HOW THE WEALTHY AND WELLBORN DOMINATE CONGRESS
The congress or the House of Representatives and the Senate or the upper house are the two components of the legislative branch of the Philippine government. They are meant to pass bills, create laws, and approve budgets that benefit their constituents and the nation as a whole. In theory, this is the ideal upon which they were built, they would legislate for the people to best serve them and to ensure the nations capacity to carry out the legislation that they pass and that they are aligned with the needs of the people they represent. This is not the case however, even as we step in to the 15th ...view middle of the document...
In some point in time though it changed, and that changed congress into where it is the hotbed of political dynasties, celebrities, elites of the economic sectors, and landlord/ haciendero come together and “rule for the people”. The book presents the current problems in Congress, how they started, and how these practices affect us until today. Some of the issues discussed are how to become a politician, Political dynasties, pork-barreling, patronage, legislation manipulation, entrepreneurial legislation, politics as profession, murder, moneymaking, intimidation, and other issues such as celebrity wedding and the luxury living styles of those in service.
The book in general, characterizes and describes the individuals and groups of families that comprise the Philippine Congress. The RULEMAKERS is divided into five chapters, each chapter has several sub-topics or articles that are all interrelated and are subsumed into the main point of the whole chapter. The book talks about what a politician typically is to how to get elected, exploit the position for money and power, remain in office, further the family dynasty, and to ensure political viability. It also talks about the search for an alternative and how it has at least transformed and “democratized” in one way or another.
The first chapter begins by depicting the common characteristics and the typical mould of traditional politicians. It described their age, social status, economic class, family background, educational accomplishments, and experience in the government. Based on statistics gathered, factual findings, and other interviews and observations there is a clear and distinct flavour and formula that is necessary to become a politician in the congress. In the first chapter “House of Privilege” gives a clear description of the politicians who comprise the Philippine congress. They are male, college educated, middle-aged, and most likely has a law degree. They were into business and usually had multiple source of income and usually have assets in the 10 million range (most under state their assets). In the early incarnations of the Congress most legislators were landlords or hacienderos, until such time where new entrants from the business sector and the celebrities entered and cracked the landscape. Women were also a minority but since the popularity of some or the passing of seats by the male patriarch either to wife or daughter introduced women politicians into the scene. Most of those in Congress are considered political professionals or those who have made politics their business and careers. They do this by creating acquaintances, allies, and ensure proper placement of their or their families business and ensure the dynasty is safely protected. The authors detailed the image and the characteristics of our legislators and allowed the readers to infer that those politicians they vote and install in power are more concerned about carrying acts and crafting bills that...