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SWS: PNoy's SATISFACTION RATING DROPS IN Q4


DECEMBER 17 -In this December 15 photo, President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his speech during the 3rd State Conference on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace Tuesday. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Rey Baniquet
The net satisfaction rating of President Benigno Aquino III dropped to 32 percent in the fourth quarter, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Wednesday. The president's satisfaction rating decreased from 41 percent (64 percent satisfied minus 22 percent dissatisfied) in September to 32 percent (58 percent satisfied minus 16 percent dissatisfied). READ: Noy satisfaction rating up 11 points in Q3 — SWS Despite the nine-point drop, Aquino's net satisfaction rating remains "good" (+30 to + 49) in the SWS terminology. The satisfaction rating of Aquino was highest in the Visayas region with 73 percent of the respondents saying that they are satisfied with the president's performance. Aquino scored 55 percent in the National Capital Region, 52 percent in Luzon and 58 percent in Mindanao. The SWS stressed that the public satisfaction survey with the president was non-commissioned. The survey was conducted from December 5 to 8 among 1,200 respondents nationwide. The respondents were asked if they were satisfied or dissatisfied in the performance of Aquino.THE FULL REPORT

ALSO SWS: Filipinos likely to vote against PNoy's bet


DECEMBER 17 -Philippines' President Benigno Aquino III listens during the 27th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. AP/Joshua Paul
Most Filipinos will vote against a candidate endorsed by President Benigno Aquino III, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey. The president got a net score of -6 percent on a survey on the effect of his endorsement. Aquino scored -26 percent and -10 percent in the National Capital Region and Luzon, respectively. Meanwhile, he gained positive net effect of endorsement in Visayas and Mindanao with 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively. READ: In Italy, PNoy bashes 2016 presidential bets Among economic classes, Aquino scored a net of -22 and -7 among classes ABC and D, respectively. He scored a net of 2 percent in class E. Former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada also scored a negative net effect of endorsement with -6 percent. The survey also showed that Filipinos are least likely to vote for candidates endorsed by former Presidents Fidel Ramos (-16 percent) and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (-34). THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Noy’s endorsement value slips as SWS numbers fall


DECEMBER 18 -The latest results on the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on the satisfaction rating on President Aquino slipping nine points to a net 32 percent in the fourth quarter from a net 41 per-cent three months ago gave a glimpse on his receding signifi-cance to the candi-dacy of his anointed Liberal Party (LP) bet Mar Roxas. Roxas has been trailing the pre-election polls despite the endorsement of Aquino as the candidate who will pursue his so-called daang matuwid legacy. Aquino’s latest survey figures showed fewer satisfied Filipinos which went down by eight percentage points to 58 percent from 64 percent in September.Those who expressed dissatisfaction also grew by four points to 26 percent in the lastest survey from 22 percent in September. Those who were ambivalent remained virtually the same throughout the year, with a slight increase to 16 percent from 14 percent in the previous quarter. The SWS uses a netting formula in which respondents who expressed dissatisfaction are deducted from those who indicated approval. The question asked of respondents was “Please tell me how satisfied you are in the performance of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as President of the Philippines. Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, undecided if satisfied or dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, very dissatisfied?” SWS classifies net satisfaction ratings of a net 70 and above as “excellent”; net 50 to net 69 as “very good”; net 30 to net 49, “good”; net 10 to net 29, “moderate”, net nine to negative nine, “neutral”; negative 10 to negative 29, “poor”; negative 30 to negative 49, “bad”; negative 50 to negative 69, “very bad”; and negative 70 and below as “execrable.” In terms of socioeconomic class, Aquino got the highest rating from those belonging to Class E at net 45 followed by those from Class ABC at net 44 and Class D at net 28. Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma attributed the high satisfaction rating from the Class E respondents to the implementation of the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program. “We note further that socioeconomic Class E constitutes the main benefactors of the government’s poverty alleviation and social development programs such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps,” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino administration blamed for nonpassage of draft BBL


