Press Release
January 23, 2010


Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is still the Senate's top performer in terms of bills and resolutions filed throughout her six years in office, according to data from the Senate's Legislative Bills & Index Service.

As of December 2009, Santiago filed a total of 1,231 bills and resolutions in the Fourteenth Congress, almost twice as much as second placer Sen. Manny Villar with 737. The number is also twice the senator's own output of 652 legislative measures at the end of the Thirteenth Congress in 2007.

Santiago filed 321 bills and resolutions in 2009 alone.

For the Fourteenth Congress, the senator filed 834 bills, 799 of which she principally authored and the rest she co-authored with her fellow senators. Among the bills she authored which were passed into law are the International Humanitarian Law (Republic Act No. 9851), Climate Change Act (R.A. No. 9729), and the Real Estate Service Act (R.A. No. 9646).

Santiago also co-authored and sponsored three important laws: the Archipelagic Baselines Law (R.A. No. 9522), the Renewable Energy Act (R.A. No. 9513), and the Biofuels Act (R.A. No. 9367).

The Baselines Law, passed in compliance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea or Unclos, defines and delineates the basepoints of Philippine territory.

The Renewable Energy Act promotes the development, utilization, and commercialization of renewable energy sources. On the other hand, the Biofuels Act mandates the use of biofuels in gasoline, and establishes a national biofuel program. These are landmark legislations aimed at reducing the country's dependence on imported oil by utilizing clean and "green" sources of energy.

The senator, a reelectionist, is also co-author of R.A. No. 9710 or the Magna Carta for Women.

Santiago's Anti-Billboard Bill was passed by the Senate but was ignored by the House of Representatives in the Thirteenth Congress, reportedly because of the influence of a moneyed billboard lobby.

The measure, which places a strict ban on billboards that fail to comply with certain size and location requirements, has to go through the legislative process all over again. It is now waiting to be sponsored on the Senate floor.

The Senate has also approved Senate Bill No. 1757, or the Clear Sidewalks Act of 2009, which was sponsored and co-authored by Santiago. The bill prohibits the use of streets, sidewalks, avenues, alleys, bridges, parks, and other public places for commercial or personal use, and requires citizens to apply for the temporary use of sidewalks for special community-wide occasions and other civic or charitable purpose.

The Senate also passed Santiago's Anti-Video Voyeurism Bill. Its counterpart bill has also been approved by the House of Representatives. The consolidated version of both Senate and House bills is now pending with the House Speaker for his signature.

Filed by Santiago even before the Hayden Kho scandal, the Anti-Video Voyeurism Bill aims to protect human dignity and privacy by criminalizing photo and video voyeurism.

As chair of the Senate foreign relations committee, the senator sponsored and successfully secured Senate ratification to 24 important treaties, among them treaties for the protection of migrant workers and the environment, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (Jpepa), and the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response.

The senator also led her colleagues in the number of resolutions filed with 396.

Santiago also serves as chair of the foreign affairs committee of the Commission on Appointments. Her committee has posted the highest number of confirmations, having secured the confirmation of 392 ambassadors, consuls, and other high-level officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Santiago has consistently led her colleagues in filing the most number of legislative measures, in what can be deemed as a record-setting performance by any Philippine legislator in history.

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