The project was conceived primarily to increase public knowledge on Senate legislative performance. It aimed to develop and use a convenient media for informing the public on Senate legislative performance and other legislative matters. It also addressed the lack of immediate access to measurable performance per individual senator.
Background and Problem
The Senate, together with the House of Representatives, make up the Congress of the Philippines which is vested with legislative powers – the power to make, amend, and repeal laws, as well as the power of appropriation and the power of taxation on the legislature – with a vision of a Senate that is independent, fair, and fearless and a government institution that zealously protects the Constitution, promotes democratic values, and upholds the national interest. However, the absence of a media for informing the public on the measurable legislative performance of senators creates a gap between the performance of the legislators and legislature as well as the level of awareness and information of the general public who is supposed to be the recipient of the legislation being introduced by the legislators.
Solution and Impact
The Senate Legislative Scorecard fills the gap by providing a link to the Senate website (www.senate.gov.ph), particularly the Legislative Information System which is the official repository of legislative performance and statistical data. The user can access any of the ten (10) available tabs of their interest or concern. These tabs or indices are aligned to the ten (10) key areas under the Philippine Development Plan of the executive department: (1) growth; (2) macroeconomic policy; (3) industry and services; (4) agriculture and fisheries; (5) financial system; (6) social development; (7) good governance; (8) peace and security; (9) environment and natural resources; and (10) infrastructure development. Basically, the project aimed to assist the users on determining the thrust of the Senate and/or the individual senator’s priority bills with reference to the agenda of the executive department. The tabs may be changed to align with the key results area of the incumbent executive leadership.
The growing popularity of social media and the increased involvement of the people, especially the civil society, to the affairs of the public service and governance will be factors for the potentially high appreciation for the Senate Legislative Scorecard. The legislators can also take this as an opportunity to present to the general public their accomplishments without being accused of campaigning or grandstanding because these are actual statistical information.
The project conducted brainstorming activities with the representatives of the Services Unit (the Bills and Index Service and the Electronic Data Processing-Management and Information System (EDP-MIS) Operations Service as the main players and representatives from the Committee Support Services as optional or secondary players) to determine the desired features of the scorecard . After which, the development of the system commenced which included planning and estimation of resources; analysis and determination of end-user requirements using systems investigation; designing and development of data processing flow and user interface; and construction and execution of plans laid out in the design. Eventually, the system prototype was tested and evaluated.
The scholar presented the project to the Senate leadership. The project was consequently referred to the appropriate offices in the Senate for evaluation and for its eventual inclusion in the Senate website. Continuous monitoring of the status of the proposed project was done and followed by a request of financial allocation for its future development.
Note: This initiative is based on the Public Management Development Program (PMDP) Re-Entry Plan of Mr. Ricardo B. Andrada of the PMDP Middle Manager Class Batch 9 (Hiyas).