Press Release
December 9, 2014

Transcript of Ambush Interview with Senate President Franklin M. Drilon

Q: On Senate's legislative schedule

SPFMD: In accordance with our last meeting with the House leadership, we are on schedule. There are just 2 measures which we have not yet tackled. The bicameral conference committee hearing for the budget is still hanging, and the supplemental budget is still in the House. We can't work on that until they have passed that. But otherwise, all the bills we need to work on for the remainder of the December sessions, we are on track.

Q: Kung obligado po ang House na mag-extend up until Friday ng sessions, ganun din ba sa Senate?

SPFMD: No. There is no rule on that. The sessions of Congress - of the legislature - are during the weekdays, and our calendar would indicate that we have sessions up until December 19, 2014, I think. So the plan of the House to meet until Friday is consistent with our legislative calendar and the rules.

Q: Sir for now wala po bang hinihinging supplemental budget ang palasyo para sa typhoon Ruby?

SPFMD: Well not in the Senate. The supplemental budget is an appropriation measure, which goes to the House. Wala sa amin, at wala pang pinadala. But if one is ever submitted, it will go to the House first.

Q: Sir yung NFA administrator may proposal asking Congress to approve na i-absorb ng gobyerno ang kanilang multi-billion peso debt?

SPFMD: I don't know. That must be analyzed carefully. I do not know the extent of the debt, and I do not know why we should absorb the debt at all. I haven't seen their bill.

Q: Pag humingi po ng calamity fund o special funds para po sa disaster, hindi po ba magdadalawang salita pa ang Malakanyang sa inyo?

SPFMD: Hindi ko alam kung kailangan pa nila ng authority. I think there is enough authority in the 2014 budget. We also passed a supplemental budget last year. I think there is enough authority. 2015 is about to come in, the General Appropriations Act of 2015 should have authorizations also for calamity funds.

So I haven't really received any request for additional authority. I assume there is enough authority in the existing budget, in the supplemental budget we passed last year, and the budget for 2015. In fact, the reason why we did not meet our GDP goals, is due to the underspending of the government. There is enough authorization. Meron pong budget yan.

Q: May chance po bang maapprove before Christmas break yung pagbibigay ng special powers sa Malakanyang?

SPFMD: That would depend on the Committee on Energy. Once the committee report is submitted to the Senate plenary, we will take it up.

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