Francis Escudero

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Winning doesn't necessarily mean you're right. History will be a better judge of that. But that's the beauty of democracy — you believe what you believe, I believe what I believe, and as long as we're not hurting each other, that's fine.

Francis Escudero (born October 10, 1969) is a Filipino politician.

2015[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • Implementing a universal health coverage plan without making sure that there are enough facilities and quality health workers means spending a lot of money with little chance of better health results, especially for the most marginalized sectors of society.
  • As much as possible, the government should purchase brand new military hardware if it really wants to modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which is widely regarded as one of the weakest military forces in Southeast Asia. If we are going to pour in billions of pesos to improve the AFP, we might as well give our soldiers the best modern and sophisticated equipment we can get.
  • The government has to be proactive and prepare for the worst-case scenario. Our farmers have to be given all kinds of assistance to make up for the projected crop losses because of the drying up of farmlands. Our farmers are going to need all the help they can get in the coming months, and national agencies should be ready to work with local governments to pull our farmers through this difficult season.
  • Our roads have become safety hazards in themselves. The government should step up in securing the well-being of motorists and the riding public by upgrading and regulating the country’s road infrastructures, which have been neglected for so long.
  • There is a need to put in place regulations that will promote a uniform and consistent standard for the design and installation of road signs, waiting sheds, streetlights, speed bumps and other road infrastructure not only to promote safety, but also to advance aesthetics throughout the country’s thoroughfares.
  • These legal disputes hinder the adequate education of our youth. It has negative impacts on the overall development of the nation in tapping and harnessing the talents of the Filipino youth, if schools, considered as their second abode, is constantly threatened with legal disputes and uncertainties. We have seen and heard cases that upon the death of the donors, heirs claim ownership of the land through revocation of the original donation. These result to endless court litigations. The passage of this bill will pave the way for simplifying the process of land titling registration of almost 90 percent of school sites in favor of the DepEd.
  • I believe that it behooves me to step down at this juncture to ensure that deliberations on the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) — considered the single most important piece of legislation passed by Congress each year — are untainted by suspicions or perceptions of partisan politics. It is, Mr. President, what propriety requires; it is, I believe, what our people expect from us all: delicadeza.
  • The NTC should start cracking the whip and fix the system immediately. It cannot be business as usual anymore. Let’s do away with the mentality of just accepting the present situation and start doing something about it. he problem is that government agencies that are supposed to monitor these telcos and help consumers don’t seem to feel the urgency of the situation.
  • We need to participate in the very process of electing into office people we believe are deserving. And this long process – sometimes viewed as tedious – starts with having yourself registered properly.
  • It’s sad to say but agriculture remains to be a poor man’s sector. Despite being a huge asset to national development, agriculture has been the most neglected and least understood sector of the nation’s economy.
  • It’s a step backwards after having fully automated elections previously. Returning to manual elections is a cause for serious concern due to its dangerous implications on the country’s electoral process.
  • The current situation in the country is, sad to say, unacceptable. The state of internet speed is pathetic, and unless we remedy this situation, our IT sector is likely to suffer in the long term.

Twitter Feed[edit]

  • In a democracy, the search for the truth and the right to peaceably assembly and petition government for redress of grievances should co-exist. These rights are not mutually exclusive and both should be simultaneously pursued, guaranteed and defended in accordance with the Constitution.
    • Francis Escudero Twitter feed: @SayChiz (11:26 p.m. 2015 September 2015).
  • Senate Bill 2886 seeks to standardize sheds, street signs and lights, and markers nationwide. Roads, sidewalk pavements, signs and speed bumps should not vary depending on where you live. It should be uniform and standardized.
    • Francis Escudero Twitter feed: @SayChiz (8:38 p.m. 2015 August 15).
  • Humble but not humbled in defeat. Manny was, is, and will always be the better man vs Floyd. My hats off to Manny!
    • Francis Escudero Twitter feed: @SayChiz (12:58 p.m. 2015 May 3).

