It's the money, and then some

Now we know why there's a mad scramble for the position of Minority Leader in the House of Representatives.

          It's the money.     

          The Minority Leader gets monthly and quarterly allotments on top of the minimum P80 million in annual funding for his/her district or party-list group.

          The Minority Leader gets P500,000 every month and another P500,000 on a quarterly basis, apart from other benefits and emoluments.

          Each House member in the minority receives an additional P50,000 monthly, on top of his/her P200,000 monthly salary; and separate from the maintenance and other operating expenses that is allocated in his district or party-list office.

          The opposition leader  gets the lump sum allocation on behalf of his colleagues and distributes them equally among them.

          The office of the Minority Leader gets the same amount of maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) that his counterpart in the majority gets, which is very substantial since they act as whips of the 292-man legislative chamber.

          The Minority Leader and his members are also given allowances automatically every time Congress goes on a recess. He is also entitled to a separate office space from that of his district, complete with a separate set of 10 staff members from plantilla or career positions.

          During congressional breaks, minority members are given P150,000 each during congressional breaks.

          The leader of the duly-constituted and House leadership-acknowledged opposition bloc can also tap the services of so-called consultants whose fees can vary but can go as high as P50,000 monthly for each consultant, depending on expertise.

          The minority bloc’s lone representative in the 12-man House contingent in the bicameral body Commission on Appointments also has his own entitlements, along with all other minority members who sit in all House committees, which is mandatory under House rules.

          Given all this information about how much our honorable congressmen and congresswomen are getting, whether they belong to the majority or the minority, perhaps taxpayers may want to know what their elected representatives can show as concrete accomplishments while receiving princely pay and perks.