Buhay Intern: Ocular Trip at Villar SIPAG

Hello, friend. If you happen to see this blog post by coincidence then welcome, my dear friend! I’d like to share my escapade as an intern in the Philippine House of Representatives with a hope to let an individual out there be enlighten on the matter of internship program in the HRep. This is my fifth post regarding my internship journey at the House of Representatives (HRep) and if you wish to see my previous posts, you may click the following links:

Click here for my first post, second post,  third post, and my fourth post. 🙂

In the HRep, there are 6 clusters that focuses on different sectors. One of the clusters focuses on the Agriculture. Since the committee on Agriculture will be having an ocular trip at Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (SIPAG), our daily savior, Deputy Executive Director Lorelei Hernandez decided to join the whole 24 interns since one of the activities in a committee is an ocular trip.

In Villar SIPAG, the staff of Manny and Cynthia Villar discussed the formation of the Farm School in the museum. They also discussed how they recycle materials and transformed it into a useful item. I believe that this kind of museum must be supported by the public because it has won a lot of awards due to the fact that it is a friendly-environment act.

The whole ocular trip was very informative and educational for someone like me who is not familiar with the possible usage of a recycled materials. 🙂

To know more about Villar SIPAG, click here. 🙂

Visit their Facebook here.

Buhay Intern: Committee Meeting

Hey there! If you happen to see this blog post by coincidence then welcome, my dear friend! I’d like to share my escapade as an intern in the Philippine House of Representatives with a hope to let an individual out there be enlighten on the matter of internship program in the HRep. This is my fourth post regarding my internship journey at the House of Representatives (HRep) and if you wish to see my previous posts, you may click the following links:

Click here for my first post, second post, and my third post. 🙂

Today, I’ll be sharing my experience at a committee meeting!! (wait, what?) In my previous post, I stated that since the congress is in recess, there will be no committee work, no drafting of bills, no filing of bills, no meetings on any deliberation of a house bill, no action, but why do we have a committee meeting? Here’s the context.

The Deputy Executive Director Ma’am Lorelei is one of our supervisors who manages the internship program. Due to the fact that the congress is in recess, Ma’am Lorelei and her team felt helpless because they believe that they couldn’t offer a work to us. They were frustrated that we wouldn’t be able to witness the “real action” in the congress; the heart of law drafting and making is the committee work. Therefore, Ma’am Lorelei thought of conducting a mock committee meeting! (yey!)

In a committee meeting, there should be a chairperson, vice chairperson, members of the committee, and of course the committee secretary. This committee meeting is where the members of a certain committee (for example, Committee on Justice) deliberate and discuss on a specific house bill. Dito talaga unang inaayos ang house bills. Moving on, the Committee Secretary is the secretary of the chairperson; a congressman or a woman. The Committee Secretary is responsible of organizing the meeting, sending invites and notices, creating the agenda, research work for the chairperson, reserving food for the participants, confirming the attendance, in short EVERYTHING. Since we will be conducting a mock committee meeting, Ma’am Lorelei asked for a volunteer so I happily and hurriedly raised my hand to volunteer #competitive. And another guy from UP NCPAG also volunteered to be a committee secretary.

Fast forward to our committee meeting, my fellow committee secretary were quite worried. We have to compile 100 pages of house bills, Republic Acts, Meeting Guide, Matrix of Measures, Agenda, and Position Papers in less than 4 hours! There were some revisions made in the meeting guide and in the position paper so we had to wait for their late submissions and we had to edit the meeting guide. When the files were ready to be submitted, unexpectedly most of the employees were at a meeting so we had to wait for them. While we wait, my fellow committee secretary skipped meal because we prepared for the committee meeting so we read the house bills, the laws, everything that is related with the meeting. As committee secretaries, we must know what the meeting is all about because we must follow the flow of the discussion, must guide the chairperson when the chairperson is at lost, and must know the inquiries of the members of the committee.