Letter to Senate President Franklin Drilon[edit]

Letter to Senate President Franklin Drilon (28 July 2015).
  • I write to tender my irrevocable resignation as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee on Finance and as co-chairman of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Public Expenditures, effective immediately.
  • I thank the honorable Senate President for entrusting the undersigned with the critical responsibility of managing the Senate's role in fulfilling Congress' duty to oversee the Executive Department's use of public funds and to ensure the allocation of the same is guided by what is in the best interests of our people.
  • However, given my public pronouncements regarding a possible candidacy for higher office in 2016, I believe that it behooves me to step down at this juncture to ensure that deliberations on the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) - considered the single most important piece of legislation passed by Congress each year - are untainted by suspicions or perceptions of partisan politics.
  • It is, Mr. President, what propriety requires; it is, I believe, what our people expect from us all: delicadeza.
  • I nonetheless reiterate my commitment, as a member of the majority bloc in the Senate, to exert efforts to ensure the timely passage of the GAB. I likewise pledge to play an active role in initiatives to put in place strong and categorical safeguards in the GAB to guarantee that it complies with the decision of the Supreme Court (i.e. Belgica v. Ochoa and Araullo v. Aquino) and that it will not be used as a tool for partisan political interests.
    • Letter to Senate President Franklin Drilon (2015 July 28).

2014[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • Some of our fellow Filipinos were oppressed abroad, why would we put a foreigner on a pedestal and give him special treatment more than the Filipinos in their own land?
  • The continuing role of the government is to remove barriers and provide wider access to healthcare assistance which is a universal basic service.
  • I totally agree that there is an implementation cost needed to actuate a program. And yes, we need to monitor the implementation of our programs and projects to ensure accountability and judicious use of public funds, but it should not be that expensive. Our government already has an existing machinery and mechanism to precisely do that. We have the Commission on Audit, why do we need this redundancy of functions?
  • We cannot just sit idly by and watch while our laws are being subverted. If we cannot defend, protect nor assist our fellow Filipino right here in our own soil, what chilling message do we get out there to our people and especially to those who are outside Philippine soils?
  • If we are shocked by reports about policemen owning prime properties then all the more should we be angered by the fact many police officers rent rooms no bigger than a pig pen.
  • I have never allocated public funds using the PDAF or budgetary incentives to any fictitious NGOs created by Janet Napoles or anyone to steal people’s money.
  • My problem here is quite simple. Those who have plundered the national coffers in billions get to stay in Sta. Rosa or any hospital much to their comfort. Those whose crimes pale so much in comparison with Napoles – the cell phone snatchers and the street snatchers – languish in cramped and dingy jails. It’s like teaching our children that if they must steal, steal big so at least you get to be jailed in the comfort of those special cells.
  • I have been espousing for transparency in government to curb graft and corruption. I filed this bill on waiver on bank secrecy in 2010 and continuously pursues this advocacy in the Senate.
  • The Philippines, as a country deemed democratic and developing, cannot rest on its antiquated laws that run detrimental and contrary to the exercise of freedom. Decriminalizing libel accords greater protection to freedom of speech and expression.

Twitter Feed[edit]

  • There should be a top-to-bottom revamp of the Bureau of Corrections. Replacing the head is not enough. That has been done several times before a didn't work.
    • Francis Escudero Twitter feed: @SayChiz (12:14 p.m. 16 December 2014).

Speech: Sponsorship Speech for the FY 2015 National Budget[edit]

