The House of Representatives’ moves to abolish the bicameral legislature’s upper chamber or the Senate could be justified.

The senators sent to a bicameral conference committee to harmonize two versions of the 2024 general appropriations bill, completely unaware of the billions of pesos inserted in the budget law.

It is only now, weeks after the budget law was signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in December, that the senators complained about the billions of funds that would go into the government’s program aimed at wooing people’s support to change the 1987 Constitution.

It’s either the senators were too lazy to scrutinize the spending bill or were too ignorant of what they were supposed to approve.

Worse, they could not have read the entire bill and just affixed their signatures.

Any senator who did his or her homework would have easily spotted the quick insertions in the budget.

First, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) never asked for a supplementary budget for projects in the congressional districts.

Yet, Congress granted nearly 200 billion pesos, which could be easily seen as a form of pork barrel for each district.

What the DPWH needed was some funds to build a railway system in Mindanao after China reneged on its promise to finance the ambitious project under the Duterte administration.

What was inserted in the 2024 budget was more than enough for the three-year program of the Mindanao railway project.

The inserted funds would only go to waste as lawmakers would control how the money would be spent on local projects.

These funds may go to building waiting sheds, basketball courts, solar dryers, purchase of medicines, and farm-to-market roads instead of big-ticket projects in transportation, health, and education.

Once again, Sen. Imee Marcos questioned the 26-billion-peso fund for the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s “AKAP” program to help ordinary workers with insufficient salaries to feed a family.

She seemed surprised how the funds were inserted in the 2024 budget, suggesting the money would be used to woo voters’ support to change the Constitution.

But congressmen reminded her the Senate had also approved the funds during the bicameral conference to harmonize the 2024 spending bill.

Again, the Senate cannot blame anyone because the insertions were precise, and the senators could have objected. Instead, they let it pass.

The problem did not end there. At least 12 billion pesos were again inserted in the 2024 budget for the Commission on Elections to hold a referendum for the charter change.

Again, the senators feigned innocence about the budget. How could such a proposal pass without approval from the Senate?

It is plain incompetence and stupidity.

The House of Representatives alone cannot dance the cha-cha. It has to be with the Senate.

So, who is at fault when the 2024 budget emerged full of insertions designed to guarantee that a referendum would happen late this year to change the Constitution?

It is ultimately the senators’ fault as they failed to do their jobs. The system of checks and balances failed.

The quality of politicians elected into the august halls of the Senate has fallen sharply.

It has deteriorated to a point where people with corruption cases, people belonging to the same family, and people who were only concerned with their popularity get elected.

Statesmen and honest men who act as fiscalizers got bumped off by movie and television personalities and members of political clans out to protect their selfish personal interests.

There is no point in having a Senate when the people sitting there cannot be trusted to look after the people’s welfare.

Abolish the Senate. Unless in 2025, the people elect honest-to-goodness people who will work for the welfare of the Filipinos and resist using the post as a stepping stone for higher office.