Congress Watch: Apayao Rep. Elias Bulut Heads Committee on Agrarian Reform

Wow. Are Cordillera congressional representatives on a roll or what?

We don’t usually agree with their politics but we must admit that we are impressed that four of them are heading four committees in Congress.

First, Baguio Rep. Mauricio Domogan gets to head the congressional component of the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal which we reported here.

Then, Benguet Rep. Samuel Dangwa assumed the chairmanship of the Committee on National Cultural Communities which we also mentioned here.

We also reported that Mt. Province Rep. Victor Dominguez now heads the Committee on Games and Amusement, a post he once held during the Ramos administration.

The latest one to head a committee is the youngest (he’s on his 30s), Rep. Elias Bulut Jr. of Apayao Province. He is now the chairman of the Committee on Agrarian Reform.

Are we impressed? Of course, that’s four out of seven Cordillera representatives heading congressional committees. We’ve never seen anything like this before. Usually, Cordillera reps only get to chair the Committee on National Cultural Communities which is kind of the token post for indigenous peoples. Aligning yourself with the “party” in power does have its benefits, no?

So should we bring out the tapuey and the gangsas to celebrate? Nah! We will only do that if our Representatives use their more weighty position to pass meaningful legislation. You know, a law that we can all be proud of. Something where we can say, “Hey, our Congressman/Congresswoman authored that law.”

Of the three Cordi Reps who don’t have a chairmanship post, two are neophytes: Abra Rep. Cecilia Luna and Kalinga Rep. Manuel Agyao. Neophytes really don’t get to head committees so this is not surprising.

Ifugao Rep. Solomon Chungalao, the Cordi Congressman we most admire, used to head the National Cultural Committee in the previous Congress so maybe he doesn’t mind that he’s not heading a committee this time around. Incidentally, he was the busiest Congressman (he filed the most bills) in the previous Congress.

RELATED POST: Hey Look, Your Congressman is Working. PHOTO CREDIT: Congress.gov.ph

4 Comments
  1. Not too fast on congratulating.

    It will be helpful to know what these committees do. What issues are there. What parties or interests are competing in a power struggle.

    What in the Congressmen’s backgrounds or life make them qualified to be in these committees.

    Which interest groups are salivating in glee from the composition of each committee?

  2. Heheh, all very good points. That would entail a more detailed analysis of the current political game which I don’t have the time to do at this point. Medyo busy kasi doing some projects hehe.

    But I encourage you to further expand on your points (which I agree with) and we, as we sometimes do here, will upload it as a blog post.

    It might be that our Reps have gotten in these positions because there are no takers, I really don’t know. But looking at only the numbers, having four (in seven) Cordi Reps holding committee chairs is unprecedented. Let’s give them credit for that. (But of course also call them Damomo if they are acting like Damomos).

  3. Perhaps the one that you should cringed most about is agrarian reform committee and congressman Bulut.

    That sounded like letting the cat guard the fishbowl, so to speak.

  4. Naku, agpa-research ka pay.

    Officially, the committees’ focus are listed in:
    http://www.congress.gov.ph/committees/

    In terms of example, how about this recent article on agrarian reform. Makita met dagiti inherent/potential opportunities for abuse and exploitation of the people: http://www.bulatlat.com/2007/10/centuries-old-problem

    Baguio residents are more politically sophisticated and media is more acessible; Therefore, an elected official from Baguio is deeply scrutinized compared to elected officials in remote Apayao or Abra etc.

    Thank you.

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