DECEMBER 18 -President Benigno Aquino III. AP FILE PHOTO The Aquino administration has no one but itself to blame for the failure of Congress to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) this year because officials refused to heed earlier calls to revise the bill jointly crafted by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels. House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora said members of his bloc had been vocal about their misgivings as to the scope and constitutionality of the draft BBL but the administration and its allies in the House refused to listen to them. “The biggest failing is the failure to pass the BBL in an acceptable form. What’s the reason for this? The minority is against the BBL in its present form and we have tried to introduce amendments. We have spoken long and well regarding different aspects of the BBL but they didn’t listen. That is the real problem,” Zamora said. The House of Representatives adjourned on Wednesday without passing the proposed BBL despite appeals by President Aquino, chief government peace negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal to approve it this year, before the onset of the campaign fever in January. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. finally mustered a quorum on the last day of the 2015 session and was at least able to terminate the interpellation on the floor that had been dragging on since June. Belmonte was optimistic there would be time to pass the proposed BBL during the three weeks of sessions before the start of the campaign season in February. Zamora said the House minority bloc was first to oppose the opt-in provision in the draft BBL that would allow at least 10 more provinces that did not join the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to join the Bangsamoro region through a plebiscite. The opt-in provision was included in the committee report on the BBL and was only removed in the plenary. Aside from the opt-in provision, Zamora said the administration refused to listen to criticism of the proposed plebiscites for the BBL, which he said could lead to a patchwork of different jurisdictions, and the “large and unrealistic” budgets allocated for the Bangsamoro. READ MORE...

ALSO: MILF warns no BLBAR, no disarmament deal


DECEMBER 18 -After the Palace raised the possibility of the rise of Muslim militancy, now comes the threat of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that it will not lay down more arms if the controversial Basic Law on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR) is not passed.
Failure of Congress to pass the BLBAR would freeze the agreement to decommission firearms of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said. In a chance interview, Iqbal said that the decommissioning process would also be stalled as provided for in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). He said that the decommissioning process and the proposed Bangsamoro law should proceed simultaneously.The proposed Bangsamoro law — the fruit of the CAB — will create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region which will be governed by the Bangsamoro Parliament that will be elected by the people within the region. “Of course (it was delayed) because the decommissioning is tied up with political milestones,” Iqbal said. “If the Bangsamoro law is passed and ratified, 30 percent of the decommissioning process will be completed. If it moves to third phase or the organization and operationalization of the Bangsamoro police, then another 35 percent of our forces will be decommissioned. The final 35 percent will be decommissioned once all agreements between the parties are implemented,” Iqbal added, referring to the government and the MILF. Last June, the MILF deactivated only over 75 weapons, including 55 high-powered arms. In the same ceremony witnessed by President Aquino and Iqbal in Maguindanao, the MILF also decommissioned 145 out of its 10,000 armed forces identified as Bangsamoro Islamic Forces.READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

SWS: PNoy's satisfaction rating drops in Q4


In this December 15 photo, President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his speech during the 3rd State Conference on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace Tuesday. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Rey Baniquet

MANILA, DECEMBER 21, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Patricia Lourdes Viray -The net satisfaction rating of President Benigno Aquino III dropped to 32 percent in the fourth quarter, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Wednesday.

The president's satisfaction rating decreased from 41 percent (64 percent satisfied minus 22 percent dissatisfied) in September to 32 percent (58 percent satisfied minus 16 percent dissatisfied).

READ: Noy satisfaction rating up 11 points in Q3 — SWS

Despite the nine-point drop, Aquino's net satisfaction rating remains "good" (+30 to + 49) in the SWS terminology.

The satisfaction rating of Aquino was highest in the Visayas region with 73 percent of the respondents saying that they are satisfied with the president's performance.

Aquino scored 55 percent in the National Capital Region, 52 percent in Luzon and 58 percent in Mindanao.

The SWS stressed that the public satisfaction survey with the president was non-commissioned.

The survey was conducted from December 5 to 8 among 1,200 respondents nationwide. The respondents were asked if they were satisfied or dissatisfied in the performance of Aquino.


