Press Release
January 30, 2007

A total of 67 bills passed during the Third Regular Session

Keeping true to its promise to fast-track the approval of pending bills before adjournment on February 9, the Senate yesterday (January 29) ratified the P1.126 trillion 2007 national budget and passed into law four more bills.

The bills that were passed into law are as follows: Senate Bill No. 2249, An act to strengthen the Office of the Solicitor General, by expanding and streamlining its bureaucracy, upgrading employee skills and augmenting benefits and appropriating funds therefore and for other purposes; House Bill (HB) No. 5373, an act amending the franchise of Ormoc City Telephone Company Inc., granted under Republic Act No. 3482; HB No. 4220, an act granting the free air broadcasting network corporation, a franchise to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain radio and television broadcasting stations nationwide; and HB 5328, an act converting the municipality of San Juan into a city.

Senate President Manny Villar says, "We are happy to report that we have a new budget for 2007. Together with four bills, we have approved the national budget for the year, giving priority funding to education, health, infrastructure and other key concerns of our people," says Villar.

The Senate, despite the 'election fever' gripping the nation, has been in a bills-passing spree since it resumed session last week (January 22) when it passed 18 bills in one day. The approval of the five bills brings to 67 the number of bills passed since Villar assumed the Senate presidency in July last year.

"The passage of the pending bills is really our top priority since we have barely two weeks before we adjourn. This is why, despite clamor to declare candidacy, the reelectionist-senators have decided to delay any announcement in order to concentrate on the more urgent work or matters at hand," cites Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party.

According to Villar, the Senate's priority would continue to be on legislation in the areas of education, health, and housing, agriculture, the plight of overseas Filipino workers, the environment, cheap energy, investments, electoral reforms and the fight against global terrorism.

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