Press Release
October 10, 2017

Transcript of Interview with Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon

Q: On the decrease in the budget of the housing sector

Drilon: Sa kasalukuyan, mga P15.3 billion ang budget ng housing sector. Ito'y binagsak ng 70% sa 2018, naging P4.5 billion na lang. This is a criminal neglect, because the housing sector plays a very important role in our society. First and foremost, it addresses social problem, which is the lack of housing. Sa ngayon sinasabi ng housing agencies na nasa 1.2 million ang kulang na bahay at pagdating ng 2022 ay aabot ito ng six million. With that kind of a backlog, why are we not providing enough resources to our housing sector? Remember, ang sabi nga nila ay may multiplier effect ito. Sa bawat piso na gagastusin sa pabahay, pitong piso ang balik nito sa ekonomiya na ang ibig sabihiin ay maraming na-generate na economic activities. From the social point of view, housing is very important. From the economic point of view, it is very beneficial. That is why we are proposing na ibalik natin sa present 2017 level ang budget. Maraming unproductive portions ang ating budget, halimbawa yung intelligence funds. Ilang billion iyon? Importante ang intelligence gathering, pero ganon ba kalaki ang pangangailangan natin? I repeat, intelligence fund is non-productive item in the budget kasi walang multiplier effect iyan.

Q: P2 billion ba yung intel funds?

Drilon: I'm just citing possible sources of reinstating. They're saying that the absorptive capacity is very low, pero in turns out na, if we belive what they said, they can even obligate 100%. It takes times to disburse and execute but it's not their fault. It's the fault of the bureaucracy. Kaya I volunteered given my experience with the bureaucracy as an executive secretary, as a senator and as a member of the cabinet for nine years, I would have a working knowledge of how to address the bureaucracy in terms of their ability to react on time. I'm willing to help them on how the process can be hastened.

Q: May support na ba ng majority?

Drilon: I do not know. That's up to the majority to decide but I will fight for it.

Q: 9-6 raw yung decision rejecting Sen. De Lima's petition?

Drilon: Nakakalungkot. Ang aking paniwala ay dapat Ombudsman ang mag-hear nito. But I respect the decision of the Supreme Court. I'm a lawyer and former justice secretary, I disagree but I will respect the SC decision. I assume Sen. De Lima will file a motion for reconsideration and I hope the SC can take a close second look at the decision.

Q: 9-6, may possibility pa bang ma-reverse iyon?

Drilon: Well, 9-6, that means that you only need to convince two, so that it will become 8-7. If it's 9-6, that means if you can convince two from the nine to go to the six.

Q: Ibig sabihin Sir hindi pa ito dead-end for Sen. De Lima?

Drilon: No. in fact he can file a motion for reconsideration. Maybe some of the justices should inhibit.

Q: May resolution ang minority bloc for furlough, paano yun?

Drilon: We will not give up. We will keep on requesting. We are not asking for Sen. De Lima to be released, what we are just asking is to allow her to perform her duties as a senator.

Q: Given the SC ruling, will it be more difficult for the minority to push for it?

Drilon: It doesn't change the picture because the ruling was on the ability to post bail. We are not asking that she be allowed to post bail. We are asking that she be allowed, while she is under detention, to attend to her senatorial duties.

Q: So walang impact iyon Sir?

Drilon: Yes. Wala.

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