Press Release
October 5, 2020

Transcript of Sen. Pia Cayetano's Manifestation On House Bill 7507

As you all know, I have been on the floor defending CREATE for the past two weeks. And due to the stringent requirements of our Senate medical team, it was required that all resource persons were entering the Senate premises to take a PCR test. Because of that, it was discovered that one of our resource persons tested positive. And this is somebody that my team and I have been working with for these past two weeks. And so, the Senate medical team has recommended that everyone else takes a PCR test again today to ensure that everybody else is negative. And so, for that reason, I cannot come in today and I will be working from home without the support of any technical staff with me physically present. Although they are all present online as well. It's a little bit difficult but I intend to proceed because we are on very strict timelines to finish CREATE. And it is not my intention to deprive any of our colleagues of their opportunity to interpellate. If I were to move this, we would be delayed.

I'd like to thank the Senate President, the Secretariat, and the medical team, for very strictly enforcing this rule. Because this saved us from more difficulties. Based on the findings, I'll have to be working from home.

On that note, I take note that on the agenda is House Bill 7507 (granting San Miguel Aerocity Inc. a franchise to construct, develop, establish, operate, and maintain a domestic and international airport and its adjacent airport city in Bulakan, Bulacan). But my understanding is, our priority is CREATE. I had 10 people on the list to interpellate. With all due respect to all, I don't want to deprive anyone of their opportunity to defend their bills, to interpellate other bills. But can we please proceed with CREATE first because I need to spend a little bit of time on it each day. Maybe we can do two hours of CREATE and then move to another subject and then come back to CREATE. Because otherwise, I have to admit that I feel pressured, especially I don't know how many days this will endure. And it will take me longer to respond to questions because I don't have support staff with me physically present. I am sure you understand that situation. That we rely very heavily on technical support of our team and of the resource persons that we bring in.

May I ask for your indulgence? In fact, my understanding was CREATE was really the priority. So can we start with CREATE and then proceed after? Would that be okay with all?


That Committee Report is also referred to my Committee on Ways and Means on second referral. I was already in the midst of defending CREATE when that was heard. And so I think I am not asking for a lot if I would also be given time to interpellate and ask questions. I think you all know that there are tax incentives there. So I will also make time to do that. But again, may I ask that we take time first to do CREATE... I only have one body and the whole tax team was exposed. I am not making an excuse. They are available, we will work on this. Pero konting consideration. It is referred to my committee and I have questions also.


You know me very well, colleagues. I have never tried to delay a bill. But I think I owe the respect to be given time to ask questions. If I remember right, what was announced was that I will close the period of interpellation subject to amendments by some colleagues.

Alam niyo naman na focused na focused ako sa CREATE. Take note ko lang yun na it was closed subject to those interpellations. And I know that you would consider my interpellation. Why would you not consider it naman? I am your duly elected Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means? Hindi ba tama na dini-defend ko yung CREATE? It is very much related sa incentives na pinapasa? Kasi otherwise, what is the purpose na nagde-defend ako ng CREATE if we are going to carve out... Nagtatanong lang naman ako. In fact, at the end of the day, I will toss it back to you. Since when naman ako nagpilit ng sa akin? I just wanted also your guidance, because we will basically be carving out a different set of incentives. Hindi ba tama lang naman na maitanong ko naman yun? Medyo nagugulat naman ako na after asking me to defend CREATE day in and day out, hindi man lang ako mapapagbigyan na magtanong doon sa isang major bill na, let me put on record, definitely makakatulong.

Pero diba job ko yun? In-elect niyo ako para magtanong ng mga ganitong klaseng tanong? Para naman malaman natin kung aligned naman yun sa CREATE or okay lang sa atin na hindi aligned? Sino ba naman ako para sabihin na huwag kung lahat naman tayo gusto? Yun lang naman ang question ko. Kasi otherwise, why did you put me in this position if you're not going to allow me to ask questions on major bills that create incentives, in the same way na it just so happened dun sa bill naman po ni Sen. Gordon, nagkataon naman na libre ako at that time to attend, so na-attend-an ko naman yung RICH niya, which also is on incentives. And I appreciate that I had the chance to listen. So why would you deprive me of this opportunity to discuss this very important bill? Kailan niyo naman ako nakilalang nagtagal naman ako nang sobra-sobrang tagal na inubos ko po ang oras niyo? Na nag-filibustering ako. Kailan ko naman ginawa yun? Never, in my 13 years in the Senate, never.

So I would really not take it well, if suddenly, you will not allow me to ask questions. I have never heard any senator deprived of that opportunity to ask questions, especially when the period of interpellation was precisely ended quickly to allow more amendments. In fact, may amendments na nga ako on sustainability. Ako din ang Chairman niyo on Committee on Sustainable Goals. So bakit naman ganun? Medyo nagtataka lang naman ako and I feel bad about it that that's the impression I am getting, number one, you cannot even accommodate or allow me to have 1-2 hours when I have 10 people who want to interpellate CREATE. I am just asking para naman I can defend CREATE for an hour or two, take a break... and then you can take up this bill, and then at some point, ako naman ho ang mag-interpellate. So yun lang. I leave it up to you, my dear colleagues. Pero I feel bad that the impression I am getting is that I am not given the opportunity to do my job.

Thank you.


I will carve out time, Mr. President. Kailan naman ako... Never ko nagawa yun...

I have a few questions. I don't know if I will be prepared with my amendments, but what I will probably do is I will ask some questions then maybe I will consult with all of you in caucus. That was really what my plan was. I don't have kasi the answers to some questions that would allow me to amend right away. So I would like to ask a few questions and then perhaps as your Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, ask you how you would like to proceed based on some questions I would like to ask.

And if I may just clarify, my understanding was, approved already ang aming opportunity to ask questions in the period of amendment because it was approved. In the period of interpellation, my understanding was approved, subject to other people amending. So I am not aware that there is a need for further approval for me to ask questions during this period of amendment, because we are in the period of amendment. That is what I know, Mr. President.

Thank you.

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