Press Release
July 26, 2011

Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano
July 25, 2011 Interview 11am Senate Session Hall
Re: Legislative Agenda + Economic Development + Stand on ChaCha

Q: How will the minority bloc accept the President's legislative program?

We're hoping that we will be able to work closer with the Palace. In the last year, we've only had one LEDAC meeting. It's either they don't need legislation or it's not a priority or they were just still putting their plan altogether.

So whatever it is, it was a very productive LEDAC meeting. I'm hoping that this year, their vision will be accompanied by a legislative program. We can work with them so we can have something to show the people for them to rally behind for.

The thing about the program is not only where it will get you but also the people's support. I think there has been a lot of things that happened last year that either turned off people or dampened expectations. So the SONA is time to reaffirm those expectations and to motivate people to support this administration.

Q: What are the Bills that you want to be part of the priority?

We're waiting for the President to announce his Legislative program in order to roll out yung kanyang vision for the country, or to be able to fulfill that.

So ang position, parating sinasabing good governance, yung whistle blower's act, freedom of information bill, strengthening of the witness protection program ay importante sa amin.

And then yung parating sinasabi na more jobs, better economy, make the country competitive at saka business friendly.

'To achieve economic development, We should address what our business sector are asking for'

To do this, the businessmen themselves had already stated four areas where we can address their problems - Peace and order, infrastructure, good governance, and the price of electricity. So you address the four of these.

Kung sila na ang humihingi nito, and if you listen to it, no one can argue with it naman, why not focus on that more? There's an economic side, and there's a good governance side.

You basically, jump start your economic development program. Of course the Senate President mention the reutilization of fiscal incentives, and other matters about the national budget. Probably, these are the three areas - Finance and revenues, making our country more competitive and third, yung good governance.

Balance Economic Development with Good Governance

I think very clear 'yung gustong mangyari ng gobyerno na good governance at mawala 'yung corruption but 'yung how to balance it with economic development is becoming the tricky point but kung totoo 'yung sinabi nilang they just need time.

Yung sinasabi mismo ng Malacanang na meron na silang Aquino-nomics or 'yung economics of the Aquino Administration ay ilalatag today, so I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt and listen to it today (SONA).

I'll reserve my comment after ilatag nila but dapat hindi generality. So when they had Reaganomics for example, very specific ang economic theory at very specific 'yung stand sa taxes, sa government spending, etc.

So kung maglalatag sila ng programa ngayon na specific at nasaan ang focus, maganda 'yun para sa atin, We'll have a healthy debate. Pero kung generalities lang, paano ka magde-debate? No one can disagree with general statements.

On the foreign debt crisis

Personally, I always wanted citizens to be involved and for us to pay off our foreign debt. With what's happening in the US, one of the richest countries and now they talk you about a debt default would show us that debt is something to be addressed right away and not to be taken for granted.

Now, the problem with addressing the debt, is that you have to have a parallel policy of further borrowing.

For example, even if we launch a campaign now for citizens to donate or contribute to pay the foreign debt, Diba sinasabi macocompute mo per person magkano ang debt? Anong guarantee na hindi na mangungutang ang gobyerno?

Or kung mangungutang ang gobyerno, ano ang menu o ano ang mga ililimit nila? Pero kung ang borrowings are always filled with graft and corruption, and then remember when you say graft, hindi lang ito yung kinorakot, wastage din. Meron tayong iba na hindi kinorakot ang pera pero aying lang ang budget kasi hindi kailangan.

So, I am in favor of a very clear debt policy that involves also the policy on further borrowing. But what I'd like to see is a clear cut ano ang pwedeng iutang at saan gagamitin.

Supposedly, NEDA ang clearing house. But I still think there's very much need for more transparency on the debt issue.

Stand on Charter Change

I do believe na importante yung mga ibang pwedeng palitan sa Constitution but I don't think that it's a priority. I really believe that a lot of the problems can be addressed with normal legislation and more political will from the executive department.

There's no guarantee that when you open up the Constitution for amendments that you will only focus on one part whether it's political or economic. Because once you open up the constitution, the law allows you to make not only an amendment but to revise the Constitution.

I think Charter Change will only lead us to lose more focus. Time and again, it has been proven that it's not the constitution that's the problem. I can show you another country wherein they have the same law or worse than us as far as constitutional provisions, but business is booming, there are a lot of jobs. It's really more on the political will.

News Latest News Feed