Increasing the tax share of LGUs: Senator Sonny Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, discusses a proposed measure seeking to increase the share of local government units (LGUs) in national taxes from 40 percent to 50 percent during a public hearing, Tuesday, February 20, 2018. “Nauunawaan po natin ang pangangailangan ng mga lokalidad para sa tama at patas na alokasyon sa kita ng gobyerno. Atin pong nilalayon ngayon na maging sapat ang alokasyon para sa lahat ng LGUs upang matulungan silang umunlad at umahon sa kahirapan,” Angara said. (PRIB Photo by Albert Calvelo/AYA/20 February 2018

Sen. Cynthia Villar talks on urban agriculture and agripreneurship: Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, chair of the Senate committees in agriculture and food, says that food security and availability are two essential needs of every developing nation like the Philippines. She was the Guest Speaker during the seminar on urban agriculture and entrepreneurship sponsored by Villar SIPAG in partnership with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Region 4A, held at the VILLAR SIPAG Farm School in Bacoor, Cavite.


Ethics Committee dismisses case filed against De Lima: The Senate Ethics Committee, chaired by Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, unanimously approved a motion by Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon to dismiss the ethics case filed against detained Senator Leila de Lima by leaders of the House of Representatives for telling her former aide to snub a legislative investigation. (PRIB Photo by Joseph Vidal/AYA/20 February 2018)

Rehabilitating Marawi: Senator JV Ejercito, chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Housing under the Ad Hoc Committee on Marawi Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian listen to Marawi City officials led by Mayor Madjul Gandamra as they discuss the government’s housing and rehabilitation plan to expedite the reconstruction and recovery of the province. Also discussed during the Senate hearing were the construction of temporary and permanent shelters for the displaced residents of Marawi, as well as the restoration of water, electricity and other public utilities. Malacañang said the government would need an initial P5 billion for the rehabilitation of Marawi. (PRIB Photo by Albert Calvelo/AYA/20 February 2018)

A rose among the thorns: Senator Risa Hontiveros is joined by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, some members of the Commission on Appointments, and the newly-confirmed ad interim appointees of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Hontiveros led the motion to confirm appointments of said AFP members.

Senate pays tribute to Marawi heroes: The Senate, led by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, pays tribute to the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippines (PNP) for their bravery in fighting against the Maute-Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in Marawi City. The AFP and PNP Commandos, led by Captain Jommel Ray Parreño (1st row,8th from left) and Captain Aris Gerero (1st row,10th from left), graced this Monday’s session where they were presented a Senate resolution honoring their heroism in fighting off terrorists in Marawi City. Senators who are also in the photo are (1st row, left to right) Senator Gregorio Honasan, Senator Risa Hontiveros, Senator Richard Gordon, Senator Grace Poe, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Senator Sonny Angara, Senator Nancy Binay, Senator Migz Zubiri, Senator JV Ejercito, (2nd row, left to right) Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and (3rd row) Senator Joel Villanueva. (PRIB Photo by Alex Nueva Espana/OIC/ January 22, 2018)

26th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum: Senator Loren Legarda at the Third Plenary Session: Regional Cooperation in Asia-Pacific of the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF). Legarda, Head of the Philippine Delegation, explains the Philippine-sponsored “Resolution Calling for Regional Cooperation on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CCAM),” which she authored. The Senator sought the adoption of the Philippine Resolution as a stand-alone document, stressing that its inclusion of DRR and emphasis on the need for national adaptation plans sent a distinct and important message that could not be subsumed under the other proposals, to which the body acceded. The Philippine Resolution was adopted as APPF26 Resolution No. 10.

