Words by: Antonette Calsado
They say that experience is the best teacher. They say that it’s not the goal that makes something valuable but the journey towards the goal. While the objective of Model House of Representatives is to be able simulate the Congress, delegates learn much more than just the process of lawmaking. Here are 10 things you get to do in Model House of Representatives:
- Participate in something bigger than yourself.
– In participating in Model House of Representatives, delegates need to make bills and decisions as a representative of a whole district or party and it is their duty to voice out concerns and make amendments before laws are passed onto the Senate. Active participation is necessary in numerous aspects of life like societal and political matters rather than being indifferent about everything around.
- Use your voice
– You use your voice for the good of everyone. Congressmen need to express their own concerns questionable sections of a proposed bill or show their support in a bill that needs to be passed because they are able to influence other representatives’ decisions. This also shows us the importance of the freedom of expression without undermining other people’s rights because the speaking your mind can help concretize plans.
- Take criticism and suggestions
– You take criticism and suggestions graciously. In Congress, they discuss bills almost every day and in proposing these bills they must accept criticism from other Congressmen. These criticisms are oftentimes constructive and should be taken in consideration because it might tackle a measure that was overlooked. They must take suggestions for the improvement of the bill, especially if the changes are crucial in making it work for Filipinos. It’s time to stop being a sore loser, not everyone wants to attack, others just want to pitch in their ideas to make something even better.
- See the bigger picture
– You see the bigger picture rather than be too focused on the details. Other representatives are able to show another representative a different perspective on a bill. Through this, they are able to get rid of possible biases or misconceptions in making the law. They need other people to keep them in check so that they don’t lose sight of the bigger picture which is also something that can be applied to daily life.
- Do things you’re passionate about
– You are able to make laws about things they passionate about. Creating a bill and presenting it to other representatives is always easier when you are genuinely passionate about the bill. Discussing it to others and explaining all the provisions and appropriations on the bill is also more thorough which makes it easier to get the approval of others. By pursuing their passions and working hard to get it, things are so much easier and more fulfilling to do. No matter how many obstacles or failures that may happen, they work to overcome it.
- Help each other out
– You help other people out through discourse. A sort of camaraderie is formed when people discuss their plans and representatives support each other in session in Congress.This chance usually arises when a Congressman need support for his bill and to give your support to the bill and its noble cause is enough help.
– You immerse yourself into the shoes they need to fill in as Congressmen of a district or party. If one wants to be able successfully simulate a session in Congress, everyone must immerse themselves in their roles as legislators in the Philippine archipelago and addressing the problems present in the country whether one is House Speaker, Majority Leader, party list representative, etc. In doing this one can take the event seriously and understand the gravity of the position that legislators hold.
– You learn acceptance. It is important that you learn to accept because shying away isn’t going to do anything. In MHoR, representatives must accept the challenge of being a legislator and accept the responsibility given to them. These efforts are acknowledged by other representatives and they accept awards and praise for it. This also applies to real life situations. People need to rise up to the occasion when a chance to lead or serve is given to them and in doing so, they have to accept that people will view their effort in different ways but is important to keep on going towards what is best.
– You enjoy. This activity is not all about a simulation. Participating in MHoR gives the delegates a chance to meet new people and to look at things at a different light because of the different beliefs, values, and upbringing of students attending the conference. Provided that, it is not a fun and games kind of thing, it is still enjoyable to see people who care about the country and want to see what the Congress is like. They know that if in the future, they choose to lead, they are not totally clueless about whatever they might get into.
– You get to practice for bigger conferences that showcase the capacity of the youth to be an active participants of society. This is just one of the activities that help students understand the Congress. There is also Philippine Model Congress which is an nationwide conference held annually to empower the youth as well raise civic awareness and National Youth Commission, an actual organization that urges the youth to raise awareness to their advocacies that senators or congressman are actually able to make bill from, both aim to help the students be able to participate in legislation. MHoR is just the tip of the iceberg. If one really wants to be able to be a catalyst of change in the society, there are avenues to make it happen like Philippine Model Congress and National Youth Commission .