Miriam wants gadget etiquette in Senate

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago wants to limit the use of electronic devices during Senate sessions and hearings

GADGET ETIQUETTE. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago filed Senate Resolution No. 228 recommending amendments to the rules governing gadget use in Senate proceedings. Photo by Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines – If Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago gets her way, gadget etiquette during Senate proceedings may eventually be the rule rather than the exception.

Santiago filed Senate Resolution No. 228, which recommends the revision and updating of Senate rules on the scope and limitations on senators’ use of electronic devices during Senate sessions and committee hearings.

The senator warned that gadgets “can cause disruption and distraction during sessions and committee hearings.” She added that impairing the decorum of Senate proceedings “can be considered unparliamentary acts.”

Santiago added, “The Senate Rules should accommodate for the technologically determined changes in society, in this case the prevalent use of gadgets in everyday life. Despite troubling times for the Senate as an institution, the Senate should always maintain and observe a level of decorum this high office deserves.”

Known in part for being strict about the use of technology during public hearings, Sen Santiago also pointed to a trend of legislative changes in various governments regarding the use of technology in office.

A recent technological gaffe that brings this resolution to the forefront was when US Senator John McCain was caught playing a mobile poker game during the first congressional hearing about military strikes against Syria.

Santiago’s archenemy, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, was also caught playing the game Bejeweled on his iPad during a Senate hearing on the sex-for-flight controversy last month. – Rappler.com

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