Solon wants lobby groups to register with SEC PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 November 2010 11:07

Lobbying to influence the outcome of a legislative measure or inquiry in Congress or any branch of the government may soon be considered as a legal undertaking.

Marikina City Rep. Marcelino Teodoro has filed House Bill No. 1199 allowing lobby groups to undertake such activity provided they are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

"The bill seeks to make lobbying activities more public and ensure openness, honesty and integrity in the dealings of and between members of Congress and lobby groups. The measure makes it possible for citizens to communicate their views on controversial issues," said Teodoro.

"It must be remembered that while records of deliberations of the Senate and the House of Representatives are open to the public, the behind-the-scenes negotiations are not," he said.

Teodoro said lobbying activities are being carried out and greatly influenced the molding of government policies and decisions and even the crafting of laws.

The bill defines lobbying as an oral or written communication with a public official intended to influence the development of any legislative proposal by the government or any member of Congress.

The Marikina City solon said lobbying also includes any oral or written communication with a public official intended to influence the introduction or change to any government policy or program.

"It is important that lobbying activities be legislated to help restore people's trust and confidence in the government and instill responsibility on people influencing policymakers," he said.

Teodoro said the bill will enhance public confidence in the integrity of public office and the decision-making process in government by implementing a policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.

Under the bill, a person or group engaged in lobbying activities must disclose in the registry the name and business address including that of his or her employer and a description of the employer's business or activities.