PHILSTAR

SWS: Filipinos likely to vote against PNoy's bet By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated December 7, 2015 - 10:42am


Philippines' President Benigno Aquino III listens during the 27th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. AP/Joshua Paul

MANILA, Philippines - Most Filipinos will vote against a candidate endorsed by President Benigno Aquino III, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

The president got a net score of -6 percent on a survey on the effect of his endorsement.

Aquino scored -26 percent and -10 percent in the National Capital Region and Luzon, respectively. Meanwhile, he gained positive net effect of endorsement in Visayas and Mindanao with 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

READ: In Italy, PNoy bashes 2016 presidential bets

Among economic classes, Aquino scored a net of -22 and -7 among classes ABC and D, respectively. He scored a net of 2 percent in class E.

Former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada also scored a negative net effect of endorsement with -6 percent.

The survey also showed that Filipinos are least likely to vote for candidates endorsed by former Presidents Fidel Ramos (-16 percent) and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (-34).


TRIBUNE

Noy’s endorsement value slips as SWS numbers fall
Written by Joshua L. Labonera Thursday, 17 December 2015 00:00



The latest results on the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on the satisfaction rating on President Aquino slipping nine points to a net 32 percent in the fourth quarter from a net 41 per-cent three months ago gave a glimpse on his receding signifi-cance to the candi-dacy of his anointed Liberal Party (LP) bet Mar Roxas.

Roxas has been trailing the pre-election polls despite the endorsement of Aquino as the candidate who will pursue his so-called daang matuwid legacy.

Aquino’s latest survey figures showed fewer satisfied Filipinos which went down by eight percentage points to 58 percent from 64 percent in September.

Those who expressed dissatisfaction also grew by four points to 26 percent in the lastest survey from 22 percent in September.

Those who were ambivalent remained virtually the same throughout the year, with a slight increase to 16 percent from 14 percent in the previous quarter.

The SWS uses a netting formula in which respondents who expressed dissatisfaction are deducted from those who indicated approval.

The question asked of respondents was “Please tell me how satisfied you are in the performance of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as President of the Philippines. Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, undecided if satisfied or dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, very dissatisfied?”

SWS classifies net satisfaction ratings of a net 70 and above as “excellent”; net 50 to net 69 as “very good”; net 30 to net 49, “good”; net 10 to net 29, “moderate”, net nine to negative nine, “neutral”; negative 10 to negative 29, “poor”; negative 30 to negative 49, “bad”; negative 50 to negative 69, “very bad”; and negative 70 and below as “execrable.”

In terms of socioeconomic class, Aquino got the highest rating from those belonging to Class E at net 45 followed by those from Class ABC at net 44 and Class D at net 28.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma attributed the high satisfaction rating from the Class E respondents to the implementation of the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.

“We note further that socioeconomic Class E constitutes the main benefactors of the government’s poverty alleviation and social development programs such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps,” he said.

READ MORE...

4Ps covers about 4.4 million household, whose members include 10.1 million youth, eight million of whom are students and two million are toddlers.

Noy figures remain high — Palace



Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, in a statement, said that the results of the poll further encourage the administration as Aquino’s regime nears its end in 2016.

“While these historically high figures encourage us in the administration, we measure success by other metrics that reflect the quality of life of our citizens. The Aquino administration continues to do its work not for survey results but toward the more tangible benefits of good governance,” he said.

The Palace official claimed that the government is still hands on with programs on poverty alleviation, jobs generation, and economic expansion, adding that the success of the administration’s work is proven by studies on its projects.

Aquino’s net figures slumped in Balance Luzon (net 23 from net 46) and Mindanao (net 31 from net 39), as a result of 52 percent satisfied versus 29 percent dissatisfied and 58 percent satisfied versus 27 percent dissatisfied, respectively.

In the Visayas, Aquino received a 73 percent satisfaction rating against 27 percent dissatisfied in the latest survey for an eight percentage point increase in net satisfaction at the area at net 58.

Aquino’s figures in the National Capital Region (NCR) were at 55 satisfied versus 31 dissatisfied or a net 23 satisfaction, a five points increase from net 18 in the previous quarter.

Those undecided were at 14, 19, 12 and 16 percent respectively for NCR, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

In urban areas, Aquino’s net satisfaction ratings dipped to a year-low at +19 from a 52, 16 and 33 percent satisfied, undecided, and dissatisfied, respectively.

