Press Release
July 27, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara was honored yesterday as one of the former Senate Presidents in a commemorative program kicking off the Silver Anniversary celebration of the Third Philippine Senate.

Before receiving the special plaque of recognition, Angara gave a brief message of appreciation, recalling all the challenges and hurdles the Senate faced under his leadership.

"I assumed leadership of the Senate at a tumultuous time: our economy was faltering; a power crisis held the country hostage in darkness; and a new global trade regime via the World Trade Organization was gaining ground," recounted Angara, who served as Senate President from 1993 to 1995 during the 9th Congress.

According to Angara, these difficulties did not stand in the way of enacting much-needed reform and structural changes.

"Despite of�or maybe because of these difficult circumstances�we were able to draft end enact landmark pieces of legislation in key areas: fiscal and banking, education, health and housing, infrastructure, judicial and electoral systems, labor and social welfare, and peace and order," said Angara.

In fact, Congress enacted 573 measures of national and local application in the Ninth Congress. Almost 100 of these were policy reform measures that enabled the country to weather the crises of that period.

Some of the landmark laws enacted then were the New Central Bank Act (RA 7653); Special Economic Zone Act (RA 7903); Telecommunications Act (RA 7925); Creation of the Department of Energy (RA 7638); Electric Power Crisis Act (RA 7648).

Angara, the longest-serving Senator in the post-EDSA Senate, is also responsible for important laws enacted during that time which continue to benefit millions of Filipinos today: Creation of the Commission on Higher Education (RA 7722) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (RA 7796); Philippine Teachers Professionalization Act (RA 7836); Book Publishing Industry Development Act (RA 8047); and the National Health Insurance (Philhealth) Act (RA 7875).

It was also Angara who initiated the creation of the Legislative and Executive Development Advisory Councul (LEDAC) through R.A. 7640.

"This ushered in a politics of consensus," Angara said. "To this day, the LEDAC remains an indispensable agenda-setting mechanism between Malacañang and Congress. Lawmaking is no longer gridlocked because of the LEDAC.

"The Senate proved equal to our people's expectations," he said.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and former Senate President Franklin Drilon were also recognized during the program. Also present were former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., and former Senator Jamby Madrigal.

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