Press Release
March 30, 2006

Drilon backs Revilla on local bills

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon lauded Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr., chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works for the comprehensive evaluation and scrutiny of the bills pertaining to conversions of local to national roads. The Senate leadership also lamented the various negative reactions of congressmen directed towards Senator Revilla.

"It is utterly unfair to my fellow senator who is only doing his job to be subjected to aspersions by our counterparts in the House. Senator Revilla has no choice but to follow the standards and criteria prescribed by existing regulations of the Department of Public Works and Highways. It would be unfortunate if all the proposed bills on road conversions will be enacted into law without complying with the said requirements," said Senate President Franklin Drilon.

This came after some congressmen reacted on the committee reports by the Senate Committee on Public Works that only 6 out of 274 House bills on road conversion forwarded by the House were found meritorious and have complied with the requirements and criteria.

It is imperative for the Senate to look into the proper implementation of the bills enacted into law by ensuring that the same are adequately funded by the Appropriations Act. It would be most difficult to pass all the road conversion bills without actually determining how much it will cost the National Government to construct and maintain all the roads being proposed to be converted, Drilon added.

"With the 173 bills alone for conversion covering 3,171 kilometers of roads, the National Government would need a staggering P34 billion. Where will the money come from? Congressmen should not twist the arms of the Senate Committee on Public Works just so their bills could be passed, in the very first place, there is no sufficient funding for these local bills," he added.

"I would not hesitate to do the same thing since it would be for the good of Filipino people. The entire Senate of the Philippines is fully behind the efforts of Senator Revilla in meticulously examining the bills regarding road conversions. We appreciate his courage in taking the ire of the House of Representatives and will stand by his side in his initiative to pass the 6 local bills," Drilon said.

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