Press Release
February 12, 2007


Senate environment and natural resources committee chairperson Senator Pia S. Cayetano today said she will not allow any environment measure to be used for electioneering purposes in light of the administration's call for the convening of a special session of Congress on Feb.19-20.

This was the senator's reaction to recent statements suggesting that the special session might be used to pass the proposed "Billion Trees Act," and that the P10 billion needed to finance the nationwide tree-planting program may only be diverted to the campaign kitty of administration candidates

"I will not allow the measure to be manipulated or used for purposes other than to support legitimate efforts to replant our denuded forests and create forest parks in every locality," said Cayetano.

The lady senator confirmed that some of her colleagues, including Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and Sen. Serge Osmena, have expressed reservations about the real intent behind the bill being pushed by House Speaker Jose De Venecia.

"Presenting this measure to the senate floor and having it deliberated upon by my fellow lawmakers is part and parcel of my duties as chairperson of the committee on environment and natural resources," said Cayetano.

"Ultimately, it is the collective wisdom of the senate which will decide on the fate of this measure," she concluded.

The "Billion Trees Act" has already been submitted for second reading as House Bill No.4081 under Committee Report No. 298.

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