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Position Paper

House Bill Nos. 8405, 8773 and Memorandum Circular No. 52


PUBLiCUS Asia Inc.

Good afternoon and thank you Chairperson Plaza, the Committee and the Secretariat for this
invitation.

PUBLiCUS is a 16-year old political consulting firm based in Manila with ASEAN as a practice
area. We embrace innovative disruptions to ensure the power of the crowds is integrated in
advocacies, campaigns, policies, programs and the likes.

As an avid practitioner of crowdsourcing for legislation and rule-making, we are thankful that
there is now a recognition of crowdsourcing as a veritable source of information, consultation
and participation. Imagine the state of affairs now, based on the 2018 We Are Social global
survey: 105.7 million population, of which 44 percent are urban-based. 67 million are internet
users, or a penetration rate of 63 percent. Unique mobile users stand at 61 million, or 58%
penetration. Active mobile social users are at 62 million, or 59% penetration. The number one
social media platform in the country is Facebook, where 50 million Filipinos are users or have
accounts; 42% are daily active users of Facebook. Filipinos spend four hours and 17 minutes in
social media on average, daily.
We therefore support House Bill No. 8405 by Rep. Gary Alejano and House Bill No. 8773 by
Rep. Lray Villafuerte. We did crowd sourcing for the People’s Federal Constitution. We drafted
a 10-page draft constitution in collaboration with a non-government organization, Tanggulang
Demokrasya or TANDEM and subjected the same to crowdsourcing online for 30 days. After
which, we amended the draft, collated all comments and submitted these documents to the
leaders of the land. In the 30-day open consultation, we pushed information on
assets/resources by region; pushed a video on the difference between unitary and federal;
presidential and parliamentary. We pulled and culled brilliant, relevant and some would say,
innocuous ideas from the public with at least 100 comments from users who come from 28
provinces and cities. 11 provinces are from Luzon, 4 cities from NCR, 6 provinces from Visayas
and 7 from Mindanao. Comments also came from OFWs in Singapore, Spain, Denmark and
Australia. Your honors, that is the essence of democracy.
We recommend the consolidation of the two bills. Congress being the direct representative of
the people, we recommend further that crowdsourcing be part of the rules of the chambers than
that of the PLLO. We further suggest that there be one portal for the Philippine Congress.
Right now, the chambers are physically and digitally apart. Plenary debates are already online.
We hope the leaders of both chambers can at least get the two chambers together, even if it is
only online.
We recommend that crowdsourcing should be time bound based on legislative process from the
filing of a measure, committee hearing, rules and plenary debates. The Alejano version will
create the congressional reform much needed today.
Since we are in the last few days before the May 2019 elections, we hope this can be fast
tracked so that the 18th Congress in July will truly herald a new page on people’s participation to
legislation and rule-making. Thank you very much.