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Congressional Record

PLENARY PROCEEDINGS OF THE 14th CONGRESS, FIRST REGULAR SESSION

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Vol. 4 CALL TO ORDER At 4:00 p.m., the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Ma. Amelita C. Villarosa, called the session to order. THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Villarosa). The session is called to order. NATIONAL ANTHEM THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Villarosa). Everybody will please rise to sing the Philippine National Anthem. Everybody rose to sing the Philippine National Anthem. THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Villarosa). Everybody will please remain standing for the Invocation to be led by the Honorable Carmen Cari from the Fifth District of Leyte. Everybody remained standing for the Invocation. INVOCATION REP. CARI. Let us all place ourselves in the presence of our Lord. Our Father in heaven, we acknowledge Your greatness, kindness and love as Creator of everything. Without Your will, we could not be gathered here today. Thank You, Lord, for granting us this privilege. Today, we commence the Women's Month Celebration. We celebrate the women whose wombs give birth to new lives and whose hands nurture us with unconditional love. Lord, please make this celebration an avenue for our renewed and reformed thoughts, words and actions towards the achievement of peace, unity and common welfare for a better tomorrow of our motherland. Let all women in this Chamber and in the whole world be strong in mind, body and spirit so that they can mold and nurture the world's next generation as true children of God who are honest, faithful, dedicated and selfless disciples. We humbly seek, Lord, that women and men of today be makers of a bright, happy and fruitful tomorrow where our children and our children's children will truly live and enjoy a blissful and meaningful life. We seek, O Lord, Thy continued guidance for us, the women legislators of the Fourteenth Congress, that we may incessantly strive to pass legislations for the welfare of our women and children. Bless and enlighten us always that we Monday, March 3, 2008 No. 63 may continuously persevere to work hard, hand in hand for unity, peace, development and progress for our country. Please inspire our thoughts, words and actions that we think, say and do in accordance with Thy holy will. Finally, Lord, bless us all here and all women elsewhere especially those who are suffering physically, spiritually and emotionally. These we ask in Jesus' name, through the intercession of Mary, our Blessed Mother. Amen. THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Villarosa). The Dep. Majority Leader. is recognized. SUSPENSION OF SESSION REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we suspend the session for a few minutes. THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Villarosa). The session is suspended. It was 4:05 p.m. RESUMPTION OF SESSION At 4:33 p.m., the session was resumed. THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Villarosa). The session is resumed. Pursuant to Rule IV, Section 14(h) of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the honorable Speaker, after duly informing the Deputy Speakers, has designated the Honorable Nanette Castelo-Daza from the Fourth District of Quezon City, Chairperson of the Committee on Women and Gender Equality, to preside over the session today in celebration of the International Women's Month. SUSPENSION OF SESSION THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Villarosa). The session is suspended. It was 4:34 p.m. RESUMPTION OF SESSION At 4:34 p.m., the session was resumed with Rep. Nanette Castelo-Daza presiding.

74 THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The session is resumed. The Dep. Majority Leader is recognized. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we call the roll. ROLL CALL THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Secretary General will call the roll. THE SECRETARY GENERAL, reading: Abante .................................... Present* Abaya ..................................... Present* Ablan ..................................... Present Agbayani ................................ Present Aggabao ................................. Agyao ..................................... Present Albano ................................... Present Alcala ..................................... Present Alfelor .................................... Almario .................................. Present Alvarez, Antonio C. ............... Present* Alvarez, Genaro Jr. M. .......... Amante ................................... Present Amatong ................................ Angara ................................... Present Angping ................................. Antonino ................................ Present Antonino-Custodio ................ Present Apostol .................................. Present Aquino ................................... Present* Arago ..................................... Arbison .................................. Present Arenas .................................... Present Arnaiz .................................... Present Arroyo, Diosdado Macapagal .......................... Present* Arroyo, Ignacio "Iggy" T. ...... Present Asilo ...................................... Present Bagatsing ............................... Present Balindong ............................... Present Barzaga .................................. Present Bautista .................................. Present Belmonte ................................ Beltran ................................... Present Biazon .................................... Bichara ................................... Present Binay ...................................... Present Biron ...................................... Present* Bondoc ................................... Present Bonoan-David ........................ Present Bravo ..................................... Briones ................................... Present Bulut ...................................... Cabilao ................................... Present Cagas ..................................... Present Cajayon .................................. Present

_______________ * Appeared before/after the roll call

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 Cajes ...................................... Present Cari ........................................ Present Casiño .................................... Present Castelo-Daza .......................... Present Castro ..................................... Present Cayetano ................................ Present Celeste ................................... Present Cerilles ................................... Present Chatto .................................... Present Chavez ................................... Present Chiongbian ............................. Present Chipeco .................................. Present Chong ..................................... Present Chungalao .............................. Present* Clarete .................................... Present Climaco .................................. Present Codilla ................................... Present Cojuangco .............................. Present Coquilla ................................. Present Coscolluela ............................ Present* Crisologo ............................... Present Cruz-Gonzales ....................... Present Cua, Guillermo P. ................... Present Cua, Junie E. .......................... Present Cuenco ................................... Present* Dangwa .................................. Present Datumanong ........................... Present Dayanghirang ......................... Present* Daza ....................................... Present De Guzman ............................ Present De Venecia ............................. Defensor, Arthur Sr. D. .......... Present Defensor, Matias Jr. V. ........... Present Del Mar .................................. Present Del Rosario ............................ Present Diasnes................................... Present* Diaz ........................................ Present Dilangalen .............................. Dimaporo ............................... Present* Domogan ............................... Present Duavit .................................... Present* Dueñas ................................... Present* Dumarpa ................................ Present Dumpit ................................... Durano ................................... Present Dy .......................................... Present* Ecleo ...................................... Emano .................................... Present* Enverga .................................. Present Ermita-Buhain ........................ Escudero ................................ Present Estrella, Conrado III M. ......... Present Estrella, Robert Raymund M. ....................... Present Fabian .................................... Present Fernandez .............................. Present Ferrer ..................................... Present Fua ......................................... Fuentebella............................. Present Garay ..................................... Present

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 Garcia, Albert S. .................... Present Garcia, Pablo P. ..................... Present Garcia, Pablo John F. ............. Garcia, Vincent J. ................... Present Garin ...................................... Present Gatchalian .............................. Present Gatlabayan ............................. Present Go .......................................... Present Golez ...................................... Present Gonzales, Aurelio "Dong" Jr. D. ...................... Present Gonzales, Neptali II M. ......... Present Gonzalez ................................ Present Guingona ............................... Present Gullas ..................................... Present Gunigundo ............................. Present* Hataman ................................. Present Hofer ...................................... Present Hontiveros-Baraquel .............. Present Ilagan ..................................... Present Jaafar ...................................... Present Jala ......................................... Present Jalosjos. ................................. Present Jalosjos-Carreon. ................... Present Javier ...................................... Present* Jikiri ....................................... Present Joson ...................................... Present Kho ........................................ Present Labadlabad ............................ Present Lacson .................................... Present Lagbas .................................... Present Lagdameo .............................. Present Lagman .................................. Present Lapus ..................................... Present Lazatin ................................... Present* Ledesma ................................. Lim ......................................... Present Limkaichong .......................... Present Locsin .................................... Lopez ..................................... Present* Macapagal Arroyo ................. Present Madrona ................................. Present Magsaysay ............................. Present Malapitan ............................... Present Mamba ................................... Present* Mandanas ............................... Present Mangudadatu ......................... Present Marañon ................................. Present Marcos ................................... Present* Matugas ................................. Present Maza ...................................... Present Mendoza ................................ Present Mercado ................................. Present Miraflores .............................. Present Mitra ...................................... Present Nava ....................................... Present Nicolas ................................... Present Noel ....................................... Present Nograles ................................. Present Ocampo .................................. Present

_______________ * Appeared before/after the roll call

75 Olaño ..................................... Present Ong ........................................ Present Ortega .................................... Present Pablo ...................................... Present Padilla .................................... Present Pancho ................................... Present* Pancrudo ................................ Present Piamonte ................................ Present Pichay .................................... Present* Pingoy .................................... Present Piñol ....................................... Present Plaza ...................................... Present Ponce-Enrile .......................... Present Prieto-Teodoro ....................... Present Puentevella ............................. Present Puno ....................................... Present Ramiro ................................... Present Remulla .................................. Present Reyes, Carmencita O. ............ Reyes, Victoria Hernandez. ......................... Present* Robes ..................................... Present Rodriguez .............................. Present Rodriguez-Zaldarriaga ........... Present Roman .................................... Present Romarate ................................ Present* Romualdez ............................. Present Romualdo ............................... Present Romulo .................................. Present Roxas ..................................... Salimbangon .......................... Present Salvacion ............................... Present San Luis ................................. Present Sandoval ................................ Present* Santiago, Joseph A. ................ Santiago, Narciso III D. ......... Present Seachon-Lanete ...................... Seares-Luna ........................... Silverio .................................. Present Singson, Eric D. ..................... Present Singson, Ronald V. ................. Present Solis ....................................... Present Soon-Ruiz .............................. Present Suarez .................................... Present* Susano .................................... Present Sy-Alvarado ........................... Present Syjuco .................................... Present Taliño-Mendoza ..................... Present Tan ......................................... Present* Tañada .................................... Present Teodoro .................................. Present Teves ...................................... Tieng ...................................... Present Tupas ..................................... Present* Umali, Alfonso Jr. V. .............. Present Umali, Czarina D. .................. Ungab .................................... Present Uy, Edwin C. .......................... Present Uy, Reynaldo S. ..................... Present Uy, Rolando "Klarex" A. ....... Present

76 Valdez .................................... Present Valencia ................................. Present Vargas .................................... Present Velarde ................................... Present Villafuerte .............................. Present Villanueva .............................. Villar ...................................... Present Villarosa ................................. Present Vinzons-Chato ....................... Violago .................................. Present Yap ......................................... Present Yu ........................................... Present* Zamora, Manuel "Way Kurat" E. .................. Zamora, Ronaldo B. ............... Present Zialcita ................................... Zubiri ..................................... Present* The House is in receipt of the official advice of absence of the following Members: Representatives Aggabao, Angpin, Arago, Biazon, Bravo, Bulut, Dilangalen, Dumpit, Ecleo, Ermita-Buhain, Locsin, Reyes (C.), Seachon-Lanete, Teves, Umali (C.) Villanueva and Zamora (M.). Representatives Alfelor, Alvarez (G.), Amatong, Belmonte, Fua, Garcia (P.J.), Ledesma, Roxas and SearesLuna are on official mission within the country. Representatives De Venecia, Santiago (J.), VinzonsChato and Zialcita are on official mission abroad. The Speaker is present. The roll call shows that 176 Members responded to the call. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). With 176 Members present, the Chair declares the presence of a quorum. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Acting Floor Leader is recognized. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, may we now recognize Fr. Rico Montano, the parish priest of Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte, who is the guest of Congressman Rosendo Labadlabad from the Second District of Zamboanga del Norte. (Applause) THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). May I request the guest of Congressman Labadlabad to please stand up to be recognized. Welcome to the House of Representatives. REP. MAGSAYSAY. May we also recognize Mrs. Estrella Gavieta from Canada, the guest of Deputy Speaker Amelita C. Villarosa. (Applause) THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). May I also request the guest of Congresswoman Villarosa to please stand up to be recognized. Welcome to the House of Representatives.

_______________ * Appeared before/after the roll call

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 REP. MAGSAYSAY. May we also recognize the Sanggunian Kabataan delegation from Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya, the guests of Honorable Carlos M. Padilla from the Lone District, Nueva Vizcaya, accompanied by Honorable Lucita L. Tan, municipal mayor of Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya, namely: Carlo Marco Ordoñez, the SK Federation President; David John Ubera; Marjori Dapig; Emmanuel Piglay; Mark Joseph Escobedo; Bernielyn Ruiz; Mark Anthony Rimas; Mary Joy Garcia; Khristine Garcia; Maricel Caldito; Rodrigo Lamigo; Hernanie Padilla; Nilo dela Peña; Noel Yaranon; Novel Amado; Christson Jerille Ibay; Mark Angelo Bucad; Larry Espedido; Ace Piglay and Jerson Carpio. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The guests of Congressman Padilla are requested to stand up and be recognized. Welcome to the House of Representatives. (Applause) REP. MAGSAYSAY. We also wish to acknowledge the presence of Councilors Jose Antonio H. Dilanco Jr. and Rodel C. Rasonable, both from the Municipality of Libmanan, Carmarines Sur, who are guests of the Honorable Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo, Representative from the First District of the Province of Camarines Sur. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The guests of Congressman Arroyo are requested to stand to be recognized. Welcome to the House of Representatives. (Applause) REP. MAGSAYSAY. We would also like to recognize the guests of Congressman Exequiel B. Javier, the fourthyear Political Science students from Saint Anthony's College, San Jose, Antique, headed by their adviser, Atty. Genalyn Alagos. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The guests of Congressman Exequiel Javier are requested to stand. (Applause)Welcome to the House of Representatives. REP. MAGSAYSAY. May we also acknowledge the presence of Mayor Guillermo De Castro from Bulan, Sorsogon, the guest of Congressman Joey Solis. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). We also like to welcome the guest of Congressman Solis. Welcome to the House of Representatives. REP. MAGSAYSAY. May we also recognize the mayor of the capital town of Northern Samar, Mayor Alet Rosales, and Councilor of Laoang, the hometown of Congressman Ong, the Honorable Rodel Caber of Northern Samar. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). We would like to welcome the guests. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, may we now defer the approval of the Journal of the previous session.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, I move that we proceed to the Reference of Business. For this purpose, I ask that the Secretary General to please read the same. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. The Secretary General will please read the Reference of Business. REFERENCE OF BUSINESS The Secretary General read the following House Bills and Resolutions on First Reading, Communication and Committee Report, and the Presiding Officer made the corresponding references: BILLS ON FIRST READING House Bill No. 3614, entitled: "AN ACT MANDATING LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS TO APPROPRIATE IN THEIR ANNUAL BUDGETS AT LEAST 10% OF THEIR ANNUAL INTERNAL REVENUE ALLOTMENTS FOR LOCAL HEALTH PROGRAMS AND SERVICES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES" By Representative Go TO THE COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT House Bill No. 3615, entitled: "AN ACT ESTABLISHING A NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL IN BARANGAY SAN ROQUE, CITY OF MARIKINA TO BE KNOWN AS SAN ROQUE NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR" By Representative Teodoro TO THE COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION AND CULTURE AND THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS House Bill No. 3616, entitled: "AN ACT ESTABLISHING A NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL IN BARANGAY BARANGKA, CITY OF MARIKINA TO BE KNOWN AS BARANGKA NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR" By Representative Teodoro TO THE COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION AND CULTURE AND THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS House Bill No. 3617, entitled: "AN ACT ESTABLISHING A NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL IN BARANGAY KALUMPANG, CITY OF MARIKINA TO BE KNOWN AS KALUMPANG NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR" By Representative Teodoro

77 TO THE COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION AND CULTURE AND THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS House Bill No. 3619, entitled: "AN ACT ADOPTING AN OMNIBUS JOB CLASSIFICATION AND COMPENSATION STANDARDIZATION SYSTEM IN THE CIVIL SERVICE, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR , PROVIDING PENAL SANCTIONS FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES" By Representative Del Mar TO THE COMMITTEE ON CIVIL SERVICE AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION AND THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS House Bill No. 3620, entitled: "AN ACT AMENDING REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED FOUR HUNDRED NINETY THREE (RA 493) TO INCLUDE IN THE COVERAGE OF PROHIBITION THE USE, WEARING, MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF UNIFORMS AND TEXTILE OF UNIFORMS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE, PRESCRIBING HEAVIER PENALTY FOR VIOLATION THEREOF, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES" By Representative Del Mar TO THE COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF LAWS House Bill No. 3621, entitled: "AN ACT CONVERTING THE BENGUET PROVINCIAL ROAD WHICH STARTS AT KILOMETER 12 IN BARANGAY TAWANG, PASSES THROUGH BARANGAY LAMUT, BOTH IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF LA TRINIDAD, PROVINCE OF BENGUET AND ENDS AT BARANGAY PACDAL, BAGUIO CITY INTO A NATIONAL ROAD" By Representatives Dangwa and Domogan TO THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS AND THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS House Bill No. 3622, entitled: "AN ACT CONVERTING THE MONE NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL, ALSO KNOWN AS THE BISLIG CITY NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL ­ MONE ANNEX LOCATED IN PUROK 2, CAUTAN, MONE BISLIG CITY, SURIGAO DEL SUR, INTO AN INDEPENDENT NATIONAL HIGH SCOOL, AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR" By Representative Garay TO THE COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION AND CULTURE AND THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS House Bill No. 3630, entitled: "AN ACT CONVERTING THE BAROTAC VIEJO ­ LEMERY BARANGAY ROAD IN THE

