Press Release
November 15, 2007

Villar says high approval rating is Filipinos' endorsement of a working Senate

Senate President Manny Villar today said the latest Pulse Asia survey results showing the Senate President with the highest approval ratings and the lowest disapproval ratings among government officials indicate that the Filipino people endorses "a multi-tasking Senate that combines the simultaneous conduct of congressional investigations and legislation."

"It is heartwarming to know that the people appreciate what we are doing in the Senate. This survey is an assessment of the multi-tasking management style we applied in running the affairs of the chamber, where we hold investigations in the exercise of the Senate's oversight function without neglecting our primary duty of passing laws," Villar said.

The survey results belie often-repeated criticisms that the Senate was conducting useless and unnecessary congressional investigations and was neglecting its primary functions of making laws, Villar explained.

"This is a recognition of the hard work, dedication and cooperation shown by all the senators in making this Senate a truly working body," he said.

Villar cited the latest accomplishment of the Senate where nine important bills were passed on third reading. He added that the investigation on the $329 million National Broadband Deal with ZTE Corp. was conducted in the name of transparency and government accountability, and was welcomed by the people.

He said in just two months of holding plenary sessions, the Senate passed the bill granting more benefits to justices and judges, the Cheaper Medicines bill, the Batas Kasambahay, the Magna Carta for Small and Medium Enterprises, the legal framework on the presentation of suspects to the public, the act providing good conduct time to prisoners, the anti-cellphone theft bill, the act promoting environmental awareness, and the act promoting breastfeeding.

Meanwhile, Villar assured Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. that the Senate will work on the passage of the General Appropriations Act of 2008 even as the Senate continues with its investigations on the ZTE contract and the cash gifts to lawmakers and local officials.

"Our record will show that we have not been remiss of our duty as mandated by the Constitution and that these investigations are not stopping us from doing our job. The finance committee headed by Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile is wrapping up committee hearings on the proposed P1.227 trillion budget for next year and will be sponsoring the bill on November 26," Villar said.

As in the previous surveys, Villar succeeded in scoring the highest majority approval ratings in Pulse Asia's October 2007 Ulat ng Bayan Survey. He scored 61 percent in the third quarter survey. He also registered the lowest disapproval rating of -6 percent.

Pulse Asia polled a sample of 1,200 representative adults 18 years old and above nationwide using face-to-face field interviews from October 20 to 31, 2007.

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