Congress productive despite ‘pork’ controversy – Drilon

Manila Reporter

MANILA – Despite the many controversies that the 16th Congress faced such as the pork barrel scam, Senate President Franklin Drilon said he is still “impressed” with its legislative performance.

“The Senate has shown a strong resolve to fulfill its duty to the nation, with fervor and determination. Never have we neglected our obligation to the people, despite our present difficulties,” the Senate Big Man said.

He shared that they were able to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and conducted a series of inquiries on the alleged pork barrel scam.

“By undertaking these measures, we are telling our people that the Senate is listening to their pleas and clamor for reform. We are sending a clear and strong message that their Senate is sensitive to their grievances and concerns,” said Drilon.

The 16th Congress has approved at least six proposed measures.

The Upper House last Wednesday adjourned sine die its first regular session. They will resume session on July 28.

The bills that saw enactment include those postponing the Sangguniang Kabataan elections, establishing a single maritime administration, appropriating P14.6 billion supplemental budget for disaster rehabilitation, extending the validity of the 2013 calamity fund, and granting National Basketball Association player Andray Blatche Filipino citizenship.

The General Appropriations Act for fiscal 2014 of P2.265 trillion was also timely enacted.

Nine measures, including the controversial graphic health warning and mobile disaster alert bills, still await presidential signature, however.

The Senate has also approved five proposals on third and second reading, reported Drilon.

All in all, 2,278 and 806 bills were filed and heard, respectively since July last year, Drilon noted.

He thanked his colleagues for their “continued trust” and “confidence” in his leadership./PN