78 MUNICIPALITY OF BAROTAC VIEJO, ILOILO INTO A NATIONAL ROAD AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR" By Representative Tupas TO THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS AND THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS House Bill No. 3631, entitled: "AN ACT CONVERTING THE GENERAL LUNA VOCATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL IN BARANGAY GENERAL LUNA, MUNICIPALITY OF BAROTAC VIEJO, PROVINCE OF ILOILO INTO A NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL TO BE KNOWN AS THE GENERAL LUNA NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR" By Representative Tupas TO THE COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION AND CULTURE AND THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS House Bill No. 3632: "AN ACT CONVERTING THE CARLES ­ BANCAL PROVINCIAL ROAD IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF CARLES, ILOILO INTO A NATIONAL ROAD AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR" By Representative Tupas TO THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS AND THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS House Bill No. 3633, entitled: "AN ACT CONVERTING THE LUCA-BAY-ANG PROVINCIAL ROAD IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF AJUY, ILOILO INTO A NATIONAL ROAD AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR" By Representative Tupas TO THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS AND THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS House Bill No. 3634, entitled: "AN ACT CONVERTING THE CABAGOHAN ­ ESTANCIA BARANGAY ROAD IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF BATAD, ILOILO INTO A NATIONAL ROAD AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR" By Representative Tupas TO THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS AND THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS House Bill No. 3635, entitled: "AN ACT CONVERTING THE BATAD VIEJO ­ ESTANCIA BARANGAY ROAD IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF BATAD, ILOILO INTO A NATIONAL ROAD AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR" By Representative Tupas TO THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS AND THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 House Bill No. 3636, entitled: "AN ACT CONVERTING THE BAROTAC VIEJO ­ UGASAN BARANGAY ROAD IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF BAROTAC VIEJO, ILOILO INTO A NATIONAL ROAD AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR" By Representative Tupas TO THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS AND THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS House Bill No. 3637, entitled: "AN ACT INSTITUTING A NATIONAL LAND USE POLICY, PROVIDING THE IMPLEMENTING MECHANISMS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES" By Representative Hontiveros-Baraquel TO THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON LAND USE House Bill No. 3638, entitled: "AN ACT SEPARATING THE ABRA HIGH SCHOOL MUDENG ANNEX IN BARANGAY MUDENG, MUNICIPALITY OF LA PAZ, PROVINCE OF ABRA HIGH SCHOOL, CONVERTING IT INTO AN INDEPENDENT NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL TO BE KNOWN AS MARC YSRAEL B. BERNOS MEMORIAL NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL, AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR" By Representative Seares-Luna TO THE COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION AND CULTURE AND THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS RESOLUTIONS House Resolution No. 485, entitled: "A RESOLUTION CALLING ON THE CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE FOR OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE (COCODA) TO CONVENE IMMEDIATELY TO REVIEW ALL ODA CONTRACTS AND AGREEMENTS AND TO FULFILL ITS OTHER FUNCTIONS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT 8182, AS AMENDED BY REPUBLIC ACT 8555" By Representative Casiño TO THE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS House Resolution No. 487, entitled: "RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, ON THE PLIGHT OF RESIDENTS FROM THE BARANGAYS LOCATED ALONGSIDE THE PASIG RIVER WHO WERE DISPLACED BY THE METRO MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (MMDA) WITHOUT ADEQUATE PROVISION FOR RELOCATION AND TO RECOMMEND APPROPRIATE REMEDIAL LEGISLATION" By Representatives Romulo and Hontiveros-Baraquel TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 House Joint Resolution No. 12, entitled: "JOINT RESOLUTION EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF CONGRESS TO INCREASE THE COMBAT DUTY PAY OF ALL OFFICERS AND ENLISTED PERSONNEL OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES (AFP) TO TWENTY-FIVE PER CENTUM (25%) OF THE BASE PAY AND PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR" By Representative Solis TO THE COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL DEFENSE AND SECURITY ADDITIONAL COAUTHORS Rep. Nur G. Jaafar for House Bill No. 9; Rep. Nerissa Corazon Soon-Ruiz for House Bill No. 17; Reps. Victor F. Ortega, Candido P. Pancrudo Jr.,Vincent P. Crisologo, Abdullah D. Dimaporo, Erico Basilio A. Fabian, Janette L. Garin, Pablo P. Garcia, Angelito C. Gatlabayan and Neptali M. Gonzales II for House Bill No. 318; Rep. Edcel C. Lagman for House Bill No. 383; Rep. Mujiv S. Hataman for House Bill No. 616 and House Resolution No. 467; Reps. Ma. Theresa B. Bonoan-David, Sally S. PonceEnrile, Ernesto C. Pablo, Lorna C. Silverio, Jose V. Yap, Mary Mitzi "Mitch" L. Cajayon, Ma. Amelita C. Villarosa, Arnulfo F. Go, Danilo P. Lagbas, Nerissa Corazon SoonRuiz, Florencio C. Garay, Darlene R. Antonino-Custodio, Judy J. Syjuco, Ma. Laaarni "Lani" L. Cayetano, Nelson L. Dayanghirang, Bienvenido M. Abante Jr. and Guillermo P. Cua for House Bill No. 683; Reps. Yusop H. Jikiri, Francisco T. Matugas and Marcelino "Marcy" R. Teodoro for House Bill No. 1257; Reps. Ma. Laarni "Lani" L. Cayetano and Luis R. Villafuerte for House Bill No. 1955; Reps. Joseph Emilio A. Abaya, Proceso J.Alcala, Rozzano Rufino B. Biazon and Alfonso V. Umali Jr. for House Bill No. 2059; Reps. Maria Evita "Ivy" R. Arago, Wilfrido Mark M. Enverga and Edgar S. San Luis for House Bill No. 2718; Rep. Joseph Gilbert F. Violago for House Bill No. 3016; Rep. Paul Ruiz Daza for House Bill No. 3246; Reps. Proceso J. Alcala, Ma. Evita "Ivy" R. Arago, Rozzano Rufino B. Biazon and Glenn A. Chong for House Bill No. 3390; Rep. Joseph Emilio A. Abaya for House Bill No. 3559; Rep. Marcelino "Marcy" R. Teodoro for House Bill No. 3603; Reps. Mary Anne L. Susano, Mark Llandro L. Mendoza, Rex Gatchalian, Arthur D. Defensor Sr., Neptali M. Gonzales II, Mar-Len Abigail S. Binay, Teodulo M. Coquilla, Rufus B. Rodriguez, Juan Edgardo M. Angara, Salvador H. Escudero III, Paul Ruiz Daza, Victor F. Ortega, Rodolfo T. Albano III, Janette L. Garin, Del R. De Guzman, Mark O. Cojuangco, Emmanuel Josel J. Villanueva, Maria Milagros H. Magsaysay, Reylina G. Nicolas, Alfonso V. Umali Jr., Leonila V. Chavez, Faustino "Bojie" G. Dy III, Giorgidi B. Aggabao, Jeci A. Lapus, Sally S. Ponce-Enrile, Cecilia M. Seares-Luna, Ma. Victoria R. Sy-Alvarado, Reynaldo S. Uy, Trinidad "Ebbie" G. Apostol, Glenda B. Ecleo, Elias C. Bulut Jr., Arthur F. Celeste, Junie E. Cua, Yevgeny Vicente B.

79 Emano, Alfedo "Thirdy" D. Marañon III, Anna York P. Bondoc, Jocelyn Sy-Limkaichong, Franklin P. Bautista, Ann K.Hofer, Herminia B. Roman, Angelito C. Gatlabayan, Joseph A. Santiago, Edgar L. Valdez, Mariano U. Piamonte Jr., Thomas L. Dumpit Jr., Samuel M. Dangwa, Manuel N. Mamba, Carmen L. Cari, Jefffrey "Jeff" P. Ferrer, Victor E. Agbayani, Manuel S.Agyao, Candido P. Pancrudo Jr., Pryde Henry A. Teves, Joseph Emilio A. Abaya, Elpidio F. Barzaga Jr., Marina P. Clarete, Dan Fernandez, Herminia M. Ramiro, Solomon R. Chungalao, Guillermo A. Romarate Jr., Victoria Hernandez Reyes, Arturo B. Robes, Rolando "Klarex" A. Uy, Rommel C. Amatong, Roberto C. Cajes, Mauricio G. Domogan, Jaime C. Lopez, Eleandro Jesus F. Madrona, Robert Raymund M. Estrella, Florencio T. Miraflores, Marc Douglas C. Cagas IV, Antonio F. Lagdameo Jr., Rosendo "Dodoy" S. Labadlabad, Antonio H. Cerilles, Maria Isabelle G. Climaco, Orlando B. Fua, Florencio Gabriel "Bem" G. Noel Vincent J. Garcia, Jose Carlos V. Lacson, Roger Gaviola Mercado, Rozzano Rufino B. Biazon, Proceso J. Alcala, Lorenzo R. Tañada III, Adelina Rodriguez-Zaldarriaga, Jose G. Solis, Albert S. Garcia, Arrel R. Olaño, Ramon "Red" H. Durano VI, Andres "Andy" D. Salvacion Jr., Vicente F. Belmonte Jr., Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo, Edwin C. Uy, Eileen Ermita-Buhain, Joseph Gilbert F. Violago, Manuel "Way Kurat" E.Zamora, Arthur "Dodo" Y. Pingoy Jr., Pedro M. Pancho and Eduardo Nonato N. Joson for House Bill No. 683; Reps. Susano, Mendoza, Gatchalian, Defensor (A.), Gonzales (N.), Coquilla, Binay, Golez, Rodriguez, Angara, Escudero, Daza, Ortega, Albano, Garin, De Guzman, Cojuangco, Villanueva, Magsaysay, Nicolas, Umali (A.), Chavez, Dy, Aggabao, Lapus, Ponce-Enrile, Seares-Luna, Sy-Alvarado, Uy (R.S.), Apostol, Ecleo, Bulut, Celeste, Cua (J.), Emano, Marañon, Bondoc, Zubiri, Sy-Limkaichong, Bautista, Hofer, Roman, Gatlabayan, Padilla, Santiago, Valdez, Piamonte, Dumpit, Dangwa, Mamba, Singson (R.), Cari, Ferrer, Agbayani, Agyao, Pancrudo, Teves, Abaya, Barzaga, Kho,Clarete, Fernandez, Ramiro, Chungalao, Romarate, Reyes (V.), Robes, Amatong, Uy (A.), Cajes, Domogan, Lopez, Madrona, Estrella (R.), Miraflores, Cagas, Lagdameo, Labadlabad, Cerilles, Climaco, Fua, Noel, Garcia (V.), Biazon, Bonoan-David, Alcala, Tañada, RodriguezZaldarriaga, Solis, Garcia (A.), Olaño, Durano, Salvacion, Belmonte, Arroyo (D.), Uy (E.), Ermita-Buhain, Violago, Zamora (M.) Pingoy, George P. Arnaiz, Pancho and Joson for House Bill No. 684; and Rep. Villanueva for House Resolution No. 321. COMMUNICATION Letter dated February 8, 2008 of Juan De Zuñiga Jr., Assistant Governor and General Counsel, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, furnishing the House of Representatives with a certified copy of BSP Circular No. 600, Series of 2008 dated February 4, 2008 TO THE COMMITTEE ON BANKS AND FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES COMMITTEE REPORT Report by the Committee on Veterans Affairs and Welfare (Committee Report No. 309), re H.B. No. 737, entitled:

80 "AN ACT EXTENDING PREFERENCE OF EMPLOYMENT TO ANY ONE CHILD OF VETERANS IN THE GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING GOVERNMENT-OWNED AND/OR G O V E R N M E N T- C O N T R O L L E D CORPORATIONS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES" recommending its approval without amendments Sponsors: Representatives Diaz and Villar TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Acting Floor Leader is recognized. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, before we continue, I would like to acknowledge the presence of Mr. Melencio Castelo Jr., the brother of Honorable Nanette Castelo-Daza. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The guest of this Representation is recognized. Welcome to the House of Representatives. PRIVILEGE HOUR REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, today being a Monday, I move to open the Privilege Hour. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; we now open the Privilege Hour. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, I would also like to manifest that no interpellations will be allowed until the Lady legislators are through with their privilege speeches. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, may we now recognize Representative Trinidad Apostol from the Second District of Leyte. REP. AMANTE. Mme. Speaker. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The honorable Representative Trinidad Apostol is recognized to deliver her privilege speech. REP. AMANTE. Am I now being recognized, Mme. Speaker, or somebody else is recognized? Because there was an announcement that there will be interpellations. If I deliver a speech I would appreciate maximum cooperation; not interpellation. (Laughter) Am I allowed to deliver now? THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The manifestation of Congressman Amante is duly noted. REP. AMANTE. But the Chair's presence there, Mme. Speaker, is really noted accordingly also. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 REP. AMANTE. Our eyes are all riveted to her. Now, allow me to deliver my speech. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker. SUSPENSION OF SESSION THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The session is suspended. It was 4:53 p.m. RESUMPTION OF SESSION At 4:55 p.m., the session was resumed. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The session is resumed. The Acting Floor Leader is recognized. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, since I know the Gentleman, Honorable Edel Amante from Agusan del Norte is a gentleman, I know that he will give way to the women legislators, March being International Women's Month. REP. AMANTE. Mme. Speaker, may I just say a few words. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Congressman Amante is recognized. REP. AMANTE. The meaning of "Amante" is lover. This is Women's Day. I love all of you. I am not a little bit bigamous in my intention, but I have to speak. Otherwise, I would not be here, were not for a woman who was in love with my father. But they told me men are not allowed to speak because they said men should operate silently. All right, I will withdraw even if I have not yet entered. Thank you, Mme. Speaker. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). I thank Congressman Amante very much for giving way for the Lady legislators to deliver their privilege speeches. Again, the Chair would like to recognize the Honorable Trinidad Apostol from the Second District of Leyte. PRIVILEGE SPEECH OF REP. APOSTOL REP. APOSTOL. Thank you Mme. Speaker. Mme. Speaker, distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen: I stand here today to convey my sincerest gratitude to this august Chamber for giving us, the women legislators, the opportunity to articulate women's concerns before our colleagues and our constituents. This is surely a fitting salute to the Filipino women as we observe Women's Month. But I find it very disappointing that the public eye now appears to turn to women issues only when national celebrations, commemorations or conferences take place. That is not simply good enough. I rise, Mme. Speaker, on a matter of grave concern and interest concerning our women today, a matter so delicate and disturbing -- the trafficking of women.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 Trafficking is a women's issue, but it is also a children's issue, a human rights issue, a law enforcement issue, a health issue, a labor issue and more. It is one of the many forms of violence against women and has become a global business that affects all countries and reap enormous profits for traffickers and their intermediaries, a slavery-like practice that must be eliminated. Trafficking consists primarily of the movement of people from one country to another for the purpose of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Because it is high in profit and low on penalties, it is one of the most irresistible illegal trades in the world, next only to trafficking of money, drugs and guns. It is almost certainly one of the fastest growing crimes in our globalized world. It is hard to imagine that in the 21st century, there are people who are selling human beings, forcing innocent women and children into a life of prostitution, and subjecting them to daily abuse and humiliation. How can any society tolerate criminals who are willing to destroy lives and treat humans like commodities to make profit? The number of persons trafficked each year is impossible to determine, but it is clearly a large-scale problem, with estimates ranging from hundreds to thousands to millions of victims worldwide. Alarmingly, the trend appears to be on the rise. In his July 2004 remarks at the National Training Conference on Human Trafficking in Florida, President Bush states that: At least 800,000 human beings are trafficked across international boarders each year, most are women and girls who end up being forced into the sex industry. Victims of trafficking come from many places, but share a common plight. They are too young, too frightened and too trapped in their circumstances to speak for themselves, Mme. Speaker. Within the last decade, the trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation has become the major concern of governments, nongovernmental organizations and even in the media. According to a United States annual report on human trafficking, the Philippines remains a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking. The Philippines has serious trafficking problem of women and children illegally recruited into the tourist industry for sexual exploitation. Take the case of Lalaine, 19 years old, who was a salesgirl of a popular department store when she was lured by a friend to work "for a better pay" as waitress in Singapore only to find that her workplace was a nightclub where she was forced to do a strip tease and encouraged to have customers fondle her. Kristine, a recent widow at 23, with two children, was also told of tremendous earning opportunities abroad. She agreed to a "hostessing" job there, but ended up being a call girl, having sex with different men in different hotels as arranged by her employer. Mme Speaker, Lalaine and Kristine--this was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 6, 2007--are just two of a growing number of young Filipino women being trafficked for sexual exploitation, drawn by the adventure of work abroad on the false promise of a high-paying decent job.

