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Members of the House of Representatives are supportive of the Senate's consideration of options to move to Quezon City, perhaps to the campus of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, saying coordination between the two chambers can only improve with such a move.
It would be ideal, according to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and several congressmen, if the Senate and the House of Representatives were to hold offices under one roof at the Batasan complex, but the House leader said there is no more space for the senators there.
“Yes, definitely, it’s better for Congress,” Belmonte said in a text message when asked to comment on the Senate’s consideration of UP Diliman as a future site for the Uppher House. “Better coordination, easier to arrange meetings, and it would unite the venue of the two Houses in one city."
Belmonte said he has talked with Senator Franklin Drilon and discussed how moving together at the Batasan complex would not be feasible due to lack of space to accommodate 24 senatorial staffs.
Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II agreed that having closer offices could improve coordination between the congressmen and the senators, which could lead to faster approval of priority measures.
Cavite Representative Joseph Emilio Abaya and Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara, said investments on the new Senate abode should consider its long-term effect.
Abaya said that ideally, the Senate and the House should be "collocates or under one roof" similar to the US Congress and the House of Commons and Lord in the United Kingdom to create efficiency in the law-making process.
“UP Diliman will be a good compromise, but we might as well invest on infrastructure under one roof since it will be an investment for generations to come,” he said.
Abaya added that access to the people should also be considered in choosing the new Senate office.
Angara said moving to UP would incur costs for the construction of the building, but in the long run would save the Senate money for rentals.
“We really should be thinking 30 to 50 years down the line,” Angara added. Kabataan partylist Representative Raymond Palatino believes that the more cost efficient way is to move to the Batasan complex. He said that while he has nothing against using the university for the Senate office, he believes UP’s land could be better developed to serve the students.
“It’s more cost efficient, empty space available, and it’s convenient to have two Houses of Congress in one compound. It’s not wrong to choose UP Diliman, but better to develop UP lands for academic purposes,” Palatino said.
Zambales Representative Milagros Magsaysay said she welcomes the plan to move to UP if it has an ample space. “It will be closer to the House of Representatives and easier for both House to coordinate with each other,” she said.