Press Release
October 7, 2020


Q: Unforutunately as mentioned a while ago, because your House counterparts adjourned prematurely, it affected not just your bill, but also the budget, and all other bills on advanced stages of legislative processes. Just by way of comment, I know you have interparliamentary courtesy, but you must still address the fact that you, yourselves in the Senate, are affected but the entire nation as well, because we are waiting for these very important bills especially in the light of the pandemic.

SJV: Yesterday, we also ratified one of our measures, yung the Alternative Learning System in the Senate. Im not sure if it was ratified in the House so nakabinbin iyon sa House. Ito pong Doktor Para Sa Bayan bill or the Medical Scholarship bill with Return Service. Let me also reiterate this Doktor Para Sa Bayan bill will have a return service mechanism. Kapag pinag-aral ka ng gobyerno, we also want you to serve the country in govt hospitals with the number of years na pinag-aral kayo ng gobyerno. This will also be affected.

You are correct maam. The most affected measure is one of the most important measures that we have to pass every year, which is the national budget. I don't know and I can't comment on reasons why the House of Representatives did that, but it is going to be very, very tight if you talk about the national budget. If they will submit to us by November 14, 15, or 16 the GAB, that's the only time po we'll be able to tackle on the floor the national budget. It's not like when you submit it, you'll be able to tackle it right away because we have to study each and every budget of every agency, every department. If they pass it on November 14, then you also have two or three days to print it. The GAB. And then pag-aaralan po ng Senate. So we'll lose at least 4-5 days of that week already. We'll tackle it about 3rd week of November na. So what are you saying, you are giving us two weeks to tackle the entire national budget of every single agency and department? Parang napakahirap po. But I'm not saying we are not going to be able to do that. We are going to do that. I'm sure my colleagues and I, ako po, I'm committed to do it. Definitely we will have days na overnight session, that's what's going to happen.

SJV: But second reading lang po ang approved ng house. They did not include their individual amendments and committee amendments, they are still in the period of amendments. Medyo nagulat rin po kami.

Q: Is there a way by which the Senators to reach out to your House colleagues?

SJV: First there are rules. When the gavel is banged, and you said you are adjourning until November 14, medyo mabigat iyon. Secondly, and I'm very good friends with Speaker Alan Cayetano. I don't know his reasons behind it, and I respect the decision of the House because it is a majority decision to begin with. I think the leaders of both houses our Senate President and the Speaker of the House should sit down and actually talk about this. I think it is important for the leaders of both houses would talk about this. Third, the other alternative is that the President may call for a special session.

Q: How would that be a special session when the Senate is in session?

SJV: Well, he can still call. If there are compelling reasons for the House to again call its members to conduct sessions, they can still do so. Our sessions naman po, although we are set to adjourn on Oct. 14, we can also extend it.

News Latest News Feed