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The Senate of the 17th Congress has left behind an achievement of passing 464 bills that were enacted into law, some of which are landmark pieces of legislation that aim to uplift the lives of Filipinos.

In his valedictory speech on Tuesday, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the chamber was able to deliver on its promise to continue in helping the passage of laws that will be “beneficial to the country and to every Filipino.”

Among the notable landmark laws include the Bangsamoro Organic Law, National Identification System, Universal Health Care Law, Mental Health Act, Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, Mandatory PhilHealth Coverage, Corporation Code of the Philippines, Telecommuting Law, Magna Carta of the Poor, and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Act.

Sotto also highlighted that the Philippine Senate reached the highest satisfaction rating since 2012 with a 72 percent mark for the first quarter of 2019, according to the Social Weather Stations survey.

“These figures could not have been garnered without the dedication and focus of each of the Senators of the 17th Congress. My thanks go to all of you, my colleagues,” Sotto said.

The Senate leader also touted the chamber’s independence, by preserving the doctrine of separation of powers and insisting on the due process of law when it came to legislative documents.

He particularly cited as an example the 2019 budget impasse, wherein the Senate contended that no post-ratification amendments be made.

“In those two months of stalemate, we insisted on our position, and made known our stand when the budget was submitted to the Office of the President,” Sotto said.

“Though we eventually signed, we made known our observations, and the Executive Department sustained our position,” he added.

Sotto hopes that the independence of the Senate can be maintained in the next Congress.

“We wish the coming Senate to carry on the task we are passing on to them. Let us remain cooperative but independent, balanced, transparent and sincere,” Sotto said. (PNA)

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