81 Trafficking of women has been a significant problem for so many years and remains an egregious one. So, how do we fight this scourge? In an effort to deal with the predicament, the Philippines passed Republic Act (RA) 9208, otherwise known as the "Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003." This is a tough law against human trafficking which includes within its wider scope provisions against sex slavery and child prostitution. The law provides a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of up to P5 million. This maximum penalty will be applied in cases of "qualified trafficking;" any person who buys or engages the services of trafficked persons for prostitution will likewise be penalized with six months' imprisonment and a fine of up to P50,000 for firsttime offenders. It also strengthens measures to protect victims, including mandatory provisions of emergency shelters, counseling, free legal services and skills training. The Philippine government has acknowledged the problem of trafficking in women and children and has carried out initiatives through the collective efforts of various national and local government units, in collaboration with nongovernmental organizations, the private sector and international donor. Truly, RA 9208 is a milestone in the promotion of human dignity and protection of persons, especially women and children against any threat of violence and exploitation. And yet, Mme. Speaker, eight years have passed since the law was enacted, trafficking is still rampant. It really comes down to a question of: Is the government doing everything it can reasonably be expected to do to combat trafficking or is the law properly implemented? Mme. Speaker, I cannot discuss in great details the specifics of the appropriate government response. This country needs to create sufficient jobs and greater opportunities for women to help augment the family needs. The lure of overseas job will therefore be irresistible to people who are mired in poverty. Knowing all these, Mme. Speaker, there are still a hundred and one issues on women, which we have failed to consider and bring out in the open. I do believe that women everywhere share the same dreams: to be educated, to live in peace, to enjoy good health, to be prosperous, and to be heard. It is along this line that we have to give attention to end sexual exploitation and the human trafficking of women and young girls who often end up in the sex trade industry. Thank you, Mme. Speaker, and good afternoon. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Acting Floor Leader is recognized. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, may we now recognize Representative Liza Maza of the Party-List Gabriela. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Honorable Liza Maza from the Party-List Gabriela is recognized. PRIVILEGE SPEECH OF REP. MAZA REP. MAZA. Thank you, Mme. Speaker.

82 Mme. Speaker, I rise on a matter of utmost importance to the Filipino women and to the Members of this Chamber. In celebration of the International Working Women's Day, let me first salute the struggles of the toiling women worldwide. Let me also pay tribute to our foremothers who gave their lives to the struggles for national freedom, independence, justice and equality so that we may enjoy more meaningful reforms for women. Mme. Speaker, while Gabriela Women's Party celebrates the achievements of women worldwide, we lament and find it ironic that the situation of Filipino women is already reaching an all-time low amid government's proclamation that the Philippine economy is growing. More than 70 million Filipinos are struggling to survive on P110 a day. I do not have to overemphasize that such extreme poverty is doubly difficult for the woman who is compelled to muster all coping mechanisms for her family to survive. Joblessness and poverty among women are severe and unprecedented. More than four million Filipinos are out of work, which is the worst annual average in a seven-year period. If ever women find work, most of the jobs created are low-quality, low-paying, temporary, insecure, menial, and indeed reserved for women. Increasingly, workers are seeking jobs abroad and women comprise more than half of deployed overseas Filipino workers with the overwhelming majority in domestic work, care-giving and entertainment. What is more frustrating and enraging is that as the poor Filipina turns to her government for help in the face of abject poverty and widening income inequality, social services are diminished in favor of debt payments given to foreign creditors. The Arroyo government does not even intervene to control prices but rather continues to slap taxes on the poor. Privatization of services and tax incentives given to foreign investors and big local corporations take its heavy toll on poor women. Worse, Mme. Speaker, as poor Filipino women and men face misery and helplessness, the Arroyo government is currently embroiled in corruption scandals that go all the way up to the Office of the President. Mme. Speaker, more than a simple play of fate, poverty and corruption in the Philippines are rather systemic--a systemic flaw that is exploited and protected by the ruling regime under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Let me illustrate through the Official Development Assistance or ODA procurement process how corruption, born out of a backward economic and unstable political system, both exacerbated by globalization, is very much ingrained in this system. But first, Mme. Speaker, we must recognize that ODA loans are provided by donors, not out of their altruism, but with attached conditionalities representing their own political and economic interests. In short, donors do not really mind if part of the ODA lines the pockets of local officials as long as donors and their chosen contractors make money from the project, earn interest from the loan, and penetrate the local economy. In the Philippines, it was the privatization of social and infrastructure projects and the increased preference for ODA availment, both enabled by law upon the insistence of the administration and the ruling elite, which intensified and further systematized large-scale corruption and corruption at

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 the highest level at that. As a result, there has been a sharp increase in ODA inflow. Infrastructure projects have now become supply-driven instead of being dictated by social needs. As long as there is ODA, there will always be production of projects even as these are not inspired by people's needs. By the ODA Law, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Commission on Audit (COA) were mandated to approve and audit ODA projects. A congressional oversight committee, although intermittently active, was also formed for the same purpose. The interagency Investment Coordinating Committee (ICC) led by the NEDA was created and assigned to scrutinize foreign-assisted infrastructure projects. Recently, however, the ICC has been stripped of its function by no less than President Arroyo herself after she created and authorized the so-called NEDA Cabinet Group and the Pro-Performance System Steering Committee to approve projects and evaluate project costs without going through the ICC. Mme. Speaker, what the ZTE scandal has revealed is rather scary! It revealed that the NEDA has been clipped of its authority to evaluate government projects such as those funded by ODA or private investments through the buildoperate-transfer scheme. The weakening of the role of government agencies, such as the NEDA, in evaluation, procurement, bidding, and entire process of ODA approval, including contract signing and loan agreements, further obliterates transparency and accountability. Worse, my dear colleagues, it paves the way for larger irregularities, project overpricing, economic infeasibility and social unacceptability. Mme. Speaker, political pressure and sponsorship of projects undermine the procedure of cost-benefit analysis being done by economic and technical experts. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism cites the Bohol Irrigation Project Phase 2 as having two different project costs--P2.4 billion by the NEDA-ICC and P3.6 billion (52 percent higher) by the NEDA Cabinet Group. The project was inaugurated by the President at the higher project cost despite disagreement from the NEDA-ICC and after a new NEDA chief was assigned. And then again, we also heard recently of numerous cases where bids although exceeding budget costs by wide margins have been awarded after all, and suspended and canceled only after whistleblowers and expert witnesses have come up to reveal the anomalies. The Northrail Project, for instance, a deal financed by a disadvantageous loan of around US$503 million from the Export-Import Bank of China and awarded to Chinese contractors, was overpriced and allegedly involved some US$50 to $100 million in commissions to high-ranking government officials. Mme. Speaker, the US$50 to $100 million commissions from the Northrail or North Luzon Railway Project could have produced 4,000 classrooms for our children or 3,636 houses for our poor families or it could have treated 2,000 women with breast cancer at P1 million per treatment. The Cyber Education Project (CEP) will clearly conclude my point. The CEP is financed by a US$465.5-million loan from China. This amount which represents 80 percent of project cost is ostensibly meant to upgrade the quality of Philippine education through multi-media. It intends to install multi-media classrooms in 37,794 public schools nationwide.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 A multi-media classroom with two personal computers, four television sets, one printer and one antenna costs P479,000 according to CEP. The nominal figure, however, is an exaggeration if we compare it with the cost of the DepEd project called GILAS (Gearing up for Interconnectivity and Learning to Assist Schools). GILAS installs in each school 10 personal computers, one server, one printer, one LAN arrangement and free Internet access for one year, all for only P300,000. And in peso terms, the CEP thus is overpriced by P6.7 billion. The CEP focuses on information technology more than on teacher training. But studies have already proven that good teachers account for 60 percent of the improvement in student performance. In short, the project is utterly irrelevant! Mme. Speaker, the US$6.7 billion overprice involved in the Cyber Education Project could produce 13,530 classrooms, 12,300 houses for the poor and 492,071 college scholars at P13,748 per student per year. Moreover, this amount could support our maternal and child care program at the Department of Health which needs additional budgetary allocation of P2.315 billion to service poor women. Mme. Speaker, financial experts have warned that foreign-funded projects may sink the country in a debt crisis similar to that of the 1980s. Understandably so, since ODA loans are cheap and concessional. Chinese ODA in particular is lenient in requiring social, environmental and labor standards-- the reason for the frenzy of the Philippine government. But ODA has increased the debt service burden. According to IBON Foundation, around 40 percent of the outstanding foreign debt may be attributed to ODA availment. In the end, it is the people, especially the poor toiling women, who will shoulder these huge foreign debts. But the liberatlization-agitated frenzy for cheap concessional ODA loans has not only eroded transparency and accountability. It has piled up potential white elephants and projects that are economically unviable, socially irrelevant and unacceptable, and of questionable value--all to be shouldered by the poor taxpayers. On the ground, communities and their organizations can attest to numerous ODA projects that have failed to benefit their communities, yet had economically dislocated or, worse, physically displaced them as well as devastated their environment. Undoubtedly, ODA projects have also become huge sources of commissions for corrupt officials and their cohorts even as these projects have generated enormous foreign and domestic debts at the expense of the poor and toiling masses, especially the women. Clearly, Mme Speaker, the Arroyo administration benefits tremendously from the unbridled corruption pervading the political and economic system. The series of corruption scandals that is rocking the administration, the most recent of which is the multimillion dollar ZTE contract, is the clearest indication. It is no wonder then that the administration consciously protects such a flawed system. It does this by 1) weakening the very institutions meant to provide transparency and protect the country's interest as seen in the formation of the interagency Investment Coordination Committee, the NEDA Cabinet Group and the Pro-Performance System Steering Committee, which effectively usurped NEDA's power to evaluate and recommend projects; and 2) preventing the people from exercising their constitutional right to get to the bottom of the truth through executive issuances such as

83 Executive Order (EO) 464 and often enough, through resorting to hooliganism by harassing media and by kidnapping and/or physically eliminating whistleblowers and oppositors. Mme. Speaker, what has become a big shame to the Filipino women is that this high-level, large-scale and unbridled corruption is happening under a woman President whose presidency, to quote the statement of a network of women's organizations and individuals called Babae Laban sa Korapsyon or Babala, "has evolved into arguably the most fascist, dishonest, corrupt, cynical and morally degenerate in this country's history." Babala also said that: While most mothers teach their children the value of honesty, she has taught her family and country the enjoyment of corruption and lies. She allowed the channeling of monies intended for education, health services, housing programs and other social services desperately needed by the Filipino people into the pockets of her cronies. Babala further said that: "Clearly, the President has betrayed the great and resplendent tradition of heroism and integrity of women, and shamelessly disgraced the Filipino people." Mme. Speaker, as Members of this august Chamber, we have the responsibility to reinstitute and ensure government control not only over the ODA process but also in the overall direction of development. We have the responsibility to ensure transparency and accountability in all transactions concerning ODA. I therefore urge this Body to revive the oversight committee and strengthen its role in ODA evaluation, putting on its agenda the review of the recent changes in the powers of the NEDA. Moreover, let us investigate the more publicized corruption cases in ODA projects, including looking into the COA report. Finally, we have the responsibility to review the laws, especially those that have relentlessly liberalized the economy, for these have aggravated conditions of poverty and social misery, and perpetuated the oppression of our marginalized people, especially our poor and toiling women. With the fervor and spirit with which the International Women's Day was founded, let us stamp out corruption and the system and people that perpetuate it for the sake of our poor women, the Filipino people and for the future of our children. Thank you, Mme. Speaker; I thank my dear colleagues. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Acting Floor Leader is recognized. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, before we continue, I would like to recognize District Engineer Maya Laquipo from the Second District of Leyte, guest of Congresswoman Ebbie Apostol. (Applause) THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The guest of Congresswoman Ebbie Apostol is recognized. Please stand. Welcome to the House of Representatives. (Applause) The Acting Floor Leader is recognized.

84 REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, may we recognize Representative Luzviminda Ilagan of the Party-List Gabriela. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The honorable Representative Luzviminda Ilagan from the PartyList Gabriela is recognized. PRIVILEGE SPEECH OF REP. ILAGAN REP. ILAGAN. Thank you, Mme. Speaker. I rise today on a matter of national and international concern regarding the alarming situation of our migrant workers today. It is timely that we highlight their conditions not only because this coming March 8 is International Women's Day, but also because last March 1 marked the one-year anniversary of the implementation of the new Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) guidelines on household service workers. Further, this speech comes in the wake of widespread global protests against the POEA guidelines on direct hiring, otherwise known as Memorandum Circular (MC) 04. Mme. Speaker, we note that after a year of the guidelines on household service workers, these have resulted only in increased hardships for migrant workers, and based on POEA reports, 70 percent of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are women. We are also aware that their departure has resulted in various forms of difficulties or dysfunctions experienced by families left behind. According to Migrante International, a global alliance of migrant Filipinos, stipulations about a no-placement fee and a minimum of US$400 salary are not being implemented while abuses against domestic workers continue unabated. The guidelines have served to benefit only the Arroyo administration as these exact fees from household service workers compelled to pay to Technical Education and Skills Development Administration (TESDA) thousands of pesos in accreditation and testing fees. Migrante International has launched an international campaign against MC 04. These protests led to its selective implementation, eventual suspension and now exemptions for migrant workers in the white-collar executive positions by the beleaguered Secretary Brion himself. Despite such announcements, I would like to report that migrants and their families remain committed to their call that the new guidelines on direct hiring should be scrapped in its entirety. Mme. Speaker, as I speak, there are around 100 stranded OFWs, including women and children, living right now on the streets of Jeddah like beggars. There are around 200 women migrants also stranded in Jordan; there are about 4,000 OFWs still languishing in foreign prisons, largely through little fault of their own; and countless more toiling around the world as modern-day slaves and facing untold risks to their lives. In fact, a female OFW was just raped in Japan by an American soldier. As Members of this Chamber, Mme. Speaker, it is imperative that we recognize and take action against the Philippine government's culpability with respect to exacerbating the already miserable plight of migrant workers today. It is indeed distressing to note that as exposés over the national broadband network (NBN-ZTE) and other deals are unveiled, migrant workers are also being hit with high-

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 level corruption that exacerbates the already miserable conditions of migrants in distress. Mme. Speaker, let me focus on three points: state exactions against migrant workers, corruption of OFW funds, and lack of genuine government services for migrants and their families. 1. State exactions against migrant workers Migrant workers today are among this administration's top milking cows. Last year, they infused approximately US$14.7 billion in remittances to the economy. At the same time, they also directly contribute more than P15 billion annually to government coffers through the various fees or State exactions charged them even before they go abroad. Before leaving the country, migrant workers pay an average of P15,400 in government fees. Included in this amount are the forced US$25 Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) membership fee, the US$100 POEA processing fee, the P900 for Medicare, P650 for passports and an assortment of other payments. Once abroad, migrants continue to be bled dry through various consular fees that are often unjust and excessive. These include passport renewal fees that differ per country, despite a supposed standard of US$50. Some consulates even peg their fees charged in the local currency much higher than the dollar equivalent to squeeze even more funds from migrant workers. In Korea, the Seoul Embassy charges our kababayans US$55 for a passport renewal but if they pay in Korean won, the fee is 80,000 won or around US$80. Worse, there was even a time when the Seoul Embassy compelled migrants to pay only in won so that they could be charged higher. This practice only ceased when KASAMMAKO, local Migrante International member groups, protested against it. Mme. Speaker, this is in direct violation of Section 36 of Republic Act (RA) 8042 or the Migrant Workers Act which states, and I quote: All fees being charged by any government office on migrant workers shall remain at their present levels and the repatriation bond shall be abolished. Moreover, in the POEA guidelines in hiring household service workers, the administration has imposed exorbitant fees for mandatory training and assessment. Under POEA MC 04, a repatriation bond is also imposed on foreign employers who want to directly hire Filipino workers. This is unacceptable, Mme. Speaker. 2. Corruption of migrant workers' funds Revelations made by Mr. Jun Lozada regarding highlevel corruption in this administration strongly resonate in the hearts and minds of migrant workers and their families. This is because funds intended for OFWs are misused and misappropriated. A particular source of corruption is the almost P8 billion OFW Trust Fund at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. In 2004, Migrante International exposed how P530 million was siphoned from the OWWA Medicare Fund to PhilHealth when PhilHealth cards were given away during the presidential elections. Further, documents obtained by Migrante International illustrate how Mrs. Arroyo approved the disbursement of more than US$200,000 or approximately P10 million from OWWA to Ambassador Roy Cimatu for the nonexistent "evacuation" of migrant workers from Kuwait during the Gulf War in 2003--even though he had requested the funds to come from

