Press Release
March 29, 2006


Senator Bong Revilla today said his critics at the lower house are totally not getting the point of his move to approve 6 bills only out of the 274 local bills transmitted by the House to the Senate which seek to convert local roads to national roads.

My colleagues at the Congress totally miss the point. I know exactly what my job here at the senate is, that is precisely why we can only pass 6 local bills, because these are the only ones which qualified under the criteria prescribed by the Department of Public Works and Highways and which were able to comply with the necessary requirements.

Revilla, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works has been getting flaks from congressmen over the results of the said committees discarding of 268 local bills. It can be remembered that the senator said these bills were not found meritorious and most of it did not comply with the requirements and criteria.

The congress can launch their professional and personal attacks against me, but this will never hinder me from doing what is right under the subscribed laws and regulations. During careful review and evaluation, out of the 274 bills, only 173 bills complied with the requirements but only 6 were found meritorious.

Revilla said even if he wants to approve all of the 274 local bills, there is no sufficient fund to maintain them. Congress has the power of purse, if they really want their bills passed, then they should have stipulated a funding source in their bills. Now they are passing the buck to the Senate to source out budget?

To pass the 173 bills alone would cost the government a whooping thirty four (34) billion pesos. I would be remiss in my duty if I allow this to happen without going through careful scrutiny. Can congressmen tell me please where to get this? If they can, then I am more than willing to reconsider.

Revilla said he has no qualm passing thousands of local bills if these bills comply with the requirements, meet the criteria and there are sufficient funds to use for their conversion. If all of these are met and we dont act on it, thats the time they howl, but while these are not submitted, they should work harder to merit the Senates nod.

He also advised congressmen to reexamine their local bills because there are pending bills with him which are already existing national roads but have been submitted for conversion.

Revilla also assailed congressmen for lecturing him on the Constitution because of the bills seeking renaming of the streets. My esteemed colleagues at the lower house have no reasons to be fuming mad about their pending bills on street renaming because we have yet to hear these and the moment we do, I am most likely to endorse this to the plenary because it doesnt require budgetary provision. So why be furious on something that has not happened yet?

In parting, Revilla said I will do it again to other bills na hindi rin kumpleto ang requirements dahil ito ang tama. Paano naman ang mangyayari sa ating mga kababayan kung ang pera ng bayan ay mapupunta lamang sa road conversions, lalo pa sa panahong ito na kapos tayo sa pananalapi?

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