Monday, July 28, 2014

Drilon: Let’s revive people’s faith to Senate

MANILA-Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today appealed to his colleagues to set aside 2016 elections and focus on reviving the people’s faith in the Senate by working on legislation aimed at expanding the economy and generating more jobs, advancing workers’ welfare, and strengthening anti-graft and corruption measures, among others.

“The eyes of the people are upon us again as we open the second regular session of the 16th Congress. I view this day as our opportunity to recover the people’s faith in their Senate, regain their trust and revive their confidence,” Drilon said in a speech during the opening of the Second Regular Session.

Drilon, however, acknowledged that the task would be difficult, as he admitted that the barrage of criticism against the Senate may have succeeded in reducing the worth and the weight of the Senate in the minds and lives of the people.

“Though not within reach, I believe with hard work and perseverance we would in time walk past the difficult path ahead,” he said.

“I recognize that as public servants we must remain receptive to and tolerant of criticism. But should we as individuals and as a collegial body allow the Senate to continue to be casually scorned”? asked Drilon.

“The Senate as an institution remains a constitutional body entitled to respect, even if some of its members may have been found to have erred through their individual acts,” Drilon stressed.

He thus called on his colleagues to defend the institution: “We owe it to this chamber to combat falsehoods concocted by cowardly minds who spread their lies through proxy voices and pens; to speak up for the Senate even when it may seem to be more politically convenient and safer for us to be silent, to just wait for the tempest to pass.”

Despite the negative attacks on the institution, Drilon said the Senate will continue to work on various measures that are important for national development.

“My esteemed colleagues, even amid this political turbulence, let us continue to weave dreams for our country,” said Drilon.  

“Let us set aside 2016 and work hand in hand for the rebirth of the Senate,” he stressed.

Drilon said that the Senate would prioritize legislation that would stimulate the economy and generate more jobs, promote fair competition in business, increase the take home pay of our workers, strengthen our campaign against graft and corruption and criminality, expand access to health and education, and protect our country’s territorial sovereignty.

He also assured that the Senate would not waive its constitutional mandate over the 2015 national budget.  

“We shall wield our power of the purse. We shall craft a budget focused on spending on the right priorities and with measurable results, keeping in mind our goal for inclusive growth,” underscored Drilon.      

Also, the Senate, Drilon added, is committed to work on the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will put an end to the decades-old conflict in Mindanao.

Drilon finally requested for the public’s support in the Senate’s efforts to legislate positive and meaningful changes for society.

“Admittedly, instituting reforms to create a better society is an enormous task. We need your help and cooperation. We need your trust,” Drilon.

“To the Filipino people, be assured that your Senate will stand in solidarity with you,” he concluded. 

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