  • As the year draws to a close, the Congress of the Philippines is once more mandated by the Constitution to enact a national budget for the ensuing year. Section 29(1), Article VI of the Constitution provides that “No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation by law.” And so today, Mr. President, I rise to sponsor, as Chairman of your Committee on Finance, the General Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2015.
  • As the year draws to a close, the Congress of the Philippines is once more mandated by the Constitution to enact a national budget for the ensuing year. Section 29(1), Article VI of the Constitution provides that “No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation by law.” And so today, Mr. President, I rise to sponsor, as Chairman of your Committee on Finance, the General Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2015.
  • And why the need for a tightrope balancing act in the execution of the FY 2015 national budget, particularly with respect to the Supreme Court decision on the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program?
  • First, Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, the facts. About a year ago, the legislative mill nearly came to a halt when the Supreme Court decision on the unconstitutionality of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the pork barrel system radically altered the budget landscape. Declared as unconstitutional by the High Court were the following, and I quote:
  • a) the entire 2013 PDAF Article;
  • b) all legal provisions of past and present Congressional Pork Barrel Laws, such as the previous PDAF and CDF Articles and the various Congressional Insertions which authorize/d legislators – whether individually or collectively organized into committees – to intervene, assume or participate in any of the various post-enactment stages of the budget execution, such as but not limited to the areas of project identification, modification and revision of project identification, fund release and/or fund realignment, unrelated to the power of congressional oversight;
  • c) all legal provisions of past and present Congressional Pork Barrel Laws, such as the previous PDAF and CDF Articles and the various Congressional Insertions which confer or conferred personal, lump-sum allocations to legislators from which they are able to fund specific projects which they themselves determine;
  • d) all informal practices of similar import and effect, which the Court similarly deems to be acts of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction; and
  • e) the phrase, if I may quote, (1) “and for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President” under Section 8 of Presidential Decree No. 910 and (2) “to finance the priority infrastructures development projects” under Section 12 of Presidential Decree No. 1869, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1993, for both failing the sufficiency of standard test in violation of the principle of non-delegability of legislative power.
  • Mr. President, barely half a year after the controversial Supreme Court decision scrapping the pork barrel system in the national budget, the equally contentious jurisprudence on the Disbursement Acceleration Program, a.k.a. the infamous DAP, emerged out of the hallowed chambers of the highest court in the land.
  • The 92-page court en banc decision penned by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin ruled that there are three (3) acts and practices under the DAP which are deemed “UNCONSTITUTIONAL for being in violation of Section 25(5), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and the doctrine of separation of powers.”
  • First. According to the court, the withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies, including the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year, without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriations Acts (GAA).
  • Second. The cross-border transfer of the savings of the Executive to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the Executive.
  • Third. The funding of projects, activities, and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in the GAA. The law prohibits, according to the court, the augmentation of a non-existent program, activity, or project with an appropriation in terms of specific allotment classes, either Personal Services, Maintenance and other Operating Expenses, and/or Capital Outlays within the subject GAA.
  • Apart from these three acts, Mr. President, the Court further declared VOID “the use of unprogrammed funds despite the absence of a certification by the National Treasurer that the revenue collections exceeded the revenue targets for non-compliance with the conditions provided in the relevant GAA.”
  • To be sure Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, this landmark decision will significantly alter the budget landscape if Congress is to make the 2015 GAA compliant with the Supreme Court decision. After all, this controversial ruling upheld the legislative power of the purse by clipping the powers of the President to unilaterally realign savings in the national budget to any item, whether in the executive, legislative, or judiciary, sans any legislative imprimatur.
  • Adjustments, Mr. President, will have to be made by Congress to correct and rectify things, and certain processes will have to be implemented to hasten and facilitate the implementation of projects without violating the Supreme Court decision, and yet without impairing the Executive branch’s need for flexibility in the budget execution phase --- just like, Mr. President, treading a veritable tightrope, if I may say so. If and when these adjustments are effected, Mr. President, only then can we perhaps say that truly, the legislative power of the purse is a myth no more. Now Mr. President, what is the President’s proposed budget under the N.E.P. which they aptly titled toward inclusive and sustained development.
  • The President’s Budget: Towards Inclusive and Sustained Development

Quoting the Department of Budget and Management verbatim, “The Aquino administration crafted this proposed P2.606 trillion National Budget for 2015 anchored on the premise that no one, especially the poor and vulnerable, should be left behind. Through this Budget, the government intensifies its investments in priority programs and projects that seek to achieve Inclusive and Sustained Development.”