Fast forward when we went to the meeting venue, there were unexpected errors! Man, I was really frustrated but I still remained calm and understanding. There were some tasks that were not executed by some of the secretariats which is very frustrating but instead of whining about it, we have to do something to address the issue. After some time, it was then addressed with the help of the secretariat team. The meeting kit was already distributed so we started the committee meeting.

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Commitee Meeting right there
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Up close and personal: I looked stressed but I’m still fab with my scarf

The committee meeting lasted for 2 hours, and it was a success! We had a fruitful discussion! After a stressful and tiring day, I have to say that I love being a committee secretary. It was an exhausting job, but I enjoyed it because I learned from this experience. Overall, this experience is one of the moments in my internship program. I really want to thank Ma’am Lorelei for this idea to conduct a mock committee meeting, Secretary General for allowing this activity for us, the A-Team or the committee secretaries who organized the meeting, the committee secretaries who participated in the mock committee meeting, the secretariat team (A.K.A my co-interns), and my fellow committee secretary. Indeed, it is an experience that is worth a stress. 🙂

Buhay Intern: Crash Course for the Neophytes

[ Thank you Center for Policy and Executive Development, CPED for the amazing photos ❤ ]

Hi there, if you happen to see this blog post by coincidence then welcome, my dear friend! I’d like to share my escapade as an intern in the Philippine House of Representatives with a hope to let an individual out there be enlighten on the matter of internship program in the HRep.

This is my third post regarding my internship journey at the House of Representatives (HRep) and if you wish to see my previous posts, Click here to read my first post, and Click here to read my second post. 😉

In this post, I’ll share you my experience as a staff of the Crash Course for the Neophytes of the incoming 17th congress! Before I start my blog post, I would like to thank and acknowledge Center for Policy and Executive DevelopmentUP National College of Public Administration and Governance, and of course the House of Representatives for granting us this opportunity to be a staff in the Crash Course for the Neophytes.

Ang kapangyarihan ay nasa tao. – Secretary General Marilyn Yap on reminding the fundamental rule to the New Legislators

The 4-day crash course for the neophytes is a week of conferences and discussions regarding the procedures and rules of being a legislator in the House. This is to help and guide them for the incoming 17th congress. Moreover, The non-mandatory crash course is for the newly elected congressmen and women only offered by the House of Representatives. As a staff, it is a great experience to be seating on the same venue with the legislators because we are also learning from the discussions given by experts and professional lawyers and lecturers.

The powerful one defines, and the powerless is defined. – Dr. Clarita Carlos

One of the privileges to be a staff of the crash course is to have an opportunity to take pictures with the new legislators! ❤

Moving on to the last day of the crash course, the neophytes were able to witness a mock session in the plenary hall. This is to give them a moment to analyze how a session is conducted, how a motion is risen, how a privilege speech is delivered, how to be recognized, so on and so forth. Basically, everything that happens in a session was compressed and conducted during their crash course. I would like to commend the committee secretaries from the different committees who prepared the mock session, acted as a legislator, imitated different attitudes of a certain legislator, and pretended to have discussions with their co-authors. 🙂

Mr Speaker Gif

After the crash course and the mock session, I was able to seize the chance to take a video in the podium while I imitate a legislator to be recognized by the house speaker. Sana ako rin, mapansin niya. char! And after our tiring week, it seems to be a routine to hangout with my fellow interns. I believe that fellowship is important, knowing that we will all be working in the same sphere in the future; politics. So if you will have an internship soon, take this as a reminder and an advice. 😉

Buhay Intern: Workplace Assignment

Hey, you’re back! This is my second blog post regarding my Internship Journey at the House of Representatives (HRep)!

In my first week in the HRep, we had a one-week conference about the legislative process here in the Philippines, specifically the procedure in the Congress. During our conference, ma’am Lorelei Hernandez, the Deputy Executive Director in the Committee Affairs Department stated that “since the Congress is in recess¹, there are no committee work, no drafting of bills, no filing of bills, no meetings on any deliberation of a house bill, no action”.