In the rural areas, the President’s figures remain virtually unchanged at net 37 .

Magdalo has Duterte leading



Yet another survey conducted by the Magdalo partylist which is identified with independent Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV purportedly shows Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in a clear lead over Sen. Grace Poe but a Magdalo statement said both are in a tight race.

Trillanes and Magdalo have thrown their support for Poe’s presidential bid.

Duterte scored 31.9 percent in the survey, while Poe, who previously topped surveys prior to the disqualification issues, scored 26 percent.

Magdalo Rep. Francisco Acedillo said the survey was conducted last December 9 to 11 and respondents were provided with the list of known candidates for president/vice president.

Respondents were asked ‘If elections would be held today, who among the following candidates would you vote for?’”

“One of the observations during the survey is that a significant number of respondents presumed that Senator Poe was already disqualified in running for President, or were asking if she was already disqualified. Since our researchers are not allowed to engage with the respondents to avoid influencing their answers, this issue was not clarified to them,” Acedillo said.

Vice President Jejomar Binay received 23.6 percent preference in the presidential survey while Roxas got 13.5 percent.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago had four percent preference and former Ambassador Roy Señeres had 0.1 percent.

“We expect that these figures and the candidates’ ranking will continue to notably change, especially when the Commission on Elections en banc and the Supreme Court, eventually, will release their decision on Senator Poe’s and Mayor Duterte’s candidacy,” Acedillo added.
Meanwhile, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is the biggest gainer in the among vice presidential bets in the same survey with 16.6 percent from last October’s 11 percent.



Sen. Chiz Escudero remained on top with 28.8 percent, though his numbers declined followed by Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos with 22.3 percent.

Coming in fourth was Roxas’ runningmate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo with 11.7 percent; followed by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV with 10.6 percent; and Senator Gregorio Honasan with eight percent.

Magdalo said the survey employed a multi-stage probability sampling, claiming almost 3,000 respondents distributed across the different regions of the country, in just two days of polling, and has a margin of error of 1.8 percent either way.

Poe spokesman Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian said the results of the Magdalo survey serve as a guide for the camp of Poe to calibrate its next moves.

“We will continue to focus on our message of good governance, inclusive growth and improving competitiveness. We believe the more people that will hear our advocacies, the more people will support Senator Poe,” he said.

Marcos as slap match referee

Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., meanwhile, tried to distance himself from the worsening word war between two presidential aspirants, administration’s bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas and Davao City Mayor Rodrido Duterte.

Marcos kept mum, when asked if he was the alleged source of information, as earlier claimed by Duterte, on the issue on Roxas not being a graduate of Wharton, the business school of the University of Pennsylvania.

“Don’t pull me into that. Let’s spread joy instead. I might be the one who will get slapped. I’d rather not enter that discussion. I’m sure they will resolve it between the two of them,” Marcos told reporters.

“It’s Christmas. The issue should die down already. It’s the season of joy. Let us indulge ourselves a little bit and and feel some of that joy and spread some of that joy around,” Marcos said.

The “Wharton” issue has led to Duterte challenging Roxas to a slapping match which the former elevated to a fistfight which later on Duterte further said should be resolved through a gun duel.

Asked if he will give the same advice to Duterte, Marcos replied in the affirmative.

“But you know, does that matter? People will do what they want to do. It’s not for me to tell Duterte or Roxas don’t do this or don’t do that. If they would ask for my advice, I would give it. I don’t think he needs my advice. He knows what to do. We all do,” he said.
“I can be the referee,” Marcos added.

Turning serious, Marcos said the exchange of harsh words between contenders is not unusual during elections especially in a Presidential contest.

He expects that accusations by rival candidates against each other will intensify when the campaign period sets in.


INQUIRER

Aquino administration blamed for nonpassage of draft BBL
By: Gil Cabacungan @gilcabacungan Philippine Daily Inquirer 03:34 AM December 18th, 2015


President Benigno Aquino III. AP FILE PHOTO

The Aquino administration has no one but itself to blame for the failure of Congress to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) this year because officials refused to heed earlier calls to revise the bill jointly crafted by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels.