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 the President's discretionary fund. To date, these funds, Mme. Speaker, remain unliquidated. Similar examples related to unliquidated disbursements and misappropriation of funds exist at the POEA and the Department of Foreign Affairs. The misuse of migrant and government funds was further underscored, Mme. Speaker, during presentations made by Migrante International to the Senate hearings in 2006 regarding the evacuation of migrant workers during the Lebanon crisis. 3. Lack of genuine government services for migrants and their families The great human cost this exacts from our migrant workers is indeed distressing and disturbing. There are unending stories of how migrants approaching consulates for assistance with repatriation are turned away because of "lack of funds"--despite the creation of a P100-million Emergency Repatriation Fund and a P45-million Assistance to Nationals budget with the Department of Foreign Affairs. Mme. Speaker, many migrant workers became stranded after running away from abusive employers who physically and emotionally maltreated them. Some were even subjected to sexual harassment and rape. At one point, Migrante-Saudi Arabia reported they numbered almost 200, including women and children. They lived for two months under a bridge in Jeddah until they were compelled to bring their demands directly to the Jeddah consulate. After dialogues with the Jeddah Consulate and the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila, almost 100 OFWs still remain stranded in Saudi Arabia. The case of Mr. Joel Agana, stranded in Jeddah, is all the more distressing because prior to his mother's death last February 4 in Cavite, it was her dying wish to see Joel once again. Upon learning of the death of Mr. Agana's mother, Migrante International communicated anew the strong request for Mr. Agana to be repatriated soonest for humanitarian reasons so that he may at least see his mother before she was finally laid to rest. However, their call was in vain. The human cost of corruption among migrant workers includes how migrants are unjustly arrested and imprisoned and not provided effective legal assistance or of how sick OFWs are told to raise fund among families and friends for their medical expenses because of the alleged "lack of funds". Mme. Speaker, remember that migrant workers prop up our country's economy by infusing more than US$14 billion in remittances, directly contributing around P15 billion to government coffers through various State exactions. They have an OWWA fund amounting to about P8 billion; a P100million Emergency Repatriation Fund; and a P100-million Legal Assistance Fund, among others. Coupled with revelations about the corruption of funds intended for migrant workers and exposés about high-level corruption involving the First Family, it is deplorable that this administration turns its back on many migrant workers in distress. Mme. Speaker, the Migrant Workers Act of 1995 (RA 8242) states in its Declaration of Policies that the State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment for all. Towards this end, the State shall provide adequate and timely social, economic and legal services to Filipino migrant workers. This declaration is violated more than it is honored. Worse, in the guise of enacting policies and legislation for the "protection" of

85 migrant workers, this administration is guilty of exacerbating their abuse and exploitation. Let me remind this Chamber, Mme. Speaker, that Section 2 of RA 8042 states that the State does not promote overseas employment as a means to sustain economic growth and achieve national development. But this administration's intensified policy of labor export and avowed target of up to two million migrants per year by 2010 inherently contradicts the provision of genuine government services for migrants and their families. It allows for the corruption of funds intended for this use and paves the way for the treatment of migrant workers as commodities, and not human beings, for export. It is in this light, Mme. Speaker, that the Gabriela Women's Party, having been elected by migrant workers and their families, calls the attention of the Chairpersons of the Committees on Labor, and Migrant Workers' Affairs to demand for a moratorium on issuing policies with regard to State exactions and other anti-migrant policies. We suggest that a task force be created to investigate all the policies of the Arroyo administration affecting migrant Filipinos to determine if their implementation remains consistent with the laws and regulations enacted by this Chamber. Congressional inquiries should also be held to determine the extent of corruption in migrant-related government agencies. In conclusion, Mme. Speaker, I reiterate my earlier call that the House of Representatives recognize and take action on the Philippine government's culpability with respect to the worsening plight of migrants and their families. Let us ensure that the Filipino migrants the world over are afforded the protection and services they so rightly deserve from the government. This is the least we can do for these modernday unsung heroes and heroines of our country. Thank you, Mme. Speaker. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Acting Floor Leader is recognized. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Before we continue, Mme. Speaker, we would like to recognize the visitors of Gabriela Women's Party List Representatives Luz Ilagan and Liza Maza, the Migrante International. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Chair would like to welcome the guests of the Gabriela PartyList Representatives. Welcome to the House of Representatives. REP. MAGSAYSAY. We would like also to welcome the guests of Congresswoman Victoria Hernandez-Reyes from the Third District of Batangas, the Samahan ng mga Ina sa Tabing-Ilog Incorporated from the Municipality of Sto. Tomas, represented by its president, Erlinda M. Maala. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Likewise, we would like to welcome the guests of the Honorable Vicky Reyes. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, may we now recognize Representative Mary Mitzi Cajayon from the Second District of Kaloocan City.

86 THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The honorable Rep. Mary Mitzi Cajayon from the Second District of Kaloocan is now recognized. PRIVILEGE SPEECH OF REP. CAJAYON REP. CAJAYON. Mme. Speaker, this Representation just wants to talk about women empowerment and legislation. Gng. Ispiker, ginagalang na mga kapwa Kongresista, mga panauhin, magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat. This humble Representation begs your indulgence and the patience of her colleagues for having to take the floor, amidst the deafening echoes of discordant voices in a country that is mired by so much controversy, to pay homage to every woman who collectively constitutes an important sector in our society but remains to be socially disadvantaged and discriminated. Ang tema po ng pagdiriwang ng Buwan ng mga Kababaihan ngayong taon ay "CEDAW ng Bayan: Yaman ng Kababaihan!" This is in recognition of the significant contributions of women in the country's economic development. All over, there is a growing recognition of women, especially women leaders in the various fields of human endeavors and professions like medicine, law, education, business and government. Women leaders have emerged at various times in history and in many places all over the world. These women have encountered different circumstances and embraced many causes and advocacies, but all were able to meet and conquer the challenges they faced and in so doing, inspire and empower generations of other women. They are women leaders like Golda Meir, who held positions and eventually became the first female Prime Minister of Israel; and Rosa Parks, an ordinary black woman who was arrested for not giving up her bus seat to a white person and who consequently became known as the "Mother of American Civil Rights." In our country, we have Gabriela Silang, who bravely fought alongside other Filipinos in the Spanish Revolution in her struggle for justice and freedom. Gregoria de Jesus, also known as "Aling Oriang," founded the women's chapter of the Katipunan and was also the custodian of the documents and seal of the Katipunan. Aling Oriang played a major role in the country's resistance against colonial rule and is regarded as the "Mother of the Philippine Revolution." Melchora Aquino, also known as "Tandang Sora" because of her age when the Philippine Revolution broke out in 1896 was regarded as the Grand Woman of the Revolution and the Mother of Balintawak for her heroic contributions in Philippine history. By the way, I am proud to say that Gregoria de Jesus and Melchora Aquino were both from Caloocan City. Patrocinia Gamboa or Tia Patron as she was commonly called in Iloilo, just like Melchora Aquino and Trinidad Tecson and other heroines of the revolutionary period, risked her life by nursing and caring for the sick and wounded soldiers. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, one of the 100 most powerful women in the world by Forbes Magazine and countless other women, made a remarkable difference in the lives of their families, communities and nation.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 In the midst of this great women movement is the contrasted images of prostituted women, battered wives, economically disadvantaged women and exploited migrant workers. Gender situation in the country today is, unfortunately, characterized by sharp contradictions. In response to the persistent issues and concerns of women, the government enacted laws and adopted new policies to address the urgency of empowering them. Among these are: 1) Republic Act (RA) No. 7882 ­ states that: Providing assistance to women engaged in micro business enterprises; 2) RA 6955 ­ Outlawing the practice of mail-order bride; 3) RA 6725 ­ Strengthening the prohibition of discrimination against women with respect to terms and conditions of employment; 4) RA 8508 ­ Providing assistance and protection to rape victims; 5) RA 8369 ­ Creating family courts that will have jurisdiction over cases of domestic violence and other forms of physical abuse; 6) Sec. 28 of RA 8250 ­ Mandating government agencies to allocate a portion of their budgets for women, gender and development activities; and 7) RA 7877 ­ Declaring sexual harassment unlawful in employment. These landmark legislations, Mme. Speaker, my dear colleagues, notwithstanding, amendment of laws against sexual harassment that had to be made, pending women-related bills have to be enacted, implementation of existing laws and mechanisms has to be improved, and international commitments to uphold women's right have to be fulfilled. As a member of the Committee on Women and Gender Equality of this august Chamber, labis po akong nalulungkot sa kalagayan ng mga kababaihan lalung-lalo na po ang kalagayan ng mga mahihirap na sektor ng mga kababaihan. I am very much concerned about their tragic situation. I am aware that empowering women takes the crafting of adequate and appropriate laws that will provide them ample protection and support. Various measures have been referred to the Committee on Women and Gender Equality in this Fourteenth Congress of the House of Representatives. Please allow me to mention the following: 1) AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE MAGNA CARTA FOR WOMEN; 2) AN ACT EMPOWERING WOMEN BY PROVIDING THEM WITH FINANCIAL EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ASSISTANCE IN ORDER FOR THEM TO EXCEL IN COMMERCE AND TRADE; 3) AN ACT REQUIRING CERTAIN BUILDINGS, INSTITUTIONS, ESTABLISHMENTSAND PUBLIC UTILITIES TO RESERVE SUFFICIENT AND SUITABLE PARKING OR SEATING SPACES FOR THE USE OF EXPECTANT MOTHERS; 4) AN ACT STRENGTHENING WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION AND REPRESENTATION IN ELECTIVE AND APPOINTIVE POSITIONS IN THE GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING GOVERNMENT-OWNED AND CONTROLLED CORPORATIONS (GOOCS), THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES, THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE AND OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES;

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 5) AN ACT REQUIRING WOMEN'S AND GIRLS' HUMAN RIGHTS AWARENESS PROGRAMS IN THE MEDIA, PROVIDING INCENTIVES THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES; AND 6) AN ACT EMPOWERING WOMEN BY PROVIDING THEM FINANCIAL, EDUCATIONAL, AND INFORMATION ASSISTANCE IN ORDER FOR THEM TO EXCEL IN COMMERCE AND TRADE. Mme. Speaker, this Representation has also filed House Bill No. 3417 - AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE MANDATORY PREGNANCY TESTING OF ALL WOMEN OF CHILDBEARING AGE WHO WILL UNDERGO COSMETIC PROCEDURES THAT ARE HARMFUL TO PREGNANT WOMEN AND UNBORN CHILDREN, AND THE DISCLOSURE OF THE POTENTIAL RISKS OF SUCH PROCEDURES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. This bill, which is now pending before the Committee on Health, is significant in light of protecting the welfare of female patients and unborn children. The requirement to conduct a mandatory pregnancy test on every female patient that is of child-bearing age is essential not only because of the State's interest in protecting the welfare of women but more importantly, to protect unborn children who cannot defend themselves against the possible harms that might be caused by cosmetic procedures. Moreover, the bill also requires cosmetic providers to inform the patients of the risks associated with cosmetic procedures and to disclose the available choices with respect to such procedures in order to help patients make informed consent. Mme. Speaker, my dear colleagues, these are just a few of the many equally important legislations on women now pending before the various committees of the House that need the action of this august Chamber. Together with the authors, may I ask your unqualified and indivisible support in the passage of these pro-women legislations. I want to call attention to the urgent need of enacting legislations now pending before the different committees of the House, so that this Chamber will be able to act on these bills favorably. Essentially, we need to bridge the continuing women's concern through adequate legislation as a way of empowering them. Maraming salamat po, Gng. Ispiker, iginagalang na mga kapwa Kongresista. Mabuhay ang mga kababaihan! THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castrelo-Daza). The Acting Floor Leader is recognized. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, may we now recognize Representative Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales of the Party-List Cibac. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The honorable Representative Cruz-Gonzales from the Party-List Cibac is now recognized. PRIVILEGE SPEECH OF REP. CRUZ-GONZALES REP. CRUZ-GONZALES. Thank you, Mme. Speaker, distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. I rise on a matter of the plight of women detainees in our country.

87 While the entire country is currently embroiled in a political turmoil, it is quite disconcerting to note that women's welfare in our detention centers continues to be neglected and overlooked by our government. Despite the leadership of two female presidents in our country, former President Corazon Aquino and incumbent President Gloria MacapagalArroyo, no significant change has been made to address the deplorable situation of women who languish in jail and under the abusive hands of some authorities. This only shows that improving the plight of women is not solely the concern of their fellow women, but this is both a national and international pressing issue considering that we have an increasing number of OFWs who venture to greater opportunities and risks in other countries. Female detainees represent a small but a growing number with particular needs that warrant particular attention. Their status, specifically age profile, has implications for women's health and well-being. The most common age groups are those where women are likely to have become mothers and often carers of young children. Issues of reproductive health, sexuality and parenting are particularly relevant. There are smaller but significant numbers of women of different life cycles with diverse health issues, like menopause and hormonal changes. Psychological and emotional difficulties are associated with institutional adjustment, social isolation, and vulnerability to victimization and difficulty with adapting to the prison's physical environment. On-site medical services related to reproductive health to female detainees are imperative. Access to health care is limited and there are instance, where women are being held in unsanitary conditions. There are jails where women do not have access to specialists, such as gynecologists. Insufficient support is being given to pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. The situation of women detainees does not vary throughout the world. Lack of facilities for women and healthcare are just some of the problems confronted by women detainees. The abuses perpetrated by corrections officials are the most pervasive and horrifying tales besetting women in custody. Physical captivity in any form increases the risk for abuse of power and torture. The dominant presence of male prison officials increases the risk for sexual abuse and coercion of female prisoners. So does housing of females in male prison facilities. Gender-torture forms in custody documented in the latest report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women are: rape and threat of rape. Other forms are forced impregnation and forced maternity by soldiers and militias, and virginity testing and defloration by police and prison doctors. These examples are only indicative and not exhaustive. Apparently, the lack of detailed regulations has led to abuse of power such as prolonged detention and incidents where suspects reportedly committed suicide during detention. A January 1986 report by the Commission of Churches on International Affairs, World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland listed the common methods of torture practiced in the Philippines: 1) The "ashtray" or burning of the skin, usually the face, neck and abdomen, with cigarette butts; 2) Pulling of fingernails--sometimes the finger is afterward dipped in acidic solution;

88 3) The pompyang or cymbals, known in other countries as el telefono or golpes de campaña--slapping of both ears simultaneously, often rupturing the eardrums if done repeatedly or with great force; 4) The water cure, also known as "Nawasa" (the former acronym of the waterworks system)--this is by pouring gallons of water into the victim's mouth and nostrils, inducing a feeling of drowning. Sometimes the torturer covers the victim's face with a piece of cloth or a towel and uses muddy water. Other times, he uses carbonated drinks instead of water; 5) "Wet submarine"-- submerging the victim's head in water or in a soiled toilet bowl. The effect is similar to the water cure; 6) "Dry submarine"-- covering the victim's head with a plastic or cellophane bag, causing suffocation; 7) Electric shock, also known as "Meralco" (the electric service company) -- this is done by applying to the victim's body, usually the genitals, electric prods or wire attached to ordinary household current; 8) Russian roulette -- spinning the cylinder of a revolver loaded with a single bullet, usually a dud, and pulling the trigger the moment it stops; 9) Solitary confinement -- this is by isolating the prisoner in a cell, usually cramped and poorly ventilated. Social contact even with fellow inmates is forbidden. Some detainees were in extremely prolonged military detention; 10) Psychological or mental torture -- this is said to be one of the worst forms of torture. The victim is told that if he does not cooperate with the torturers, harm will come to his family. For example, his wife will be raped or the children killed. Psychological pressure may also involve convincing detainees that they have already been abandoned by their family or have been implicated by their friends; 11) Rape and sexual abuse in the treatment of women detainees. This has been recorded between 1995 and 2000 with Amnesty International which received reports of more than 30 incidents of rape or other sexual abuse of women or girls in custody. The organization fears that this figure represents only a fraction of the real number of cases. Women in police custody have also reported being subjected to other forms of torture or ill-treatment, including threats, punches, kicks and sexual assault, such as the groping of breasts. Women detained in provincial, municipal and city jails are also vulnerable to rape or sexual violence. In 2001, the Commission on Human Rights issued a human rights advisory which is addressed to all government authorities and agencies concerned, especially the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Bureau of Corrections, the Bureau of Jail and Management and Penology, the Philippine National Police, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to protect the human rights of women in custody. According to the Commission on Human Rights, rape of women detainees by police officers, jail guards or military officials always constitutes torture. It is both a physical violation and injury as well as a humiliating assault on a woman's mental and emotional integrity. In addition, rape is always associated with the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, particularly human immunodeficency virus (HIV). Women who become pregnant as a result of rape in custody face a further set of serious problems. A common accompaniment to rape, whether in custody or in the community, is the perpetrator's threat of additional violence

