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Does congress actually do anything?

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Congress not seen to pass ‘CARP with reforms bill’

Cyber crime law urgent, but stalled in Congress

These are important laws that apparently will barely make it before congress ends it session on Friday. What are they doing over there?

CARP or Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program which was implemented in 1987, was meant to re-distribute farmland from land owners to the farmers. What happened was entirely different. Land owners found loop holes in the law which allowed them to distribute stocks instead of land to the farmers. If the “corporation” of the farmers go bankrupt for whatever reason, the ownership of the land returns to the original land owners. Others made lucrative deals with land developers to re zone the farmland into golf courses which is not covered by the land reform program.

One must also understand that the Philippines was under Spanish colonial rule for 300 years and this relationship of landowner and peasant never went away. It has actually remained for the past 100 years since then.

What about cyber crime? The Philippines lack laws that protect persons and businesses from crimes committed on the internet such as identity theft, hacking and intellectual copyright violations. There are no laws that protect us from online scams, spams, phising, DDoS attacks, trojans, worms, viruses and so on.

Our banks and businesses rely on laws such as these to get passed for them to operate properly.

These two laws have some similarities in their lack of movement in congress. One is that those congressmen preventing the passing of the CARP are they themselves land owners or related to land owners. Funny who voted them. The same farmers who are asking for this law. Another is that cyber crimes do not make front page news in the Philippine. Unless it’s about some homebrew hacker who unleashes a destructive virus and gets global fame and attention, we wouldn’t bother. With elections coming up in 2010, why should some congressman vote on a bill that won’t get him re-elected the next time around.

So a note to the voters. Find out what your congressional representative is up to and vote wisely.


Written by pinoypatrol

June 11, 2008 at 9:04 am