Press Release
March 27, 2006


Revilla chided Congress for accusing Senate of sitting on bills

Neophyte Senator Bong Revilla today scored his counterparts in the Lower House for charging the Senate of not acting upon their bills. This is very unfair for us here at the Senate. It is not in the number of bills we approve to become laws that the effectivity of Congress is measured, but in the quality of laws we pass.

Currently, there are 494 House Bills transmitted to the Senate. 300 bills or 60.7% were referred to the Committee on Public Works. Out of the 300, 274 are bills seeking for road conversion, 12 bills seek the creation of engineering districts and 14 are for renaming of streets.

Revilla, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works said he would not pass all 274 bills, which purely involve road conversions, which he said were not even studied and could not be funded

The Senate Committee on Public Works today disposes for approval six qualified local bills out of 203 transmitted by the House of Representatives. All 203 bills were included in the first of two batches of transmittal from the lower house. The second batch, which has 71 referrals, is still under review and consideration.

After careful review and deliberation, Committee Chairman Senator Bong Revilla today took the floor and recommended for approval six bills from the first batch all pertaining to conversion of local roads to national roads.

Only House Bill Nos. 3932 (involving the Concepcion-Capas Road in Tarlac), 3936 (involving the Victoria-La Paz Road in Tarlac), 3872 (involving the Panglao Island Circumferential Road), 3927 (involving the Iligan-Bukidnon Road), 3938 (involving the Anao-Ramos Road) and 3935 (involving the Ramos-Pura-Road in Tarlac) merited the nod for approval of the Senate Committees on Public Works and Finance, respectively.

Revilla said these House Bills were the only ones deemed meritorious for conversion because they qualified in the categories set by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Aside from that, only these aforementioned bills complied with all the requirements and standards also set by DPWH.

The first batch of transmittal consisted of 203 Bills and out of these, only 173 submitted and complied with the details required of the proposed roads for conversion. The rest, numbering to 101, simply did not have any supporting documents, save for the request to convert their local roads to national roads.

The sponsorship of the said bills, Revilla added, underwent careful and prudent circumspection from the Senates Committees on Public Works and Finance respectively. The benchmarks for approval of these bills are its economic, cultural and social impact to the community and its people. He said aside from providing work and employment during the construction of these roads, they will, upon completion, facilitate travel and community interaction, foster economic development and practically bring people closer to the government.

Revilla said his committee and the Finance Committee also took into careful consideration the financial capability of the government to fund such undertakings. If the said House Bills will be approved, the government will only be spending 6.95 million pesos for the yearly maintenance of the six roads. The cost to be incurred will be taken from the General Appropriation Acts (GAA). The GAA provides a 5% allocation out of the total road maintenance fund to be set aside for the maintenance of local roads which may be converted, or taken over as national roads during the year.

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