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.

Commitee Meeting right there
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. 😉