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House to save P20 M with plan to go ‘paperless’

The House of Representatives is aiming to save up to around P20 million as they plan to go "paperless" for the copies of the bills and resolutions being deliberated in the plenary, leaders of the chamber said Tuesday.

In a press conference, Deputy Majority Leader Wilter Wee Palma said the plan to minimize the use of paper in the House came following a study conducted last year that the chamber has been spending at least P9 million for paper and P12 to P15 million for printing.

"So there is now this movement that the Speaker and the Majority Leader is pushing na mag-paperless tayo," Palma said.

According to Palma, only bills up for third reading, as well as documents to be sent to various government offices, needed to be printed out.

"Other than that, let’s say for example business of the day, siguro it’s probably time for us now to change our system on that too," he said.

"We might as well just adopt the changes of technology and that would really, really cut the cost of our expenditures here in the House," he added.

Senior Deputy Majority Leader Crispin Remulla said Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has already approved in principle the amount needed for the House to go paperless, and they just need to work out the mechanics.

"We have to have the mechanics on how to go about it. What system to adopt. What kind of tablet or what hardware or software we’ll be using for this purpose," Remulla said.

"But definitely we are going to go paperless. At least we also have lesser carbon footprint on that part," he added.

According to Remulla, tablets for all 300 congressmen would cost around P6 million.

Apart from the plan to go paperless, Palma said they are also looking to "digitize" the chamber.

"We need to upgrade everything kasi iyong mga hardware natin, the modems, the wires, we have to upgrade everything," Palma said.

Majority Leader Martin Romualdez added that they are also planning to increase the internet speed at the House.

"It might take a bit longer time because they will have to set up the wirings and the fiber optics but that is also very much part of the plan or the proposal. Lahat tayo makikinabang diyan," Romualdez said. —LDF, GMA News