Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III hit back at House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, a fellow PDP-Laban leader, saying that the Senate is a “critical chamber.” Boy Santos

Pimentel tells Alvarez: Change mindset to ‘quality over quantity’
( - January 3, 2018 - 4:34pm

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Wednesday defended his chamber from criticisms, saying the performance of the Senate should not be determined by the number of laws passed.

“Let us not judge lawmaking in terms of number of laws passed but in terms of the laws we pass [to] improve the quality of life on Earth in general and the quality of life of Filipinos in particular,” Pimentel said.

He was reacting to the comment of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that the Senate is a “slow Congress.”

“Of course, there are many more bills emanating from the House because ‘local bills’ originate from the House. All bills renaming and/or merging schools, increasing hospital beds, etc. must and do come from the House,” Pimentel noted.

The Senate president hit back at Alvarez, a fellow PDP-Laban leader, saying that the Senate is a “critical chamber.”

He also urged Alvarez and his fellow lawmakers from the lower house to change their mindset “from quantity to quality.”

In an interview on ANC’s Headstart Wednesday, Alvarez said there are a few bills waiting to be signed into law because they are still collecting dust in the Senate.

“Kaya kailangan maging active lang ‘yung leadership ng Senate para mas marami silang maipasang panukalang batas [...] Oo, kaya nga ano, mabagal na kapulungan (The Senate leadership needs to be active to pass more laws... That’s why they’re called slow chamber),” he said.

Of the 1,636 bills filed at the Senate, only nine were enacted into law, according to the data of the Legislative Bills and Index Service as of December 13. These do not include the recently-signed tax reform law and the 2018 national budget.

Of these numbers, 365 bills were acted upon by the Senate, while 1,262 bills were pending their respective committees for public hearing.

Moreover, the Senate enacted 39 House bills into law out of the 413 bills sent to the upper chamber for concurrence.

The Senate is also acting upon 76 House bills.

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