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 if the victim tells anyone of the assault. Other forms of sexual abuse by law enforcement officials including threat of rape, verbal sexual abuse and mocking designed to degrade and humiliate, may also constitute torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Most complaints from many female inmates dwelt on the act of corrections officers threatened both their lives and those of their families by using personal information obtained from prison files to exert mental harassment and pressure on the inmates. Such allegations support the need for independent grievance procedures. The Commission on Human Rights revealed that most of the victims belong to the socially disadvantaged groups, including suspected prostitutes, street children, drug addicts and the poor. Often, they were arrested for minor crimes such as petty theft or on suspicion of violating anti-vagrancy laws. The passage of the Anti-Vagrancy Law has been used as a pretext for arbitrary arrest and detention of women who have subsequently complained of rape, sexual abuse, and other ill-treatment by police officers. Women, as sex workers, are among the most marginalized and discriminated group in Philippine society. They are particularly very vulnerable to human rights violations because of their low status. By virtue of its constitutional function "to monitor the government's compliance with international rights" the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) finds the aforesaid reports as violations of the following: 1. Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which provides that: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." 2. Article 10, paragraph 1 of the same covenant also provides that: "All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent right of the human person." 3. Principle 6 of the Body of Principles for the Protection of all Persons under any Form of Detention or Imprisonment provides that: "No person under any form of detention or imprisonment shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. No circumstance whatever may be invoked as a justification for torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." 4. Rule 53 (1 to 3) of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners provide that where men and women are detained in the same institution, the area set aside for women should be "under the authority of a responsible woman officer who shall have the custody of the keys of all that part of the institution." No male members of the staff shall enter the part of the institution set aside for women unless accompanied by a woman officer. Female prisoners should be attended to and supervised only by female officers and male staff such as doctors who provide professional services but should always be accompanied by female officers. To prevent or at least minimize the aforesaid abuses, the Commission on Human Rights suggests the following measures: 1. Improve prison conditions; 2. Ensure that female security personnel are present during the interrogation of women detainees; 3. Ensure that female detainees are always held separately from male detainees;

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 4. There should be no contact between male guards and female detainees without the presence of female guards; 5. All complainants of rape, sexual abuse or torture committed by State officials must be instigated promptly and independently. A medical examination by a female doctor should be provided immediately for any woman in custody who alleges she has been raped; 6. Take effective steps to protect women detainees who report rape or sexual harassment from threats, reprisals or any other form of intimidation; 7. Police, military and prison personnel should receive adequate training on standards for the protection of women's rights and how to respect and enforce them properly; and 8. Recruit an adequate number of women police officers to specialize in cases of violence against women. The Public Attorney's Office (PAO) has an ongoing Nationwide Legal and Medical Jail Decongestion Program where they were able to visit women detainees and inmates in various jails and other detention centers. Among others, they have visited the Correctional Institute for Women and the Female Dorm in Camp Caringal. Detainees and inmates were extended legal, medical and dental assistance, reading glasses were distributed and a number of them were released through the assistance of the PAO. At the end of year 2007, there were about 490,331 detainees or inmates who directly benefited from the program. Records submitted to us by the PAO reveal that it has a total of 79,050 cases involving women and has a total of 39,965 cases at the end of the year. It will be noted as well that the PAO was able to terminate 39,085 cases out of 25,910 cases, or about 66 percent were terminated with favorable verdict. Aside from the decongestion program, the PAO, through the support of the United Nations International Children's Fund or UNICEF, has been conducting series of trainings and seminars to its lawyers nationwide on pertinent laws relating to women and children in order to keep them abreast of the latest development in laws. This Representation commends the PAO for their earnest efforts in alleviating the chronic jail problems. As the PAO has shown in their data, the number of inmates in correlation with the capacity of the jails is obviously disproportionate. Hence, the predicament of women lies in the cramped situation inside their detention centers and the urgent need of improving their condition truly conducive for their reformation. So far, the programs of the PAO have only been confined in most parts of Luzon and in only one city in Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro, as the beneficiary. On the other hand, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology reported that as of November 2007, the nationwide population of men in jail is 51,535 and 5,535 are women. A Bureau of Jail Management and Penology official revealed confidential information that women by their biological and physiological makeup cannot endure long incarceration. They have more attachments to their families and with more domestic responsibilities. Women commit crimes "on the spur of the moment" or motivated by their desire to survive and for the welfare of their family. Their dire financial status compels them to suffer the consequences of incarceration. Whereas, male inmates can endure long incarceration as they enjoy more privileges than their women counterparts. Once male inmates become what they call "colonists," they are entitled to the following privileges:

89 1) Conjugal visits; 2) Subject to the approval of the director, the inmate can have his wife and children or the woman he desires to marry, live with him in the prison or penal farm. Transportation expenses of the family going to and from the jail and even when the said colonist from the penal farm shall be for the account of the government. The family of the colonist may avail of all jail facilities free of charge; 3) As a special reward to a deserving colonist, the issuance of a reasonable amount for provision of clothing and ordinary household expenses from the government commissary in addition to free subsistence. The government, however, does not even provide supplies such as soap and sanitary napkins for destitute women inmates for their hygienic care while these colonists continue to benefit from government funds without any clear basis in law or any rules or regulations for that matter. From the preceding revelations alone, we can easily deduce that the abuse by corrections officers can also arise from inequality of treatment between male and female inmates and the discrimination against women detainees only illustrates the low regard of society to them. Preference is given to male inmates despite the reported rampant prostitution and gambling in the male detention cells. We, in Cibac Party-List, strongly submit that we could help by devoting our time and efforts for initiating projects to help obviate the abuses being suffered by women in custody. Nothing less than an utmost concern for the welfare of women and the future of their children is a tall order to arrest any miserable condition brought about by their continued detention. Our government should create a humane environment for the inmates to prepare and rehabilitate them for a better life upon eventual discharge from confinement. My dear colleagues, Mme. Speaker, for a woman, her worst nightmare would be sexual abuse and discrimination from her arresting officers and the government officials who are supposed to protect them while they are deprived of their freedom in an adverse condition where they are most vulnerable and defenseless. Thank you, Mme. Speaker; I thank our distinguished colleagues. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Acting Floor Leader is recognized. SUSPENSION OF SESSION REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, may we have a suspension of the session. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The session is suspended for a few minutes. It was 6:14 p.m. RESUMPTION OF SESSION At 6:16 p.m., the session was resumed. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The session is resumed. The Acting Floor Leader is recognized.

90 REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, may we now recognize Rep. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza from the First District of North Cotabato. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The honorable Rep. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza is recognized. PRIVILEGE SPEECH OF REP. TALIÑO-MENDOZA REP. TALIÑO-MENDOZA. Mme. Speaker, today is the celebration of the International Women's Month. It has been my third term as a Member of the Philippine Congress and each year, I have witnessed how this august Chamber had been so committed in recognizing the significance of this celebration. As a third-termer, I believe it is high time for me to grab this opportunity to address my fellow Members of the House and to ask: How do we translate this recognition of women's important role in society and commitment to promote the rights of the Filipino women into concrete actions? The Philippines ratified the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1981. Its ratification means that the government is bound to protect Filipino women from inequalities and discrimination in the civil, economic, social, political and cultural realms. However, local data that came from government bodies reveal otherwise. According to the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women or NCRFW, greater strides still need to be done in order to truly fulfill our country's commitment to respect, promote and fulfill the rights of Filipino women. In labor and employment, women's participation in overseas work continues to increase. Many women are leaving, as they now comprise more than half of the total number of overseas Filipino workers. Yet, their average monthly cash remittance represents only 57 percent of the P74,267 average monthly cash remittance of Filipino men. This is because Filipino women are likely to end up in jobs that are low-paying and often unprotected. The 2004 survey showed that 56 percent of women who went abroad for work are laborers and unskilled workers, while 28 percent of their male counterparts worked in trade and related work, and 27 percent worked as plant and machine operators or assemblers. Also, the NCRFW reports that female labor force participation consistently lags behind male labor participation. In the period 1995 to 2005, female labor participation was at 50 percent, while male participation was steadily above 80 percent. Another important indicator of women's participation in development is their involvement in governance. The 2006 NCRFW Fact Sheet states that Filipino women have higher voter turnout rate and are winning in elections but still continue to have little participation in politics and governance. During the 1998 and 2001 elections, women comprised only 20 percent of the total number of candidates, although the proportion of women elected who won was also 20 percent. Also, the same data revealed that more than half of government workers are women, but the top posts are held by men. Even with the passage of Violence Against Women (VAW) and Children Act in 2003, much still needs to be done in this area. The number of VAW cases reported to the police increased six-fold, from 1,100 in 1996 to 6,505 in 2005. The

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 highest recorded number of VAW cases in the police department in 2001 is at 10,345. Further, both the 2005 police and social welfare records show that physical injuries/ battering and rape are the most common types of reported VAW cases. One in every three reported cases to the police were battering/physical injuries while 17.2 percent accounted for rape cases. Similarly, the social welfare department served a total of 1,217 cases of physical abuse/battering or 28.8 percent, while sexual abuse cases accounted for 6.8 percent. What could be one of the most important indicators of fulfillment of women's rights is the right to health care. Sadly, this seemingly significant right is also one of the most neglected and violated in the country, particularly, the unique right to a healthy and safe motherhood of women. The National Statistics Office (NSO) reported that deaths caused by childbirth or maternal mortality rate is at 162 per 100,000 live births. In fact, maternal deaths account for 11 percent of all deaths of women in reproductive age. Many women continue to face this risk with the data that four out of 10 women experience pregnancy-related complications and that almost three of five married women are at risk of conceiving a child with an elevated risk of mortality. Another pressing issue is the continuous rise in cases of induced abortions. The Alan Guttmacher Institute and UP Population Institute study showed that in the Philippines, almost one induced abortion happens every minute. Further, nine out of 10 of those who committed abortions are already married with three children and are Catholics. This is a true validation of the NSO's data that one in six married women wants to practice family planning but are not able to do so. Information and services are just not readily available for them, especially for poor women. Mme. Speaker, my fellow Members of this august Body, women comprise more than half of our population. We are not serving the best interests of our countrymen if we do not consider the passage of urgent policies to protect the rights and welfare of Filipino women. The depressing status of Filipino women that I have mentioned earlier is just a glance of what is really happening. The Philippine Congress has already passed landmark legislations such as the Anti-Trafficking Law and Violence Against Women (VAW) and Children Act. Why stop now? It is time we make the celebration of Women's Month a time to reflect on our role to translate our commitments to women into concrete policies. Right now, there are proposed policies filed in Congress that need immediate action from our part. To name a few, the Magna Carta on Women and the Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Management bill are two of them. Both bills seek to address the issues I have identified earlier. The Magna Carta on Women enumerates the rights of women in all sectors of our society, in order to ensure gender equality and equity. The Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Management bill aims to provide the long-overdue and much-needed accessible and affordable reproductive health care services and information to women and couples. As legislators, the true translation of commitment to uphold women's rights would mean concrete policies that would lead to improved quality of life for all Filipino women, especially those belonging to the poor sector of this society.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 Have we fared well in legislating policies that would ensure gender equality and equity, safe motherhood, better health condition, improved economic status, high labor participation and quality education for women? Mme. Speaker, accountability is a much-abused word, especially now that we have an undeniable political crisis. I do not wish for us to stop resolving political differences and aiming for political stability. However, I hope that important issues of the Filipinos--in this case, the Filipino women-- will also be given equal attention to by us policymakers. When we talk of accountability, we should also think of how we could uplift the lives of the people whom we are accountable to. Thank you very much. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Acting Floor Leader is recognized. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, I would like to recognize Tina and Louie Celestino of Australia and Evelyn Chua of Binondo of Preferred Mafia Travel Incorporated, the visitors of Congressman Marcy Teodoro. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). We welcome you to the House of Representatives. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, may we now recognize Representative Ma. Amelita Villarosa from the Lone District of Occidental Mindoro. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The honorable Deputy Speaker Amelita Villarosa is recognized. PRIVILEGE SPEECH OF REP. VILLAROSA REP. VILLAROSA. Mme. Speaker, my distinguished colleagues in this august Body, friends, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. On this occasion where we celebrate women, I would like to share some thoughts relevant to the plight of Filipino women today. In the Philippines and in most parts of the world, there has always existed a stronger respect for women. Women in our society are seen as the one to give care, the ones who can take whatever life throws at them -- as they will always cope. Women are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whether their children are sick, their husbands are out of work or their parents are old and frail and need attending-- they will cope. They will cook and clean, go to work, attend to the needs of those around them--and they will cope. They may be suffering themselves from post-natal depression, violence in the home or they may be struggling in a daze of exhaustion and stress to make ends meet--but they will cope. Strangely, these women themselves as well as men believe this to be true. So deep seated is this belief that it takes enormous odds for women to admit they cannot cope, and that they may need help either from family and friends or the support systems put in place by the government for their welfare. Each person is born with very individual qualities and potential. We as a society owe it to women to create a truly

91 supportive environment in which they too can grow and move forward. Mme. Speaker, the struggle for gender equality, women emancipation and woman empowerment is a struggle as old as the struggle against slavery, the struggle for political freedom and the struggle against colonialism. In many respects, these words are still relevant as they reflect some subtle unequal gentle relations and practices. Despite significant progress that has been made in improving gender relations and attempts to eliminate gender discrimination in many aspects of our lives, we continue to observe persistent gender-biased social ills in our communities and throughout the entire world. Thus, the struggle for gender equality and women empowerment is still at the center of efforts of international organizations and national governments. The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Beijing Declaration in 1995 was an important milestone in advancing women's rights. However, much remains to be done. The goals set forth in the declaration as well as in the CEDAW and in the Millennium Development Goals must be turned into specific policy reforms and operational programs that make a difference for women. More importantly, this must be achieved with the active participation participation of women. We a t t h e l e g i s l a t u r e a r e t a s k e d t o e n a c t a comprehensive legal framework for the promotion of gender equality and women's empowerment, specifically to ensure the CEDAW's applicability and translate these into a national legal system and further review and revise discriminatory provisions in existing national legislations. We have every reason to rejoice with the passage of laws on sexual harassment, trafficking, mail-order brides, rape and violence against women and children. There has been progress in improving the rights of women in our country. There has been an increase in the level of education attained by women, and the Philippines has been praised for being "on track" towards achieving Millennium Development Goals, specifically those concerning women and children. We have also seen a growing number of women gaining positions of power in governmental and professional institutions. But we should not be complacent. There is still a long road ahead to ensure the effective implementation of all these measures. We have to make concrete steps to eliminate all legal and social obstacles to women's equality. The Women's Priority Legislative Agenda for this Fourteenth Congress seeks to repeal the discriminatory provisions of existing laws as well as to formulate and adopt new legislations that promote women empowerment and gender equality. I urge my fellow colleagues to support and rally behind the Magna Carta for Women, the anti-prostitution bill, the marital infidelity bill, the kasambahay bill, and the Local Sectoral Representation bill. After our historic achievement in 1987 when we gained democracy, we ensured that our Constitution embraces not only equality between men and women, but also goes as far as outlawing the artificial boundaries and spaces created separately for women. This Constitution laid the basis for the fundamental equality before the law of men and women.

