- The Senate closed its 16th Congress on Monday, June 6
- In a privilege speech, Drilon talked about the laws and reforms the upper chamber accomplished
- He posed a challenge to the members of the 17th Congress to protect the gains made possible under the 16th Congress
Senate President Franklin Drilon took pride on the accomplishments of the upper chamber during the Senate’s last session on Monday, June 6, as the 16th Congress closes until July 25, 2016.
The senate president expressed confidence that the chamber has laid the groundwork for the incoming administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, as per an article published by Manila Bulletin.
“There is a time for everything. There is a time to say goodbye to people we have broken bread with, as there is a time to welcome new faces,” Drilon said in a privilege speech, as he welcomed the chamber’s new joiners and bade farewell to outgoing senators.
The Senate leader boasted of the hundreds of measures that the chamber passed during 16th Congress, as noted in a story by Inquirer.
“I can say with conviction that this Senate did more than enough,” he said. “With strong political will, this Senate cleared the hurdle of passing difficult but landmark measures that previously languished in the legislative mill for decades.”
Thus, we need not be afraid to face the verdict of our people and history. We have fared well,” he added.
“The naysayers had written us off, and doubted if we could ever regain the trust of our people. It was difficult and challenging. But we listened. We persevered. We made difficult decisions. We implemented reforms. We stood as one,” he said as he recalled the pork barrel scam in 2013 that had three members of the Senate sent to prison.
Drilon recognized that the 16th congress was not perfect but a success, nevertheless.
“Yes, there remain areas that require fixing. Yes, we failed to tick all the items in our government’s bucket list, but we managed to cross out those that truly count,” he said.
From being dubbed as the ‘Sick Man of Asia’ 6 years ago to now being ‘Asia’s Rising Star’, he noted that we must safeguard the progress that were made possible under the 16th Congress.
“The challenge that we must face head on is to protect our gains, and ensure the continuity of reforms, so that their fruits will be enjoyed not only by this generation, but also by the generations yet unborn,” he said.