Drilon: I’ll pursue economic gains
Safeguarding the economic gains the country enjoyed under the Aquino administration would be the focus of Senate President Franklin Drilon during the 17th Congress, which would begin during the term of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
Drilon, who will be the Senate president pro-tempore in the new Congress, said he intended to push for the approval of bills related to the reform agenda in the 16th Congress.
These bills include the income tax reform bill that is seen to increase the take home pay of many workers, the salary standardization law IV to increase the salaries of government workers, and the institutionalization of the conditional cash transfer program for the poorest families.
Drilon said the incoming Congress has a lot of measures to work on, but the Aquino administration would be leaving the government in a good position.
“All the economic and good governance measures have laid the groundwork for a more robust and resilient Philippine economy. This is one of the many legacies of the 16th Congress and of President Aquino which we must sustain in the coming years,” he said.
He said that under the leadership of President Aquino, the Philippines, once known as the “sick man of Asia,” is now seen as “Asia’s rising star.” He also pointed out that the country’s economy was the fastest growing in the region in the first quarter of the year.
“The challenge now is to safeguard the gains we have made. That is why in this upcoming 17th Congress my top priority bills are strongly related to our reform agenda in the 16th Congress,” he said.
Drilon also said the 16th Congress had “many historic firsts.”
It did away with the pork barrel even before the Supreme Court declared the lump sum fund for lawmakers’ pet projects unconstitutional, he said.
The Senate also investigated various issues, including the pork barrel scam which led to the detention of three senators who were linked to scam.
Drilon, the top vote getter in the senatorial race, also said he would not fail the 18.6 million Filipinos who voted for him. He vowed to work double time.
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