Villanueva receives Thomasian Alumni Award for Government Service: Senator Joel Villanueva on Sunday received the Thomasian Alumni Award for Government Service from the University of Santo Thomas Alumni Association for being an outstanding alumnus who served as catalyst for change in public service. (L-R) UST Alumni Assoc. President Henry Tenedero, UST Grand Alumni Homecoming Chairman John Simon, Senator Joel Villanueva, UST Office of Alumni Relations Director Cherry Tanodra, Ms. Maureen Pickering of UST College of Tourism

Investigating the PCSO: Senate Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate Games and Amusement Committee, on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, asks officials of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) led by its general manager, Alexander Balutan, to explain the controversies currently surrounding the agency, and allegations of corruption in the operation of the small town lottery (STL). The STL issue was brought up recently by PCSO chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz and Balutan after they have accused PCSO board member Sandra Cam of trying to unseat them in order to take over the helm and help her friend Charlie “Atong” Ang monopolize STL operations. (PRIB Photo by Joseph Vidal/AYA/24 January 2018).Regulating the ERC: Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, stressed that the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has a definitive role in safeguarding the interests of the public and should “provide greater confidence that regulatory decisions are made on an objective, impartial and consistent basis, without conflict of interest, bias or improper influence” during a hearing, Tuesday, January 16, 2018. Gatchalian is the author of the proposed ERC Governance Act of 2017, which seeks to ensure transparency and greater accountability in the regulation of the distribution and transmission sector of the country’s power industry. Also in photo is Senator Loren Legarda. (PRIB Photo by Albert Calvelo/AYA/16 January 2018)

Sen. Cynthia Villar at the 5th International Gamefowl Festival:  Sen. Cytnhia Villar leads the ribbon-cutting ceremony to kick the opening of the 5th International Gamefowl Festival at the SMX Convention Center Halls in MOA. Also in the photo with the senator are (L-R): Ricardo Alba, President and COO, UNAHCO; Abraham Khalil Mitra, Chairman, Games and Amusement Board; Pasay City 1st district Councilor Mark Anthony Aguas Calixto; Gamefowl endorser Nene Abello and Melchor De Asis, Chairperson,Metro Manila Fanciers Club. The three-day trade show will highlight the best practices being conducted to boost the country’s gamefowl industry.PIMENTEL ATTENDS BBL BRIEFING: Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III (right) fields questions to members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission during the briefing on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, Wednesday, December 20, 2017. The bill would establish the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, which would replace the existing Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Also in photos are (R-L) Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, along with Senator Juan Edgardo Angara and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon. (PRIB Photo by Cesar Tomambo/ 20 December 2017)


Blue Ribbon Committee, greets former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino (right) III before the start of the hearing on the P3.5 billion worth of questionable dengue vaccines that had been administered by the Department of Health (DOH) to 280,000 students nationwide allegedly without passing through World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification requirements. (PRIB Photo by Cesar Tomambo/ December 14, 2017)

SEN. CYNTHIA VILLAR BATS FOR QUALITY FOODS: Sen. Cynthia A. Villar calls on the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards (BAFPS) to continue touphold consumer protection and food safety through the implementation of quality standards and strict certification procedures. The senator, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, was the Guest of Honor during the 19th founding anniversary of BAFPS. She also led the ribbon-cutting ceremony during the celebration.

A NIGHT OF FINE MUSIC:  Over 2,000 music enthusiasts led by Senators Franklin Drilon (3rd from left),



Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV (not in photo) and Risa Hontiveros (3rd from right) give the Manila SymphonyOrchestra (MSO) a standing ovation after their performance at the Iloilo Convention Center on August 26, 2017. Dubbed as “Symphonies and Soundtracks,” the 55-ensemble orchestra, performing under the batonof Maestro Arturo Molina, played soundtracks from the hit television series “Game of Thrones” and “Harry Potter”. The MSO is one of the first orchestras in Asia, established by Viennese conductor Alexander Lippay in 1926. (PRIB Photo by Joseph Vidal)

SCRUTINIZING THE JUDICIARY’S BUDGET: Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on finance, listens as Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon question officials of the Supreme Court (SC) about the high number of vacant positions in the judiciary. Legarda, for her part, expressed concern over the SC’s unobligated funds amounting to P17.6 billion, which the high tribunal has to spend before the availability of the fund expires at the end of the year. “The SC has P17,610,506 billion unobligated allotments so, of your total budget of P30.2 billion as of June, you have P17.6 billion you have to spend in the next five months,” said Legarda during a budget hearing Wednesday, August 30, 2017. (PRIB Photo by Alex Nuevaespaña)


 Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, together with Senators Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV (left) and Antonio Trillanes IV (right) discuss the testimony of Chen Ju Long, alias Richard Chen/Tan, whose firm Hong Fei Logistics was the registered origin of 600 kilos of shabu or metamphetamine hydrochloride found in a warehouse in Valenzuela City last May. The committee, on Tuesday, August 29, 2017, resumed its hearing into the P6.4-billion shabu shipment that slipped past the Bureau of Customs (BOC). (PRIB Photo by Romeo Bugante)
DENR 2017 BUDGET : Environment Committee Chairperson Cynthia Villar  told Department ofEnvironment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu to make sure that the P7.2 billion budget for the National Greening Program will be put to good use with more trees planted and more areas covered for reforestation. The Committee on Finance joint with Villar’s committee conducted the hearing on the P27.9 billion proposed 2018 budget of DENR last Tuesday.
SHABU SHIPMENT PROBE: Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, urges the cooperation of the People’s Republic of China in the country’s investigation of P6.4 billion of illegal drugs found in Valenzuela last May. During the continuation of the Senate probe on the issue on Thursday, August 31, 2017, Gordon said that the Chinese government needs to work with the country in fighting the spread of illegal drugs, given the number of Chinese citizens who have been actively participating in the local drug trade. “I am scared that if this continues to happen, we will really become a narco-state,” he said. Also in photo is Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. (PRIB Photo by Alexis Nuevaespaña) 

CA CONFIRMS NEW AFP OFFICERS: Senate President and Commission on Appointments chair Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III pose with officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) whose promotions were confirmed during the CA’s plenary session, Wednesday, August 30, 2017. The newly promoted officers are (from left), Lieutenant General Rafael Valencia, Major General Casiano Monilla, Major General Arnel Duco, and Brigadier General Fidel Igmedio Cruz, Jr. (PRIB Photo by Cesar Tomambo)


 Senator Sonny Angara (3rd from right), chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means together with Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel (2nd from right) and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian (right) listen to resource persons during the 14th hearing on Thursday, August 17, 2017 on the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN bills. The tax reform measures being pushed by the Duterte administration seek to generate P130 billion in tax revenues, which would be used to “help finance the government’s massive infrastructure program.” (PRIB Photo by Romeo Bugante/17 August 2017)


Alarmed by the rise of gender-based electronic violence, Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros, chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, tells resource persons during a Senate hearing, Wednesday, August 23, 2017, that “there is an urgent need to institute protective measures and strategic policies to combat the prevalence of the rape culture in our society which leads to physical sexual assault and other forms of violence against our women and children.” Hontiveros is the author of Senate Bill 1251 which penalizes online harassment including threats based on a person’s gender or sexual orientation. (PRIB Photo by Albert Calvelo)


Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero (2nd from left), chair of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, presides over a Senate hearing, Wednesday, August 23, 2017, looking into reports alleging that Commission on Elections (COMELEC) chair Andy Bautista has 35 separate accounts with Luzon Development Bank (LDB) – 30 accounts at the Fort Bonifacio branch and five (5) accounts at the Makati City branch, totalling P329 million. Bautista’s wife, Patricia, had earlier revealed that her husband had several passbooks from two branches of the LDB. Escudero wanted to know whether the ill-gotten wealth allegations made against Bautista were true, and whether the banks helped hide his alleged wealth. Senators (from left) Grace Poe, Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Franklin Drilon also attended the hearing. (PRIB Photo by Romeo Bugante)

WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION: Saying that the “tara” system shows that there’s a systemic corruption in the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Senator Panfilo Lacson in a privilege speech during Wednesday’s plenary session presented a list of alleged players, bagmen and collectors of payola involved in the corruption activities within the BOC. “If government allows smuggling of illegal drugs, it is impossible to win war against drugs. It is time to bring the intensity of war against drugs to the war against corruption,” Lacson said. (PRIB Photo by Romeo Bugante)

the noblest motive is the greatest good for the greatest number