Be humble, consider evidence in crafting policies: analyst tells newbie lawmakers


Posted at May 17 2019 12:32 PM | Updated as of May 17 2019 12:34 PM

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MANILA - Incoming legislators with little background on lawmaking should be humble enough to consider evidence-based studies in crafting proposed policies, an analyst said Friday.

Ateneo School of Government dean Ronald Mendoza, who has been tapped to help in crash courses for newly elected leaders, took note of former police chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa's admission that he wants to attend a seminar on lawmaking if elected.

He said more than compressing everything in the 1.5 hours allotted for him to speak, he tries to establish "a relationship of humility" with these officials.

"The humility I’m expecting from him and other members of the administration is to look at the evidence and weigh that into how we improve our policies because everyone wants us to succeed," he said in an interview on ANC's Early Edition. 

"They should understand that in a democracy, they should be prepared to be critiqued if they take a stance on some of the policies."

The academe's role is not to dictate policies upon these lawmakers during this session, but to give them "a picture of what we look like," he said. The leaders, in turn, are open to what will be presented to them.

"That’s the kind of situation of our democracy right now...Young and inexperienced or old and still inexperienced as that leader may be, as long as they’re truthful and they are humble, I think our role as academics would be to engage," he said.

There have been leaders who may not have had strong backgrounds on some issues when they took on the mantle, but "developed a much stronger track record" through the course of their term "because they kept in touch with the advocates of that area," said Mendoza.

"It’s not necessary fake, it’s just new, and hopefully the leader stays true to the commitment to these advocates," he said.

Mendoza said he would give these newly elected leaders who may be "new to the issue" a chance because "if he/she were really democratically elected in a fair election without any cheating, then this person really carries the weight of our people’s choice."

"Whether you disagree with that choice or not, we must help this leader become the best possible leader he/she can be," he said.