House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora said members of his bloc had been vocal about their misgivings as to the scope and constitutionality of the draft BBL but the administration and its allies in the House refused to listen to them.

“The biggest failing is the failure to pass the BBL in an acceptable form. What’s the reason for this? The minority is against the BBL in its present form and we have tried to introduce amendments. We have spoken long and well regarding different aspects of the BBL but they didn’t listen. That is the real problem,” Zamora said.

The House of Representatives adjourned on Wednesday without passing the proposed BBL despite appeals by President Aquino, chief government peace negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal to approve it this year, before the onset of the campaign fever in January.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. finally mustered a quorum on the last day of the 2015 session and was at least able to terminate the interpellation on the floor that had been dragging on since June. Belmonte was optimistic there would be time to pass the proposed BBL during the three weeks of sessions before the start of the campaign season in February.

Zamora said the House minority bloc was first to oppose the opt-in provision in the draft BBL that would allow at least 10 more provinces that did not join the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to join the Bangsamoro region through a plebiscite. The opt-in provision was included in the committee report on the BBL and was only removed in the plenary.

Aside from the opt-in provision, Zamora said the administration refused to listen to criticism of the proposed plebiscites for the BBL, which he said could lead to a patchwork of different jurisdictions, and the “large and unrealistic” budgets allocated for the Bangsamoro.

READ MORE...

“Let Congress call an all-party caucus, get everybody to speak their piece, not just through one special committee. Let’s do it in public with everybody participating. We were not being listened to,” said Zamora, who believes there is still time to pass the proposed BBL under the Aquino administration.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said the administration’s desire to make the BBL its legacy at any cost could be disastrous.

“The present form of the BBL isn’t acceptable to many sectors. We believe it’ll be a diluted law if Congress passes the BBL just for the sake of passing the law.”

For Belmonte, the draft BBL was a victim of the rise of militant Islamism and the fallout from the death of 44 police commandos in the botched Mamasapano operation in January.

“I myself believe in the BBL although I’m not directly involved because I’m not from Mindanao. We were confident of passing it early on but these events really affected the timetable—the rise of militant Islamists in different parts of the world and something completely unexpected like the Mamasapano incident,” Belmonte said.

RELATED STORIES

Drilon: BBL not dead yet

BBL is dead, says Bongbong Marcos


TRIBUNE

MILF warns no BLBAR, no disarmament deal Written by Gerry Baldo and Angie M. Rosales Friday, 18 December 2015 00:00



After the Palace raised the possibility of the rise of Muslim militancy, now comes the threat of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that it will not lay down more arms if the controversial Basic Law on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR) is not passed.

Failure of Congress to pass the BLBAR would freeze the agreement to decommission firearms of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said.

In a chance interview, Iqbal said that the decommissioning process would also be stalled as provided for in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

He said that the decommissioning process and the proposed Bangsamoro law should proceed simultaneously.
 


IQBAL

The proposed Bangsamoro law — the fruit of the CAB — will create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region which will be governed by the Bangsamoro Parliament that will be elected by the people within the region.

“Of course (it was delayed) because the decommissioning is tied up with political milestones,” Iqbal said.

“If the Bangsamoro law is passed and ratified, 30 percent of the decommissioning process will be completed. If it moves to third phase or the organization and operationalization of the Bangsamoro police, then another 35 percent of our forces will be decommissioned. The final 35 percent will be decommissioned once all agreements between the parties are implemented,” Iqbal added, referring to the government and the MILF.

Last June, the MILF deactivated only over 75 weapons, including 55 high-powered arms. In the same ceremony witnessed by President Aquino and Iqbal in Maguindanao, the MILF also decommissioned 145 out of its 10,000 armed forces identified as Bangsamoro Islamic Forces.

READ MORE...

Under the proposed Bangsamoro law, the proposed Bangsamoro Region will also be receiving an annual block grant which is 2.4 percent of the national tax collection, a Special Development Fund worth P17 billion (P7 billion initially and P2 billion for the next five years) and a P1 billion transition fund for the infrastructure construction and rehabilitation work.

