Slow chamber? 'Quality not quantity,' says Koko

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 03 2018 01:37 PM

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III. File photo

MANILA - Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III on Wednesday defended his chamber against criticism of its "slow" pace, saying legislative performance should be measured in terms of the quality and not the quantity of laws passed.

"Let us not judge lawmaking in terms of the number of laws passed but in terms of how the laws we pass improve the quality of life on earth in general and the quality of life of Filipinos in particular," the Senate leader said. 

"Again, I say, change mindset. Quality not quantity," he said in a statement. 

Pimentel made the comment in response to his ally House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez's recent remarks calling the Senate "mabagal na kapulungan" (slow chamber).

"Siguro kailangang bilis-bilisan para 'yung gustong gawin ng ating Pangulo ay mas mailatag na. 'Yung institusyon mabagal na talaga," Alvarez told ANC in an interview Wednesday.

The Senate President, however, said the Senate is the "nag-aaral na kapulungan" or the chamber that studies matters well. 

He also noted that more bills would naturally come from the House of Representatives since the chamber handles local measures.

"All bills- renaming and or merging schools, increasing hospital beds, etc.- must and do come from the House. But we must all change our mindset—from quantity to quality," Pimentel said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law more than 10 Senate bills, including the tax reform law, the free higher education act, and laws extending the validity of the passport to 10 years and the driver's license to 5 years.