Press Release
September 18, 2006


Since he assumed the Senate Presidency on July 24, Senate President Manny Villar has spearheaded the passage of at least a dozen national and local bills including two urgent bills the P46.4-billion supplemental budget and the P500-million standby fund for the repatriation of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) trapped in Lebanon war.

The urgency of the supplemental budget and the standby fund for OFWs was taken into consideration by the Senate. The two measures were approved in just six session days since they were transmitted by the Lower House to the Senate last Aug. 31. Both bills were approved in third and final reading on Sept. 13.

Last month, the senators held a caucus to discuss the prioritization of the pending bills and according to Villar, We have reviewed the priority agenda of the Senate and we agreed more or less on which legislative measures to prioritize. I wanted to have a timeline of all the pending bills up to December so we can facilitate and hasten their passage.

In barely two months of his leadership, Villar also steered the approval of Senate Bill (SB) No. 1745 and its equivalent House Bill (HB) No. 3315 or the Human Rights Victims Compensation Act, to give compensation to the victims of human rights violations committed during the regime of former President Marcos covering the period of September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986. This measure was certified as urgent by Malacañang .

More than 10,000 victims of human rights violations of the Marcos regime are expected to benefit from SB 1745, an act providing compensation for them. The bill had been pending since it was jointly filed by Senators Joker Arroyo, Serge Osmena and Aquilino Pimentel Jr. on Sept. 1, 2004.

The Senate also approved during the first two months of the Third Regular Session seven other measures of local application, including the creation of the new province of Dinagat island in Surigao (HB 884). Five of which were transmitted to the Senate by the Lower House.

The local bills which got the Senate nod were: charter of the province of Zamboanga Sibugay (HB 1299), two legislative districts in the province of Sultan Kudarat (HB 4192), amendment to the cityhood charter of Sipalay (HB 4899), cityhood of Meycauayan, Bulacan (HB 4937), Radio Maria Foundation, Inc. (HB 2478) and granting citizenship to Charles William Mosser (SB 1978/HB 643).

Other measures pending approval are the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2005, the Biofuels Act of 2006, the Automated Elections System, the One-time Tax Amnesty, the Pre-Need Code of 2005, the Credit Information System Act, the New Central Bank Act, Lending Company Regulation Act 2005, Guidelines for sandwiched holidays, Reorganization of the Department of Tourism and Amending the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992.

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