Contrary to the claims of their colleagues in aligned with the administration, nothing beats the Liberal Party-led opposition bloc as the most productive, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said.
“The records will bear this out. Five of the seven bills approved on third reading and two of the three Senate bills passed on second reading were sponsored and authored by members of the minority,” Drilon said Monday (March 20).
“I am proud of our performance. We are the most productive group in the Senate. We did the lion’s share of the work in passing landmark legislation and bills of national significance,” Drilon, vice chair of the Liberal Party (LP), said.
Obviously, Drilon was referring to the claims made by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, when he and the rest of those so-called LP bloc were booted out of the majority bloc last Feb. 27.
Pimentel said that “work in the Senate has been hampered by the blurring of lines between the majority and the minority to the detriment of public interest.”
“There have been instances where the majority, instead of closing ranks, ended up divided,” he said.
Sotto said that clear lines have to be drawn in other for them to achieve the Senate’s legislative agenda.
When Congress adjourned for the Holy Week recess, Drilon noted that out of the 10 bills of national significance passed by the Senate, seven of which were sponsored and authored by the members of the minority.
Currently, the minority bloc comprise of Drilon, Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Bam Aquino, Leila de Lima and allies, Sen. Risa Hontiveros of Akbayan Party and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of the Nacionalista Party (NP).
“Some are perhaps not aware that in Congress, many members can become co-sponsors or co-authors but the legislators who conduct and actively participate in committee hearings and defend the measures on the floor are the ones who do the most work to get the bill passed,” said Drilon.
The seven bills steered into passage by the minority include the Affordable Higher Education Act for All (Aquino); Free Internet Access in Public Places Act (Aquino); Expanded Maternity Leave Law (Hontiveros); Mental Health Act (Hontiveros); Philippine Food Technology Act (Trillanes); Speech Language Pathology Act (Trillanes); and the adjustment to the present peso value of the amounts in the 87-year old Revised Penal Code (Drilon).