92 Democracy cannot automatically bring an end to women and child abuse. The legislative framework we developed to address these unpleasant situations is ineffective if it is not translated into an implementable plan of action to address these social ills. I, therefore, call upon and urge all the Filipino women to support our fight to end violence against women and children, rape, and women abuse. Since the attainment of our democracy in 1987, we have made significant achievements on the reduction of these crimes against women. As we continue to raise the bar in women empowerment in this country, it is very important that its effects shall not be limited to urbanized centers. It should reach the critical mass of our women in rural and poor communities. Women empowerment lies at the heart of our poverty alleviation strategies for women. Thus, we must put in place policy and institutional arrangements that give all women across all provinces the opportunity to participate in government programs. Mme. Speaker, we have made much progress in improving the position and status of women in our society. Today, the literacy rate, enrollment ratio and elementary and secondary completion rate are higher for females than for males, as well as the projected female life expectancy. Filipino women have a higher voter turnout rate in the elections. Twenty-five percent of incumbent judges are women. Women make up the majority of the bureaucracy. A bigger number of women are holding senior positions in the government; we continue to implement the commitments made by signing the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), particularly MDG 3 which aims to address gender equality. We have achieved much up to this point, and must ensure that these achievements push us to do even more. We must push the envelope to turn our words into action and further close the gap between policy and practice so that all forms of discrimination against women are prevented, gender equality is achieved, and women's rights as human rights are protected. Only through these and other actions can we ensure that our country shall be one where women can enjoy their legitimate rights and freedoms. Thank you and good afternoon. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Acting Floor Leader is recognized. REP. MAGSAYSAY. Mme. Speaker, may we now recognize Rep. Thelma Almario from the Second District of Davao Oriental. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The honorable Rep. Thelma Almario from the Second District of Davao Oriental is recognized. PRIVILEGE SPEECH OF REP. ALMARIO REP. ALMARIO. I thank you, Mme. Speaker. Mme. Speaker, my dear colleagues in this august Chamber: I stand today on an issue that is close to my heart and to millions of women around the world celebrating their womanhood in this auspicious month of women, while

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 continuously striving for gender equality and women empowerment. Today, I will talk about womanhood and everything that relates to what it means to be a woman. I am a woman myself, a mother, a wife and certainly much more. So, this is my way of paying tribute to "us" and the many ordeals we have gone through and successes we have achieved to be who we truly are and what we are meant to be. Right now as I speak, special events around the globe have been lined up for March 8, the date designated for International Women's Day, to inspire women and celebrate our achievements, collective or otherwise. This is only fitting as the new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. With an increased critical mass of women's visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, we have indeed come a long way. In this august Chamber alone, we note the significant rise of women legislators in the past up to the present Congresses. In fact, we now have a deputy woman speaker, representing 54 Congresswomen from presumably all walks of life and interests. And just recently, we have installed the first lady Secretary General in the history of this Chamber in the person of Atty. Marilyn B. Yap. In my own legislative district, it is noted that the recent barangay elections elected an increasing number of women barangay kagawads and certainly, women are chosen over men to the posts of barangay secretaries and barangay treasurers. Why am I giving this a significance? Because the barangay is the easiest entry door for women into policy and decision-making positions. This signifies the public's increasing trust and confidence on women as political leaders. So, there will be more of us in the coming few years--I daresay--as more and more women find the resolve to realize their full potential and enhance their social involvement with mainstream activities. I emphasize the phrase "mainstream activities" since women should not be passive recipients but active participants in nation-building. The Platform of Action resulting from the 1995 Beijing World Conference on Women calls this concept "gender mainstreaming" -- that is, the application of gender perspectives to all legal and social norms and standards, to all policy development, research, planning, advocacy, development, implementation and monitoring. In this way, the gender factor is no longer to be only a supplement to development but central to the practice of development. The past three decades have witnessed a steadily increasing awareness of the need to empower women through measures to increase social, economic and political equity and broader access to fundamental human rights, improvements in nutrition, basic health and education. Certainly, great improvements have been made. In the area of legislation alone, several measures have been set in place to protect and empower women. Getting these measures enacted, though, was not an easy task under a clearly maledominated legislative system. Women groups had to lobby hard, while women legislators were incessantly pushing for their legislative agenda in every step of the way.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 At any rate, among the significant laws, providing a supposedly solid legal framework for women, are: 1. The Women in Development and Nation-Building Act, which allocates budget for women from development funds of the annual appropriations act from foreign governments and multilateral institutions; 2. The Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act, which aims to protect Filipino women who work abroad against all forms of discrimination and abuse; 3.The Anti-Rape Law, which expands the definition of "rape" as an offense against person and not chastity; imposes harsher penalties and sanctions, if only to deter offenders from committing the crime; and provides necessary support system for victims; 4.The Anti-Trafficking Law, and apropos this, the MailOrder Bride Law, which seek to end the pernicious practice of trafficking women within and across national borders, usually against their consent, to go through series of sexual abuses, slavery and other abusive conditions; 5.The Anti-Sexual Harassment Law, which penalizes all forms of sexual abuse and harassment in employment and education setting; 6.The Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Law, which seeks to provide protection from all forms of sexual, psychological, emotional and even economic abuses perpetrated against women and their children; and 7.The Family Court Law, which aims to designate special courts that will handle sensitive cases involving women and their families. Aside from these measures, the government has also adopted the Philippine Plan for Gender Responsive Development (1995-2025). This is the country's 30-year blueprint of policies, programs, projects, and strategies for women development as active participants in social, economic and political transformations. This is indubitably significant since it provides the legal framework for all initiatives and undertakings. The Philippines, incidentally, was the first to implement a gender and development (GAD) budget, mandating all instrumentalities of the government to set aside a minimum of five percent of their total annual budget for the implementation of initiatives in support of gender and development. The practice has been institutionalized with remarkable results since 1996 and has been incorporated in the General Appropriations Act. Despite all these monumental successes, though, women still have a long way to go. Achieving gender equality, in truth, is a grindingly slow process, since it challenges one of the most deeply entrenched of all human attitudes. Despite the intense efforts of many agencies and organizations, and numerous inspiring successes, the picture is still disheartening. Women are still not paid equally as that of their male counterparts, and still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics. In fact, records indicate that women account for 53 percent of the unpaid family workers, while they constitute only 37.7 percent of the wage and salary earners. The social fabric still remains tainted by the complexity of patriarchy. As of 2005, it is reported that at least 10,000 cases of violence and other forms of abuse against women have remained unresolved, notwithstanding the

93 implementation of RA 9272. Women are still perceived to be the weaker sex, relegated to the background and often marginalized. It is for this reason that I stand today to remind all of us in this august hall that the struggles towards full liberalization and equality are not yet over. There are still so many things to be done, and we hope to get across this concern earnestly and clearly the best way we could, and stir some noise if necessary, in the hope that we shall finally have a unified resolve to truly get it done. In fact, there are certain areas of concern that necessitate critical intervention, namely: (1) enhancing further the economic participation of women, to ensure that their presence in the workforce in quantitative terms is important not only for lowering the disproportionate levels of poverty among women, but also as an important step toward raising household income and encouraging economic development in countries as a whole; (2) widening of economic opportunity for women to improve the quality of their economic involvement beyond their mere presence as workers. This is most commonly the result of negative or obstructive attitudes, and of legal and social systems which use maternity laws and benefits to penalize women economically for childbirth and child care responsibilities, and discourage--or actively prevent ­ men from sharing family responsibilities; (3) ensuring educational attainment for women, which is the most fundamental prerequisite for empowering women in all spheres of society, for without education of comparable quality and content to that given to boys and men, and relevant to existing knowledge and real needs, women are unable to access well-paid, formal sector jobs, advance within them, participate in, and be represented in government and gain political influence; and (4) guaranteeing the health and well-being of women if only to bridge the substantial gap between women and men in their access to sufficient nutrition, healthcare and reproductive facilities, and to issues of fundamental safety and integrity of person. Mme. Speaker, my dear colleagues, these are just points of reference which the honorable men and women in this Chamber can work together to get things done. We, women, must admit that we have a long way to go to achieve equality and that this work will require concentrated efforts on many fronts. But it is heartening to believe that the honorable Speaker and our colleagues are equally desirous as we are to achieve our noble goals. Thank you, Mme. Speaker. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Majority Leader is recognized. REP. DEFENSOR (A.). Mme. Speaker, I move that we suspend the Privilege Hour. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). There is a motion to suspend the Privilege Hour. Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. The Privilege Hour is suspended.

94 REP. DEFENSOR (A.). Mr. Speaker, I move that we proceed to the Additional Reference of Business. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). There is a move that we proceed to the Additional Reference of Business. Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. The Secretary General is directed to read the Additional Reference of Business. ADDITIONAL REFERENCE OF BUSINESS

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 resolution, all the Gentlemen be made coauthors because the problem is not only an issue that concerns the women legislators. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). There is a motion to include all the male legislators as coauthors in the proposed House Resolution No. 490. Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. REP. ESCUDERO. Thank you. REP. CAYETANO. Mme. Speaker.

The Secretary General read the following House Resolutions on First Reading, and the Presiding Officer made the corresponding references: RESOLUTIONS House Resolution No. 490, entitled: "RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT TO THE FILIPINA ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN RAPED BY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER AT OKINAWA, JAPAN" By Representatives Villar, Hontiveros-Baraquel, Maza, Ilagan, Almario, Cayetano, Hofer, Binay, Soon-Ruiz, Villarosa, Limkaichong, Apostol, Chavez, Syjuco, Sy-Alvarado, Cari, Nicolas, Clarete, Teodoro, Susano, Jalosjos-Carreon, Cabilao, Jalosjos, Roman, Silverio, Enrile, Bonoan-David, Cajayon, Coscolluela, Hernandez-Reyes, Bondoc, AntoninoCustodio and Climaco TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES House Resolution No. 491, entitled: "RESOLUTION COMMENDING RETIRED BRIGADIER GENERAL BAYANI N. FABIC FOR HIS EXEMPLARY PERFORMANCE AS SERGEANT-AT-ARMS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FROM AUGUST 10, 1992 TO MARCH 3, 2008" By Representatives Nograles, Defensor (A.) and Zamora (R.) TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Majority Leader is recognized. REP. DEFENSOR (A.). Mme. Speaker, I move that we recognize the distinguished Lady from Taguig City-Pateros, the Honorable Cayetano. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Honorable Cayetano is recognized. REP. ESCUDERO. Mme. Speaker. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Honorable Escudero is recognized. REP. ESCUDERO. Mme. Speaker. Before we recognize our colleague, the Representative of Taguig City-Pateros, may I request that in the earlier

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Honorable Cayetano is recognized. ELECTION OF REP. RODRIGUEZ TO THE COMMITTEE ON AGRARIAN REFORM REP. CAYETANO. Mme. Speaker, we move to elect Congressman Rufus Rodriguez as an additional member of the Committee on Agrarian Reform for the minority. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. REP. CAYETANO. Mme. Speaker, likewise, we move to elect Congressmen Golez and Belmonte as members of the House contingent for the Bicameral Conference Committee on House Bill No. 3323. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. REP. CAYETANO. Thank you very much, Mme. Speaker. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Majority Leader is recognized. REP. DEFENSOR (A.). Mme. Speaker, I move that we take up the Business for the Day. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. SUSPENSION OF SESSION REP. DEFENSOR (A.). Mme. Speaker, I move that we vote on Second Reading on House Bill No. .... May I move for a few minutes suspension of the session, Mme. Speaker. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The session is suspended. It was 6:52 p.m.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 RESUMPTION OF SESSION At 6:54 p.m., the session was resumed with Speaker Prospero C. Nograles presiding. THE SPEAKER. The session is resumed. REP. DEFENSOR (A.). Mr. Speaker. THE SPEAKER. The Majority Leader is recognized. REP. DEFENSOR (A.). The House is in receipt of a letter from the Honorable Bayani N. Fabic tendering his resignation as Sgt-at-Arms of the House of Representatives which deserves to be read for the record. THE SPEAKER. The Majority Leader may please proceed. REP. DEFENSOR (A.). May I read: Honorable Prospero C. Nograles Speaker of House of Representatives Quezon City Dear Speaker Nograles: This is to formally inform you of my intention to retire from my position as House of Representatives Sergeant-atArms, effective this date, to avail of the retirement benefit package from the Government Service Insurance System under Republic Act No. 8291. Let me take this opportunity to thank the House of Representatives for giving me the honor to serve in this hallowed institution faithfully and judicially for more than 15 ½ years since the 10th of August 1992 with the distinction of having served five Speakers of the House of Representatives. I would not have weathered my tenure, marked with numerous challenges in each passing year without the wholehearted support and faith of this august Body. It is my fervent wish that this noble institution would remain strong and stable in preserving the moral high ground of the country and its citizenry. I remain. Very truly yours, Bayani N. Fabic SUSPENSION OF SESSION Mr. Speaker, with a heavy heart, may I move that we accept the resignation of the Honorable Bayani N. Fabic. THE SPEAKER. Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. REP. MITRA. Mr. Speaker. THE SPEAKER. The session is suspended. REP. DEFENSOR (A.). Mr. Speaker. It was 7:00 p.m. THE SPEAKER. The Majority Leader is recognized. RESUMPTION OF SESSION REP. DEFENSOR (A.). In view of the vacancy that has been created due to the acceptance by the House of At 7:02 p.m., the session was resumed.

95 Representatives of the resignation of General Fabic, I move that we proceed to the election of a new Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives. Mr. Speaker, may we recognize the Honorable Abraham Kahlil Mitra from the Second District of Palawan to make his nomination. THE SPEAKER. The distinguished Gentleman from the Second District of Palawan is recognized. REP. MITRA. Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank General Fabic for his long years of service in the Armed Forces of the Philippines as well as in the House of Representatives--15-and-a-half long years, serving us here in the House of Representatives. General Fabic, maraming salamat po. Proceeding to the business, Mr. Speaker, this is an opportunity that happens not often. I would like to take this chance to nominate a retired General from the Philippine Army, graduate of PMA Class 1974. He has been assigned initially in Mindanao as platoon leader during the secessionist movement in 1974, then in several areas in the Philippines, both in field duties, staff positions and command positions. His last assignment was the Sixth Division in Maguindanao, and he comes also from the Department of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Speaker, I would like to nominate Brigadier General Horacio P. Lactao as our new Sergeant-at-Arms. I so move, Mr. Speaker. REP. ABAYA. I second the motion, Mr. Speaker. ELECTION OF GEN. LACTAO AS SERGEANT-AT-ARMS THE SPEAKER. There is a motion by the Honorable Mitra, duly seconded on the floor. Is there any objection? (Silence)The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. REP. DEFENSOR (A.). There being no other nomination, Mr. Speaker, I move that the nominee be considered as unanimously elected. THE SPEAKER. There being no other nominee, and there being no objection, the election of the new Sergeant-atArms is deemed unanimous.

REP. DEFENSOR (A.). Mr. Speaker, may I move for a suspension of the session to allow the nominee, the newly elected Sergeant at-Arms, to have access to the floor and to take his oath before the Speaker and the members of his family.

96 THE SPEAKER. The session is resumed. May we ask the Members of the Chamber to please rise to witness the oath-taking of our new Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives. The Speaker will now administer the oath. The family--oh, the father and mother are both alive-- please join us. Brig. Gen. Horacio P. Lactao ascended the rostrum with his family and took his oath of office as Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives before the honorable Speaker Prospero C. Nograles. OATH-TAKING THE SPEAKER. Please raise your right hand and repeat after me. I, HORACIO P. LACTAO, having been elected to t h e p o s i t i o n o f S e rg e a n t - a t - A r m s , H o u s e o f Representatives, Fourteenth Congress, hereby solemnly swear that I will well and faithfully discharge to the best of my ability the duties of my present position and of all others I may hereafter hold under the Republic of the Philippines; that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Philippines; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the laws, legal orders, and decrees promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Republic of the Philippines; and that I impose this obligation upon myself voluntarily, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me, God. Congratulations. THE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS. Thank you very much, Sir. (Applause) GEN. FABIC. This is the mace of the House of Representatives, please accept it. THE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS. I accept it, Sir. (Applause) SUSPENSION OF SESSION THE SPEAKER. The session is suspended. It was 7:05 p.m. RESUMPTION OF SESSION At 7:11 p.m., the session was resumed with Rep. Nanette Castelo-Daza presiding. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The session is resumed. The Dep. Majority Leader is recognized. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we resume the Privilege Hour. And in line with this, Mme. Speaker, I further move that we recognize the Honorable Vicky Reyes for her privilege speech.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Chair recognizes the Honorable Vicky Reyes. PRIVILEGE SPEECH OF REP. REYES (V.) REP. REYES (V.). Thank you, Mme. Speaker. Mme. Speaker, our distinguished colleagues in this august Body, ladies and gentlemen, good evening. I rise tonight on the issue of personal and collective privilege on the occasion of the Women's Month to convey to this august Body my recognition of the Filipino women, particularly the rights guaranteed to them. In this modern age, I ask, is it still sensible to ask for equal rights for women? Throughout history, mankind had great women leaders and yet women are still seeking women empowerment. Here in the Philippines, although we have a woman or female President and lots of female leaders, do we still need laws and orders that regulate femininity? Do we still standardize the nature of the female sex? Mme. Speaker and honorable Members of this august Body, allow me to share the story of an unfortunate policewoman--trainee who because of her pregnancy might have lost her ambition to become a policewoman, a muchneeded force in our country today. The mother of Police Officer (PO) 1 Maria Meliza Robles went to my office requesting for my help. Her daughter was terminated from undergoing further training under the Public Safety Field Training Program-Field Training Exercise of the Philippine National Police and was ordered to return to her mother unit. In the Resolution for Termination of Training, it was stated that such was arrived at after learning that PO1 Robles, a married woman, was pregnant and therefore found to be physically and mentally unfit to continue the course. In her letter addressed to the director of the Philippine National Training Institute, Camp Vicente Lim, she admitted that she was pregnant and was very sorry that she violated a rule regarding pregnancy while undergoing the said training. Because she is my constituent, I intervened on her behalf and sent a letter to the Philippine National Police Regional Director of Region IV-A Calabarzon, Police Chief Superintendent Ricardo Ilagan Padilla, wherein I asked for the reconsideration of the case of PO1 Robles. However, my office received an answer from Police Chief Superintendent Padilla that the request cannot be considered because PO1 Robles is under Summary Dismissal Proceedings for non-completion of the required mandatory training program caused by her pregnancy which is a prerequisite for permanent appointment by the Civil Service Commission. Mme. Speaker and honorable Members, while it is admitted that a pregnant woman cannot continue police training that would require physical and mental exercises, it is still unfair that one policewoman or policewoman-trainee, a married woman, because of her pregnancy, should suffer extreme punishment of losing her job and her ambition. For humanitarian reasons, the Philippine National Police should have a more lenient regulation with regard to the welfare of policewomen or policewomen-trainees. Dismissal because of pregnancy is cruel when there can still be compassionate measures that can still ascertain the standard of our police

