THE Senate of the Philippines marked its centenary on Sunday as Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd vowed to pass reform measures that would have an impact on people’s lives.
In a statement, Pimentel said the anniversary was a “historic occasion” and that the Senate had much to celebrate since its establishment on October 16, 1916 during the American colonial period.
“This milestone commemorates a rich past of meaningful legislative accomplishments with the ultimate aspiration of refining the lives of Filipino people,” he said.
Pimentel, the 23rd Senate president, noted that the chamber throughout the decades had enacted laws that covered every aspect of Filipino life, checked abuses in government, and concurred in or rejected treaties.
“The achievements of the 22 distinguished Senate Presidents before me and their respective colleagues have shown their profound passion to governance by imparting their expertise and their patriotic service to our citizens,” said Pimentel, the second Senate president from Mindanao.
Pimentel said the institution would continue “to work hard in bringing about essential reforms beneficial to the public and to the society.”
Despite challenges it faced in the past including the most recent Priority Development Assistance Fund scam, as a result of which some senators were charged and detained, the Senate still managed to pass important legislation.
In the 16th Congress, the Senate ratified 243 laws focused on the economy, justice, agriculture, workers welfare, health and education.
“I assure you this kind of passionate dedication to work will continue on to the 17th Congress with the objective of improving the lives of our generation and the generations to come,” Pimentel said.
Since it was established, the Philippine Senate has produced many of the country’s most distinguished and influential leaders, such as Jovito Salonga, Jose Diokno, Claro Recto, Benigno Aquino Jr. and Lorenzo Tañada Sr.
Ten of the country’s 16 presidents served in the Senate, namely Manuel Quezon, Jose Laurel, Sergio Osmeña, Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Carlos Garcia, Ferdinand Marcos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino 3rd.