The Bangsamoro measure has recently hurdled the period of debate. The next stage is the period of amendments.

Lawmakers are afraid that the bill will not be approved by the 16th Congress.
They said there are only three weeks left for them to approve the bill before Congress adjourns before the campaign period.

Drilon says BLBAR still kicking



Hope springs eternal for President Aquino’s top ally, Senate President Franklin Drilon, as he disputed Sen. Ferdinand Marcos’ claim that the Basic Law on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR) is dead, saying the bill will pass next year still within Aquino’s term.

Marcos has said major obstacles such as lack of time and the chronic failure at the House of Representatives to muster quorum with the start of the election season has doomed the BLBAR.

Asked if he remains hopeful that it will still be approved and end up as a legacy of the Aquino administration, Drilon gave this reply, “certainly.”

“We will work for the passage of BBL next year...No it’s not yet dead,” Drilon told reporters even as he acknowledged that efforts will only prove to be futile if the House will not do its share of work in expediting the deliberations of the bill.

In handling the deliberations on the BLBAR, Drilon noted the point made by Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile that the measure should be treated as a local bill, which means that the upper chamber will have to wait for the House version of the bill.

“The other side would assert that this is a bill of national application because the national government would yield numerous powers exercise by the national government. Whatever it is, we will take the conservative approach. We will await the passage of the BBL in the House,” Drilon said.

“But we will process and continue to debate on the BBL in the Senate. So that when the House would be able to transmit it’s version to our chamber, we can immediately pass our own version. In other words, what we will intend to do is, debate on it in the chamber. We will process it to the point of probably passing it on second reading, await the approval by the House and pass it on third reading the day we receive it, the House version or the day after,” he added.

Drilon noted precedents in the past where the two Houses of Congress passed bills similarly situated with the BLBAR and in which the Senate proceeded with its deliberations, only voting on it on third and final reading after the House approved and transmitted its version to the upper chamber.

Records would bear him out on this in the handling of deliberations of Republic Act (RA) 60734 or the ARMM Organic Law which was the original law but which the Senate drafted an own version for it.

“The sponsorship speech, in our records, was on Jan. 9, 1989 and it was approved on second reading on March 17, 1989. But we did not approve it until the Senate received the House version on April 17, 1989. After we received it, we approved the Senate version on third reading,” he said.

The same was done in the case of RA 9054 the Act Strengthening the ARMM Organic Law as the House version was transmitted to the Senate on July 28, 1999 and immediately on the same day it was approved on second reading.

“After that, on January 10, 2001 and also on third Reading on the same day, on Jan. 10, 2001, we passed RA 6766, the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera Organic Law, the House version was transmitted to the Senate on April 17, 1989, it was sponsored on Apr. 10, 1989, it was approved on second reading after we received the House version on May 10, 1989 and approved it on third reading on May 26, 1989,” Drilon said.

“In our words, what we’re saying is, our legislative history would support the proposition that the Senate would wait for the approval of the House version insofar as the organic laws are concerned,” he added.

“So that is what we intend to do after the House. We will continue the debates in the Senate, we will try to approve it up to second reading but we will wait until we receive the version of the House before we approve it on third reading,” he said.

Based on his regular discussions on the status of the bill with Marcos, chairman of the local governments committee and sponsor of BLBAR in the Senate, Drilon said they share the common belief that there’s no serious objection on the bill as far as the Senate is concerned.

It’s a reversal of the situation in the House which has been plagued with a quorum problem on top of the strong resistance of a number of congressmen against what is perceived as unconstitutional provisions in the measure.

“There are a lot of interpellations for clarification, maybe amendments to points where there are doubts on constitutionality but we do not see any effort to block,” he said.

“We have no problem of quorum in the Senate. This week we ratified three treaties, which even required a two-thirds vote and we got the two-thirds vote. The problem on the quorum (is in the House), not the Senate,” Drilon stressed.

As to Enrile’s expressed position that the BLBAR is a bill of local application and therefore should be passed and enacted first by the lower house, the matter has not ben established, Drilon said.

“But we will, as I said, we take the conservative position,” he said.
Gerry Baldo


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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