1 – A recess is a temporary suspension of the Congress. 

You came at the right place, but you came at the wrong time.

It’s a phrase that has been repeated by a lot of speakers during our conference. We were excited to experience the action in the committee meetings, in the plenary sessions, and even during the drafting of bills but we were saddened by the fact that the Congress is in recess. Regardless of the recess, the internship program must go on therefore Ma’am Lorelei and Sir Alfred introduced us to the Service Directors and the Committee Secretaries after our conference. We were designated to different clusters, randomly.

Our group was assigned to the legal and political cluster headed by the Service Director Atty. Amorin. We were asked to make a resource file on the matter of forms of the government. We were also asked to make a research paper about Federalism to prepare for the possible constitutional changes in the Philippine Government.

My co-interns and I were reading a lot of transcript, privileges speeches, and constitutional convention discussion to finish our resource file. It honed my diligence to finish up our paperwork, I was able to improve my momentum in reading, and my interest in the legislative branch grew further. While we were doing our resource file, we were no exemption to participate the MMDA Shake Drill. 🙂

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MMDA Shake Drill at HRep

After our tiring week full of reading and summarizing transcripts, my co-interns and I were able to know one another and so we decided to hangout and have a dinner after our work. 🙂

Buhay Intern: Getting to Know Part

Hi there! I would like to share my internship experience in *Drum roll* THE House of Representatives¹!! (yey) This is to help some aspiring interns for the House of Representatives. Please do excuse my long post.

1 – I will be referring House of Representatives as “HRep” starting from this post then.

A week before our internship started, we had our orientation led by our initial supervisor Sir Alfred Puno. He briefed us regarding the basic rules and policies that we have to abide by because as soon as we start our internship in the HRep, we are declared [temporary] employees of HRep. We have to wear corporate attires during our workdays, we have to time in and time out through a biometric device, and we have to observe proper behavior with other employees. Besides that, I was able to meet other interns from various campuses namely; University of the Philippines Diliman, Ateneo de Manila University, St. Scholastica’s College, and San Beda College. We were all 24 interns this 2016. My blockmate, Gab Isip and I were really excited to slay this internship program!

Fast forward to our first day as an intern, all the interns were called at the main hall of the HRep to witness the Flag Raising which happens on the first monday of the month. We sang the Philippine National Anthem, and did the Pledge of Allegiance to the Philippine Flag. It was incredibly refreshing, because we never had a Flag Ceremony with all the students at Miriam College. Moving on, Secretary General Marilyn Barua-Yap delivered her opening remarks in the main hall. After that, all the interns had a roll call and we were formally introduced to the employees of HRep as interns.

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Group Picture after our Roll Call and our Flag Ceremony at the Main Hall of the HREP. That’s me in the middle!

After our Flag Ceremony, we rode a shuttle of HRep to explore the premises of the HRep. After our tour around the House, we went to the Conference Room along with the other interns and our supervisor. We were welcomed by Ma’am Lorelei Hernandez, Deputy Executive Director under the Committee Affairs Department. She told us that we will be having a one-week conference regarding the legislative process, the Parliamentary House Rules and Procedures, Bill Drafting, Committee System, and a lot of topic that is in correlation with the legislative process here in the Philippines.

On our first day of our internship, it was the last session of the 16th Congress. Congressman Neri Colmenares wanted to override the Presidential veto on the House Bill 5842, the proposal to increase the Social Security System (SSS) pension. However, the nays reigned over the ayes during the viva voce when asked on the resumption of the overriding the veto. Moreover, my co-interns and I were able to witness the second time in the history to have an individual, specifically Harlin Abayo be ousted from the house by the Sergeant-at-arms. He was ousted due to an issue of validity of his position as the congressman.

Click here to know more about Abayon as he was escorted out of Congress.

day 1 (10)Last Session of the 16th Congress and the Pagpupugay

My first week stay in the HRep was already fulfilling and informative. Indeed, I am beyond blessed to have been accepted as an intern in the House of Representatives, Batch 2016.