam.

The Philippines will of course be represented by our “beloved” president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Unfortunately, she seem to be in such a joyful mood as of late (blame it on the masterful cover-up provided by Jocjoc Bolante in the Senate inquiry) that she extended an invitation to all the lawmakers present during the 61st birthday celebration of Speaker Prospero Nograles in Davao City.

In an instant, over 40 congressmen have signified their intention to join the trip. Talk about austerity in this time of financial crisis worsen by global economic slowdown. Press Sec. Jesus Dureza was quick to counter that congressmen who will join the trip are set to personally shoulder the expenses. While it may be protocol for the president to be accompanied by representatives form the Senate and the Lower House during such meetings, isn’t 40+ congressmen just too much? At the same time, Congress is still in session. For a large number of them to skip session for an endeavour where their participation is negligible is simply unacceptable.

Honorable congressmen, please don’t deprive your constituents their due. Your time spent in lawmaking and in local governance are the most effective means to serve them.


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