Miriam wants 'gadget etiquette' in Senate

Posted at 09/07/2013 3:15 PM | Updated as of 09/07/2013 5:31 PM

MANILA – Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is calling on her colleagues to practice proper etiquette in using electronic devices during Senate sessions and committee hearings.

Santiago has filed a Senate resolution seeking revisions on its rules to include proper decorum on the use of gadgets while inside the chambers of the Senate.

"These gadgets can cause disruption and distraction during sessions and committee hearings. Impairing decorum due to their abuse and misuse can be considered unparliamentary acts," the senator said.

Under Senate Resolution No. 228, Santiago sought amendments on the Senate rules to include “a provision defining and limiting the use of the electronic and mobile devices by members of the senate, as well as its guests, during sessions and committee hearings.”

Santiago filed the resolution after legislators here and abroad were spotted playing mobile games during committee hearings.

She noted that amid “troubling times” for the Senate, the institution should “always maintain and observe a level of decorum this high office deserves.”

"The Senate rules should accommodate for the technologically determined changes in society, in this case the prevalent use of gadgets in everyday life,” the senator said.

Last month, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile was caught on camera by Senate reporters playing Bejeweled on his iPad tablet during the Senate's Blue Ribbon Committee's hearing on the so-called "sex for flight" scheme.

The 89-year-old Enrile said he plays the tile-matching video game to exercise his mind.