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 system. Married women who become pregnant during trainings should have an automatic readmission to the training to complete the course. There should have been some regulation that would only suspend her training until she becomes physically fit to continue her training. To do otherwise is like restricting the true nature of womanhood, especially of married women--our nature of carrying a human being in our body and giving birth. Mme. Speaker and honorable Members, I cannot say that this case is an isolated one. If this thing can happen to the Philippine National Police, it can also happen in other branches, departments, agencies or bureaus of our government. It can also happen in our Armed Forces, in the private sector, and in every Filipino family. And I firmly believe that it already happened and is still happening. Mme. Speaker and honorable Members, with our initiative, we should make bills that would guarantee women empowerment that would promote the true nature of womanhood and protect their rights. Thank you. Mabuhay ang mga kababaihan! Mabuhay tayong lahat and happy Women's Month! Thank you very much. (Applause) THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Dep. Majority Leader is recognized. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we recognize the Honorable Alvin Sandoval of Malabon City-Navotas. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Honorable Alvin Sandoval is recognized. PRIVILEGE SPEECH OF REP. SANDOVAL REP. SANDOVAL. Maraming salamat po, Mme. Speaker. Tumayo ho ako ngayon dahil bukas pipirmahan na ang panukalang batas patungkol sa Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). Ang topic ko ho ngayon ay aviation safety. Kanina ho, muntik ng magkaroon ng isa pang aksidente sa ating airport dahil ho sa Air Transportation Office (ATO). Isa hong check pilot ng ATO na ang pangalan ay Capt. Mario Teruel ang nag-eject ride ng isang helicopter pilot at sinabi niyang mag-short cut sa harap ng oncoming na Cathay Pacific 747 na nagla-landing. Ito ho ay utos niya sa estudyante at and sabi niya, "Kapag ako ang kasama mo, puwede iyan. Hindi puwede pag ikaw lang." Muntik na tayong maging headline na naman sa international news at sigurado, tatamaan ang ating ekonomiya, ang ating tourism. Hindi lang iyon, alam naman natin, ng ating mga kasama rito, karamihan ay mga taga-probinsya, kada lingo, bumabalik sa kanilang mga distrito at hindi nakikita ang kung anuman ang nasa harap ng eroplano. Hindi ninyo alam o hindi ninyo nakikita kung sakaling mamamatay na kayo. At dito ho, nangyayari iyan sa ating airport --mismo sa Manila. Itong example na ito kaninang umaga, hindi lang doon huminto. Habang binibigyan nitong si Capt. Mario Teruel ng check ride itong kandidato ay biglang kinuha niya ang controls ng helicopter na hindi siya qualified at ipinakita niya sa estudyante kung ano ang kaya niyang gawin.

97 Pagkagawa niya niyon ay na-damage niya ang helicopter na ito. Muntik na ho silang parehong namatay. Kaya pangalawang beses na ho iyon sa araw na ito. Kung sakali mang hindi tinamaan iyong eroplano sa runway, ito naman ho ay noong nagpapakita na ng maneuvers and kandidato, kinuha niya ang controls at muntik na silang nag-crash naman. Pangalawang aksidente na ho sana. Kung sakaling hindi pa kinuha ng estudyante ang controls, malamang namatay sila. Ito ang status ngayon ng ating aviation safety. Noong 2006 hanggang 2007, umakyat ng 400 percent ang aksidente sa Pilipinas sa aviation. Ngayong 2008, kauumpisa pa lang ng Marso, may limang aksidente na. Tayo na ang nagiging accident capital ng aviation. Last year, nagbungguan ang craft duster pilots. Dalawa ang namatay. Sa Cebu, ilan ang nag-crashed na? Nagbungguan din sa Plaridel ang dalawang eroplano last year. At noong Sabado lang, may isa na namang eroplano, sa Plaridel din, ang nagcrash. Ito ho ay dahil sa mga tao sa ATO. Marami ho ang nagsasabi na ang CAAP ay magiging solusyon sa ating problema para pumasa tayo sa FAA. Kaya lang, kung ang taong gagamitin natin ay pare-pareho rin, sila-sila rin, na sila mismo ang dapat nag-e-enforce ng safety, at sila rin mismo ang nagbaviolate nito. Dapat naman siguro piliin natin kung sino ang papasok sa CAAP na pipirmahang batas at i-cre-create bukas. Napakaraming problema natin at napakaraming opportunity ang mawawala sa ating mga piloto. Puwede ho tayong mablacklist--hindi lang ho ang ating ATO. Na-downgrade na tayo ng FAA. Kung hindi ho ang ating mga piloto, baka mas lalo pa tayong ma-blacklist sa international. Ngayon pa lang, ang flight schools natin na napakarami--more than 600 foreigners ngayon ang nag-aaral sa atin--isa-isang ipinasasara ngayon dahil ho sa mga aksidenteng ito. At ang India mismo na number one sa dami ng mga estudyante sa atin ay iba-blacklist na rin tayo dahil ho sa mga aksidenteng ito. Ang ating piloto mismo ay takot na mag-report sa ATO dahil pag nag­report sila, baka ma-blacklist at pag-initan at hindi bibigyan ng pilot's license. Ang nag-i-investigate ng aksidente sa aviation, ang ATO rin. Paano nila ipahihinto ang ganitong mga pangyayari sa ating air space na sila mismo ang nagba-violate? Paano nila i-investigate ang sarili nilang mga tao? Kung hindi natin ipahihinto ito, walang mangyayari sa atin maski na gumawa pa tayo ng CAAP kung iyan din ang mga taong makapapasok sa CAAP. Napakaimportante ng aviation para sa ating ekonomiya. Pag nawala sa atin ang ating capability para mag-train ng mga piloto na qualified internationally, mamamatay ho tayo. Ito ho ay backbone na ho ng ating bansa para sa ating ekonomiya--sa ating tourism. Huwag ho nating pababayaan ito. Kaya hinihiling ko po na ang lahat ng mga aksidente in the past three years mula noong 2006, review-hin nating lahat mga kasama, dahil hindi lang ho ang safety natin kundi safety na rin ng ating mga constituents ang nakasalalay dito. Dapat review-hin natin ito nang mabuti at usisain para makapagbigay tayo ng tamang changes sa ating Aviation Law. Iyon ho ang aking hinihingi. Sana naman ho mabigyang-pansin natin ito. Hindi ho mahihinto ang ating mga aksidente kapag hindi natin bibigyang-pansin ito. Maraming salamat po. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Dep. Majority Leader is recognized.

98 REP. PLAZA. Mr. Speaker. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, the Honorable Ompong Plaza would like to avail of the Privilege Hour. REP. PLAZA. Yes, Mme. Speaker. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Honorable Plaza is recognized. REP. PLAZA. Thank you, Mme. Speaker. I would just want to interpellate the Gentleman from Malabon CityNavotas if he would so accede. REP. SANDOVAL. Yes, I would gladly answer the questions. REP. PLAZA. Thank you, Mme. Speaker. As the Gentleman was delivering his personal and collective privilege, I was intently listening to what he was trying to point out to our colleagues here in Congress. He has mentioned that there is this helicopter pilot--I do not know if he can tell me again his name--who is supposedly a check pilot and was trying to check a student. But upon his instruction, went in through the pathway, glided through the path of the 747, or any commercial or international flight planes, which was coming in. Is that correct? REP. SANDOVAL. Yes, Mme. Speaker. REP. PLAZA. And again, the Gentleman mentioned that the check pilot grabbed the helicopter control on another occasion, so the helicopter suffered damages. Is that right? REP. SANDOVAL. That is correct, Mme. Speaker. REP. PLAZA. May I know exactly his name. REP. SANDOVAL. He is Captain Mario Teruel. REP. PLAZA. Teruel? REP. SANDOVAL. Yes. REP. PLAZA. How is he related to an officer from ATO? Is he in anyway related? REP. SANDOVAL. I think his son was one of the fatalities of the collision last year in Plaridel. I am not so sure, but I think that is what I heard. But I am not sure if there is any other Teruel who is related. REP. PLAZA. I just share the Gentleman's sentiments because I know that there are airspace regulations which should be strictly followed. But it appeared that the captain, the check pilot, made his own decision against a regulation. When did this happen? REP. SANDOVAL. This happened this morning. REP. PLAZA. My God! Can I have his name again, please.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 REP. SANDOVAL. Captain Mario Teruel. REP. PLAZA. Mario... REP. SANDOVAL. Teruel. REP. PLAZA. Teruel. The reason why I am very much interested is, if I would recall, sometime in the 90s, the ATO in fact was placed under the direct supervision of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), otherwise the general aviation or the Philippines will be blacklisted. And in so many instances or occasions, the Philippines was short of being blacklisted. So, the ICAO personnel were directly placed here to check all the aircrafts in the general aviation because of so many violations, Mme. Speaker, such as the annual inspection of the aircraft which does not really comply with its true requirements and the overhaul and repair of engines which do not really conform with the standard. This Representation was once a pilot student. I took my ground schooling at the Air Link. Three or four of my instructors all died in a plane crash. One was the flight towards Catanduanes, which was the Verceles case, wherein the Queen Air's left engine conked out that made the plane spin. The aircraft was due for overhaul, but that school did not comply with the requirements. Again, in another Queen Air, when it took off in Palawan, just 100 feet from the ground, its engine stopped. But, while on the ground, the pilot was already informed that something was terribly wrong with the aircraft. Again, in my experience, as we were coming back from Plaridel, on another occasion, we landed and taxied to the hangar. According to the books, when you remove, repair and open the engine of a plane and return it back, that should be subjected to a tedious process for flight check before any student or any passenger will be allowed to take that flight. However, to my dismay, I was surprised that immediately after that plane's engine was returned, students were already allowed to fly the plane for training. And to me, that was really glaring. So, this Representation immediately stopped pursuing his flying lessons because I sensed that one day I might be included in the list of those who died in a plane crash. And again, there are so many stories circulating in the general aviation that spare parts, whatsoever, do not comply with the yellow tag requirement once they are replaced. There is that requirement, the tag, when you buy the parts. But more often, these parts are sourced from Gandara--iyong mga high-pressured hose na sa tabi-tabi binibili o iyong hose ng truck ang inilalagay sa mga eroplano. Even the pistons are all just returned back even if they are already due for replacement, as well as the whole engine. So, I am just wondering and I thought for a while that since I came into the picture, there were reforms initiated already. Indeed, to my knowledge, since then, there were fewer air accidents. One, many aircrafts were grounded and found to be defective, or not compliant with the requirements. Two, I thought that all the necessary reforms were already initiated. Now, again, I hear this story coming from a distinguished colleague, not a story but a statement of facts, and I am wondering if there were really reforms in the ATO. You might know if there were any reforms initiated. REP. SANDOVAL. Yes, I thank the Gentleman very much for that comment. The ATO has made significant changes to their systems and lately has been implementing

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 much more strict inspections of the aircrafts, demanding real check flights, and testing of the aircraft personally instead of just an absentee flight check. There are already changes. But as I said, inside the ATO, there are several personalities and the higher you go up, the more that the systems will follow the people who are in charge. If the people do not value the safety, they will commit this kind of violations. In fact, in FAA rules, there is what they call a special federal aviation regulation for a specific model of the helicopter that was flown this morning, specifying that anyone who seeks to manipulate the controls of this particular helicopter should have gone through 50 hours of training and with certification. This Captain Teruel has not gone through that particular training and was not qualified to handle this particular helicopter which in the US requires special handling. And because of the fatality rate in the US, they made this particular regulation, but it was blatantly disregarded by our personnel in the ATO. How many other regulations are not being followed? We do not know. But the fact still remains--that accident rates have gone up tremendously in the past three years since 2006. That is in concert with the rise in foreign student applications here in the Philippines, signifying the importance of aviation internationally--that they are willing to go to the Philippines to augment their pilot population, especially in India. These demands to make quick bucks have already made the Philippines what they call the "diploma mill" in aviation. REP. PLAZA. Yes, I am interested in that statement, but I will go into that later on. The Gentleman was saying that under the requirements of that particular type of rotary aircraft, there is a minimum requirement before a pilot is released and allowed to fly it alone. The Gentleman mentioned that this Captain Teruel grabbed the controls and tried to take full control of the helicopter which was the cause of the accident. Has he logged any time on this particular type of helicopter? REP. SANDOVAL. I do not believe so. REP. PLAZA. Zero time? REP. SANDOVAL. He has logged time in the Huey helicopters in the Philippine Air Force, I believe, but not in this particular type of helicopter. REP. PLAZA. In other words, he is an experienced pilot in other types of helicopter. But just to establish, has the Gentleman checked exactly the time he has logged as a career pilot? REP. SANDOVAL. I do not have that information. The information I have is that he is not rated for that particular helicopter. But only having a rotary license, he also conducts checks on 747 pilots and other fix-winged pilots in the Philippines. Yes, so having only a rotary rating, he is also checking fix-winged pilots in the Philippines. REP. PLAZA. Yes, he was trying to make some requests and my mind frame was disturbed. But, Mme. Speaker, this issue is very important, if this issue matters. And I would like

99 to pursue my interpellation, so that the truth, the light will be shed and reforms can be initiated. This is a serious concern. Particularly, as the Gentleman said, that there are many students from different countries who would come to the Philippines to study ground school and take flying lessons. However, when they leave this country, many of them have already padded and logged more times than actually flown. In fact, we have been very liberal, that is why, I understand, one of those terrorists in the Manhattan crash or terrorist attack was trained here in the Philippines. Many foreigners from various countries would come. They love to come here and study, because they can pad their flying hours. The gravity that I would like to point out here, Mme. Speaker, is that truly, this will affect our tourism industry. Recently, the ICAO was in the picture again--I do not know if they really blacklisted the Philippines, but there was a travel advisory against our own airport because, again, for not being able to properly dispose of the rules and regulations. Again, we have this problem and certainly if that will come out in the newspaper, believe me or not, the international community will criticize the Philippines. Imagine, just because he is working with the ATO, a pilot who presumably has authority, deliberately abused his position by trying to get into the way of the glide path of that particular aircraft. Mme. Speaker, this is a serious matter. We do not want another plane crash again. Because if this will come out in the newapapers, maniwala po tayo, ang immediate reaction ay kabobohan o katangahan ito ng ating gobyerno. I may have used unparliamentary words, at least to point out what I wanted to, that apparently the ATO has always been remiss of their duty. Something must be done. This must be investigated, and if it will be proven then, therefore, the whole ATO office must be overhauled, from bottom to top. Because it is incumbent that there is a command responsibility. The ATO Chief must in fact resign from his position. And I would like to point out that to go into airspace allocated in the final glide path is a no-no. You do not try to grab or go in. There is always what you call a flight level. May kalsada po iyan. Ngayon, kung aagawin ninyo iyong kalsadang iyan--and I am sure he knew particularly that was the assigned glide path. That is why he was saying: "I am in control, ako ang check pilot." In other words, Mme. Speaker, for that statement, wow, to my mind, something is wrong with the brain of that pilot and his license must be immediately revoked thereafter. I am very much interested, and I suggest to the Gentleman to pursue the investigation, to file, and Congress as a whole must act on this because we cannot allow these things to happen again and again and again. Wala na yatang kasawaan diyan sa ATO. Lahat ng kalokohan, from check pilot to maintenance to repair. I do not know if the Gentleman will agree with me on that statement. Does the Gentleman fly? I am sure he does. So, is he not afraid that his license will be revoked or he will be given difficulty when it is time for him to renew his license? REP. SANDOVAL. Actually, yes, Mme. Speaker, I am a pilot, and I have been a pilot since 2002. And I have already over 470 hours in aircraft, and I am about

