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Hard work and the Senate

/ 12:04 AM October 23, 2014

If the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll is any indication, it is clear that public satisfaction with the Senate is on a resurgent, upward swing attributable to the chamber’s performance in pursuing policy reforms—a fact intimately known to the senators themselves. After admitting that the Senate’s image was shaken by political scandals, Senate President Franklin Drilon himself declared that the only way to restore the Senate’s good public standing is by “working hard and instituting reforms with public accountability as the primary goal and transparency.”

The rise of the Senate’s public satisfaction rating from +12 to +28 in the third quarter this year can be explained by the senators’ push for legislation and by the policies that directly affect the lives of our countrymen. In September alone, the Senate approved four bills, including the Iskolar ng Bayan Act, which is seen to give at least 80,000 high school students access to free and full college education as early as next year. The Senate has also approved the coverage of all Filipino senior citizens under the PhilHealth insurance program.

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It is now working for the revision of the nation’s taxation system in order to alleviate Filipinos burdened by incommensurate taxation, and this is only one of the many policy moves appreciated and sought for by our people.

The Senate has also proven to the public that it is not afraid to be at the forefront of the fight against corruption. The Senate blue ribbon committee hearings on the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam effectively brought the attention of every household to what has become one of the biggest political controversies in Philippine history, even when senators themselves have been tagged with the scandal.

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The Senate abolished the pork barrel system even before the Supreme Court ruled its unconstitutionality. Senate hearings on the nation’s most pressing issues, such as illegal smuggling of basic commodities and allegations of overpricing in government-built structures, remain the most accessible avenue through which Juan de la Cruz gets to be informed and enlightened on major events and developments that affect his everyday life.

The nation can be assured that senators are working for new, lasting solutions to the oldest challenges we face as a nation—poverty, inequality and corruption—knowing full well that as a democracy, the people will only trust leaders who have proven that they are up to the task.

—SAMUEL SANTOS,

print media director,

Senate of the Philippines

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TAGS: corruption, Franklin Drilon, inequality, Iskolar ng Bayan Act, PDAF, Poverty, Priority Development Assistance Fund scam, Senate of the Philippines, Social Weather Stations, SWS
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