100 to take my check ride in a helicopter. That is why I am very concerned about the way the ATO is doing this. And we were discussing that with my brother who is also learning and trying to get his private pilot helicopter. REP. PLAZA. So, is the Gentleman not concerned or worried that the ATO will give him difficulty when the check pilot will ride with him to test his skills? REP. SANDOVAL. I believe that I am a competent pilot and I will be able to pass with flying colors. And bahala na. I mean, this is safety, regardless of what happens to me. REP. PLAZA. The Gentleman may pass with flying colors according to his appreciation. But remember, it is the check pilot that gives the grades, not him. REP. SANDOVAL. That is right. Mabuti na hong ako ang bumagsak at alam kong bumagsak ako dahil sa kagalingan ng pag-check sa akin ng check pilot kaysa pasa nang pasa. Alam ba ng Ginoo na ang Pilipinas has almost 100 perrcent passing ng piloto? Wala hong bumabagsak sa atin. Tayo ang pinakamagaling na bansa sa buong mundo. Sa dinami-dami o libu-libong nagtse-check ride sa atin kada taon, wala hong bumabagsak kahit isa. REP. PLAZA. In other words, the Gentleman is not afraid. REP. SANDOVAL. I am not afraid. Sana nga bumagsak ako. Para lang maipakita na ang ating standard ay tumataas. Sa US ho, two out of 10, mandatory na ibagsak ng check pilot. Mandatory ho iyon. Mamimili kayo kung sino ang babagsak. REP. PLAZA. In other words, the Gentleman is not afraid of the consequences that he may have to suffer as a .... REP. SANDOVAL. Hobby lang ho ang lipad para sa akin. Sa karamihan ho sa atin, especially sa flying public, buhay ho nating lahat ang nakasalalay dito. Kaya nga ho mabuti pang mag-umpisa silang magbaksak para ho gumaling ang ating mga piloto kaysa roon tayo sa isang piloto na nakalusot sa kanila na magiging sanhi ng susunod na major aviation accident dito ho sa atin. Hindi ho natin kayang gawin iyon. REP. PLAZA. In other words, as a pilot and as a Member of Congress, the Gentleman is now taking the cudgels for all the other pilots in general aviation to fight for what is right so that things through reforms can be initiated. REP. SANDOVAL. Yes, I believe that the Filipinos as a whole, as pilots, are good. But if we see that there are ways to shortcut safety, to shortcut our ratings, to shortcut the system, we will do it. And that is the ATO's lookout to make sure that we are producing safe pilots. REP. PLAZA. And the Gentleman believes that once there is true reform, this can be a very big industry also for our country.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 REP. SANDOVAL. It is a very big industry. The whole world needs roughly about 5,000 pilots a year. And we are already losing our pilots to other foreign carriers .... REP. PLAZA. Mme. Speaker, I am being rushed, I am sorry. But in closing, I would just want to congratulate the distinguished Gentleman for having the courage to expose what is supposed to be exposed, the wrongdoings in the ATO despite the fact that as a consequence, we know very well that the ATO as a regulatory body has enormous powers to possibly sanction the Gentleman and I know it is nice to fly. That is something that he will have to sacrifice probably along the way. So, again, I would like to thank the distinguished Gentleman for his courage. Thank you, Mme. Speaker. REP. SANDOVAL. Thank you, Mme. Speaker. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Dep. Majority Leader is recognized. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we refer all the privilege speeches delivered by the Lady legislators as well as the Honorable Sandoval to the appropriate committees. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence)The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we close the Privilege Hour. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. CONSIDERATION OF H.B. NO. 1821 ON SECOND READING PERIOD OF SPONSORSHIP AND DEBATE REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we consider House Bill No. 1821, embodied in Committee Report No. 282, as reported out by the Committee on Women and Gender Equality. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, since copies of the bill have been previously distributed, I move that we dispense with reading of the text of the bill. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. Consideration of House Bill No. 1821 is now in order. With the permission of the Body, the Secretary General will now read only the title of the bill without prejudice to inserting in the Record the text thereof.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 THE SECRETARY GENERAL. House Bill No. 1821, entitled: AN ACT DECLARING NOVEMBER TWENTY-FIVE OF EVERY YEAR AS "NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN". The following is the text of the bill: HOUSE BILL NO. 1821 Introduced by Gabriela Women's Party List Representatives Liza Largoza-Maza and Luzviminda C. Ilagan AN ACT DECLARING NOVEMBER TWENTY-FIVE OF EVERY YEAR AS "NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN" Be it enacted by the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Philippines in Congress assembled: SECTION 1. In recognition of the need to establish a comprehensive and structured campaign for national consciousness on anti-violence against women, November 25 or every year is hereby declred as a "National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women". SECTION 2. The following activities shall be undertaken in observance of this occasion: (a) Heads of government agencies and instrumentalities, government-owned and controlled corporations, local government units, and employers in the private sector shall, together with their employees, organize, engage or participate in activities designed to raise public awareness on the problem of violence against women and the elimination of all forms of violence against women. (b) The Philippine Information Agency shall be mandated to allocate a minimum of one hour airtime for programs exclusively raising public awareness on the problem of violence against women and the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Relative thereto, all Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas-affiliated television and radio networks nationwide are encouraged to allocate airtime for said programs. (c) Publishers of local newspapers and magazines are encouraged to highlight the problem of violence against women and the elimination of all forms of violence against women. (d) The Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, in coordination with the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), women non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other non-governmental organizations advocating for women's human rights, shall lead public and private school communities at all levels in organizing consciousness-raising activities on the problem of violence against women and the elimination of all forms of violence against women. SECTION 3. The National Statistics Office, Philippine National Police, the Department of Social Welfare and

101 Development, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Foreign Affairs and all Philippine embassies and consulates shall, in coordination with the NCRFW, undertake data gathering and systematization database on all forms of violence against women, including Filipino women working and/or residing abroad. These agencies shall consolidate their findings and make a report to the public on the statistics and status of violence against women every November 25 of each year. SECTION 4. A compliance and monitoring team headed by a duly designated representative of the NCRFW shall be created to coordinate and monitor the implementation of this Act. Said team shall be composed of one representative from each of the following agencies: (a) The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women; (b) The Department of Social Welfare and Development; (c) The Department of Education; (d) The Commission on Higher Education; (e) The Department of Interior and Local Government; (f) The Department of Foreign Affairs; (g) The Department of Justice; (h) The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration; (i) The Philippine Overseas Employment Agency; (j) The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board; and (k) Three NGO representatives coming from the sectors of women, children, and overseas Filipino workers. The team shall be headed by the duly designated representative of the National Commission on the Role of the Filipino Women. Members of the team shall receive emoluments as may be determined by the team in accordance with existing budget and accounting rules and regulations. SECTION 5. Funds for the implementation of the aforementioned activities, programs and projects shall be taken out of the 5% Gender and Development budget allocated to all government agencies and local government units. SECION 6. If, for any reason, any section or provision of this Act is held to be unconstitutional or invalid, the validity of other sections herein shall not be affected thereby. SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in two national newspapers of general circulation. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Dep. Majority Leader is recognized. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we now proceed to the period of sponsorship and that the Honorable Roman be recognized to deliver her sponsorship speech. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence)The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. The Honorable Herminia Roman is recognized to begin the sponsorship of the measure.

102 SPONSORSHIP SPEECH OF REP. ROMAN REP. ROMAN. Thank you, Mme. Speaker. Mme. Speaker, distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant good evening. As one of the women in the political arena and a staunch advocate for women's needs and concerns, I stand before you in this august Chamber to speak on behalf of the Filipino women. Violence Against Women or VAW is very alarming and numerous laws were enacted to respond to these concerns. But how many of us Filipinos are aware of the existence of these laws? Despite the laws on violence against women, rape, incest, sexual harassment and domestic violence still remain very serious concerns. Mme. Speaker, and my esteemed colleagues, I urge each of you to support the passage of this significant measure in the halls of Congress aimed to be an affirmative action to raise the level of consciousness of Filipinos on violence against women and at the same time to institutionalize the continuous conduct of the annual celebration. House Bill No. 1821 seeks to declare November 25 of every year as "National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women." This bill recognizes the need for the establishment of a comprehensive and structured campaign for national consciousness on antiviolence against women. As a historical background, a bill of the same nature earned the plenary nod during the Thirteenth Congress in the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, it was not acted upon by the Senate. As early as 1999, various women organizations have been commemorating November 25 as International Day Against Violence Against Women. And last November 25, 2007, there was a "Bike for a VAW-Free Zone" at the Quezon Memorial Circle which was one of the numerous activities for the 18-day campaign to end VAW. My honorable colleagues, once again, I bid all of you to support the passage of House Bill No. 1821. Open your eyes and ears to see and listen to the needs of all Filipino women. We are now celebrating anew the Women's Month this March and I am counting on each of you to join me in our crusade against VAW. We should give the Filipino women a gift: the immediate passage of House Bill No. 1821. Maraming salamat po at mabuhay ang mga kababaihan! THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Dep. Majority Leader is recognized. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I also move that the sponsorship speech of the Honorable Liza Maza be inserted in the Record. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence)The Chair hears none; the motion is approved.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 The sponsorship speech of the Honorable Liza Maza is hereby inserted in the Record. SPONSORSHIP SPEECH OF REP. MAZA Mme. Speaker, the Philippines has a long tradition of women's cultural, economic and social subordination that continues to retard women's comprehensive development and prevent their full participation in all aspects of life. Women's continuing subordination has made them vulnerable to all forms of violence and discrimination. In our attempt to address violence against women, Congress has passed several measures such as RA 9262 or Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act 2004, RA 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, RA 7877 or Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 195 and RA 8353 or Anti-Rape Law, and RA 8505 or Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998, a big leap to the efforts and contributions of legislators and women organizations in bringing into the fore the violence committed against women. Through these measures we have proven that Philippine legislation is at the forefront in recognizing the importance of addressing specific forms of violence against women. However, the fact remains that public awareness or consciousness on the laws continues to be minimal further realities of women's lives show that despite our legislative efforts, violence against women continues. Our legislative efforts must be complemented by a nationwide effort to change the mind-set and value system of society that value women's worth as secondary and invisible and that look at women as sex objects. House Bill No. 1821 or An Act Declaring November Twenty Five of Every Year as "National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women" is an affirmative action towards a gender sensitive and responsive consciousness that looks at women as equal partners of men in nation-building and development. This bill is in line with the United Nations Resolution 54/134 adopted on December 17, 1999 at the 54th Session of the United Nations General Assembly which declares November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Through this resolution, the UN called upon the international community to organize activities aimed at raising public consciousness about gender oppression every 25th of November annually to help eradicate gender violence. Countries in Latin America and the Carribean pioneered the international campaign against violence against women in honor of the brutal assassination in 1961 of the three Mirabal sisters, who fought for freedom from the dictatorship rule of Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic. From 1991 to 2003, approximately 137 countries with 1,700 organizations have participated in the annual commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Various organizations here in the Philippines together with NCRFW and UNIFEM Philippines have also taken part in these international celebrations. We cannot discount the dynamic contributions and campaigns carried out by women's organizations on ending violence against women in the Philippines. But these

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 endeavors are still very limited compared to the magnitude of the problem of violence against women. Violence against women flows into the cultural, economic and political veins of our society that a concerted effort is needed to inculcate into the consciousness of people the elimination of violence and subordination of women. This legislation hopes to address this gap. By declaring November 25 as the National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we shall be able to establish a comprehensive and structured campaign to raise the consciousness of the public against violence against women and toward its eventual elimination. This measure mandates heads of government agencies and instrumentalities, government-owned and controlled corporations, local government units and employers in the private sector together with their employees, to organize, engage or participate in activities designed to raise the public awareness on problem of violence against women and the elimination of all forms of violence against women. The media is also encouraged to highlight the said problem. The Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education together with the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), women nongovernmental organizations and other nongovernmental organizations advocating for women's human rights shall lead the public and private school and communities at all levels in consciousness-raising activities to eliminate violence against women. Lastly, the measure proposes that a monitoring team headed by a duly designated representative of the NCRFW shall be created to coordinate and monitor the implementation of this Act. Mme. Speaker, this bill is of utmost importance to women especially to those victims suffering in silence, as this is one of the problems that hinder their full development. I urge all Members of the House to approve this bill. Thank you. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move to close the period of sponsorship. REP. CAYETANO. Mme. Speaker, on the part of the minority... THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Honorable Cayetano is recognized. The Dep. Majority Leader is recognized. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we open the period of debate and interpellation. Mme. Speaker, I move that we recognize the Honorable Lani Cayetano. REP. CAYETANO. Mme. Speaker, on the part of the minority, no one will interpellate, so I move that we close the period of sponsorship and debate. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, on behalf of the majority, there being no Member who would wish to interpellate the Sponsor, we join the minority in closing the period of sponsorship and debate. I so move, Mme. Speaker.

103 THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). First, we terminate the period of sponsorship and then we terminate the period of debate. Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we now proceed to the period of committee amendments. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, on line 5, Section 3, a comma (,) is to be inserted after the word "Affairs". THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the amendment is approved. REP. GARIN. On the same line and section, Mme. Speaker, between the words "Affairs" and "and," insert the words THE COMMISSION ON FILIPINOS OVERSEAS (CFO). THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the amendment is approved. REP. GARIN. On line 24, Section 4, Mme. Speaker, subsection "(j)," delete the word "and" after the semicolon. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the amendment is approved. REP. GARIN. After subsection "(j)," Mme. Speaker, insert a new subsection that shall read as: (K) THE COMMISSION ON FILIPINOS OVERSEAS (CFO); AND. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the amendment is approved. REP. GARIN. Lastly, Mme. Speaker, for the last committee amendment, I move that the subsection "(k)" shall be redenominated as subsection (L). THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence)The Chair hears none; the amendment is approved. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we recognize the Honorable Lani Cayetano.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Honorable Cayetano is recognized.

REP. CAYETANO. Mme. Speaker, I move to close the period of committee amendments.

104 THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). There is a motion to close the period of amendments.... REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, on the part of the majority, there being no more committee amendments, the members of the majority would like to join the minority in moving for the closure of the period of committee amendments. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. The period of committee amendments is hereby closed. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we open the period of individual amendment. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we recognize the Honorable Lani Cayetano. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Honorable Cayetano is recognized. REP. CAYETANO. There being no individual amendments, I move to close the period of individual amendments. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, on behalf of the majority, we join the minority in said motion. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). There is a motion to close the period of individual amendments. Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I further move for the approval of Huse Bill No. 1821 on Second Reading. Prior to that, I move that we include as additional c o a u t h o r s t h e H o n o r a b l e R e n e Ve l a r d e a n d t h e Honorable Arthur Defensor. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence)The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. REP. GARIN. Thank you, Mme. Speaker. I further move that we approve House Bill No. 1821, as amended, on Second Reading. VIVA VOCE VOTING THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). There is a motion to approve House Bill No. 1821, as amended, on Second Reading. As many as are in favor of the motion, please say aye. SEVERAL MEMBERS. Aye.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). As many as are against, please say nay. FEW MEMBERS. Nay. APPROVAL OF H.B. NO. 1821 ON SECOND READING THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The ayes have it; House Bill No. 1821, as amended, is hereby approved on Second Reading. CONSIDERATION OF H.RES. NO. 490 PERIOD OF SPONSORSHIP REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we consider House Resolution No. 490. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, since copies of the resolution have been previously distributed, I move that we dispense with reading of the text of the resolution. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence)The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. Consideration of House Resolution No. 490 is now in order. With the permission of the Body, the Secretary General will now read only the title of the resolution without prejudice to inserting in the Record the text thereof. THE SECRETARY GENERAL. House Resolution No. 490, entitled: RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT TO THE FILIPINA ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN RAPED BY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER AT OKINAWA, JAPAN The following is the text of the resolution: HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 490 Introduced by Rep. Cynthia A. Villar, et al. RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT TO THE FILIPINA ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN RAPED BY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER AT OKINAWA, JAPAN WHEREAS, we received confirmed reports that a Filipina woman (whose identity is still being withheld) was alleged to have been raped by a United States Army serviceman sometime in February 2008 in Okinawa, Japan. WHEREAS, we strongly denounce the recent rape incident committed against the Filipina who, as a result of the act, is expected to be experiencing severe emotional distress in a foreign country; WHEREAS, as women legislators and strong advocates of women's rights, we uphold that, regardless of their nationality and social standing, women should never be made victims of rape or any form of sexual abuse;

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 WHEREAS, we believe that no foreigner shall have the right to besmirch to dignity of our nation by defiling the dignity of Filipino women; WHEREAS, we recognize that there is already a history of cases of sexual abuse of Filipino women and youth by foreigners, the most recent publicized case of which was the rape of victim "Nicole" sometime in November 2005; WHEREAS, our previous call for unity and support to condemn any form of abuse of women should be continuous and should never falter and that we should ensure that the Filipina victim gets the necessary support and assistance from our government, which includes legal assistance in the criminal case she filed or intends to file against the perpetrator; WHEREAS, we express our deepest support to the victim and her family and declare herein that we will do all that is necessary within the bounds of law and to the best of our abilities to ensure that the perpetrators of sexual abuse be brought to justice. NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, AS IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, we express our deepest sympathy to the Filipina victim or rape in Okinawa, Japan and her family and thus undertake to recommend and work on appropriate legislative measures to protect the dignity of women and guarantee the swift administration of justice for all victims of rape and other forms of sexual abuse. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). The Dep. Majority Leader is recognized.

105 REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that all Members of the Fourteenth Congress be considered coauthors of the said resolution. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. ADOPTION OF H. RES. NO. 490 REP. GARIN. I further move, Mme. Speaker, that we adopt House Resolution No. 490. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence)The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. House Resolution No. 490 is adopted. ADJOURNMENT OF SESSION REP. GARIN. Mme. Speaker, I move that we adjourn the session until four o'clock, tomorrow afternoon. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Castelo-Daza). Is there any objection? (Silence)The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. The session is adjourned until four o'clock tomorrow afternoon. It was 8:02 p.m.

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