  • The President’s proposed budget for FY 2015 under the N.E.P. or the National Expenditure Program amounts to P2.606 trillion, reflecting an increase of P341.372 billion or 15.07% higher than the Fiscal Year 2014 budget. It is anchored on a real GDP projection of 7-8%, an inflation rate of 2-4%, 364-day T-Bill rate of 2-4%, and a foreign exchange rate of P42-45 to the dollar.
  • Total Revenues amounting to P2.337 trillion will finance the proposed 2015 national budget, representing a Revenue Effort of 16.5% and a growth rate of 15.8%. Tax Revenues, Mr. President, in particular, is targeted at P2.194 trillion, representing a Tax Effort of 15.5%.
  • The Revenue Program for 2015 includes incremental revenues of P50.63 billion from R.A. No. 10351 or the Sin Tax Reform Law of 2012.
  • In terms of the distribution by sector, the biggest share of 37.1% is allotted for Social Services, which has registered the highest increase among the sectors for the past four consecutive years due to the substantial increases for the Conditional Cash Transfer Program and the increased allocation for education. Economic Services, with a share of 26.9%, constitutes the 2nd highest portion, 48% of which will be allotted for the sub-sector of communications, roads and other transport.
  • General Public Services will acquire the next highest share at 16.2%, followed by Debt Burden which will obtain 15.3% of the total budget. Although the Defense Sector will get the lowest share at 4.4%, it will reflect the highest percentage increase at 29% inclusive of an additional P25.988 billion for the General Headquarters, AFP, AFW-Wide Service Support units for its modernization program and an additional P9.497 billion to be sourced from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF). Let me now proceed Mr. President to the House-approved Budget or the General Appropriations Bill.
  • The House-approved Budget

The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 4968, appropriating P2.606 trillion national budget last October 29,2014, taking into consideration some errata submitted by the DBM which consisted of realignments within and among agencies amounting to P43,645,148,000.

  • A comparative analysis of the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) will similarly show that a total of P19,827,233,000 was realigned within and among the agencies. Total New Appropriations still stands at P1.862 trillion, at exactly the same level as the FY 2015 NEP.
  • A major contention in the Supreme Court decision on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is the definition of Savings. Taking off from the definition in the FY 2015 NEP, the House of Representatives defined Savings as portions or balances of any programmed appropriations in the GAA which have not been released or obligated due to four instances, as follows:
  • a) Discontinuance or abandonment of the program, activity, or project (P/A/P) as a result of natural or man-made calamities that hindered the agency from implementing the said P/A/P at any time during the validity of the appropriations;
  • b) Non-commencement of the P/A/P or the inability of the agency to obligate a released appropriation within the first semester of the year;
  • c) Decreased cost due to improved efficiency during the implementation or after the completion of the P/A/P; and
  • d) Difference between the approved budget for the contract and the contract bid price. Savings may also result from unused compensation and related costs arising from unfilled, vacant or abolished position, non-entitlement to allowance and benefits, and leaves of absences without pay.
  • Augmentation, on the other hand, Mr. President, is defined in the GAB as the act of filling up a deficiency in any existing P/A/P of an agency or office from savings in other items of the said agency’s appropriations, and therefore, a non-existent P/A/P cannot be funded by augmentation from savings.
  • The other significant special and/or general provisions amended or created by the House include the following. If I may mention a few:
  • • Special provisions on lump sum funds which states that savings from the said funds are deemed savings of the Executive Branch were amended to make it available to all three branches of the government including Constitutional Offices;
  • • Special Provisions on unfilled positions, which provide that the unexpended amount for unfilled positions will revert to the unappropriated surplus for those agencies with fiscal autonomy, were deleted.
  • • The Validity of the MOOE and Capital Outlays were extended for another year.
  • • Special Provision on the Provision and Maintenance of Basic Educational Facilities was amended to reflect changes in the distribution of the appropriations and the inclusion of an amount for the annual payment of school buildings constructed by the NHA. Likewise, the said provision also allows the DepEd to deduct a 0.5% engineering and administrative overhead (EAO) on the project cost.
  • • Special Provision on the Provision and Maintenance of Basic Educational Facilities was amended to reflect changes in the distribution of the appropriations and the inclusion of an amount for the annual payment of school buildings constructed by the NHA. Likewise, the said provision also allows the DepEd to deduct a 0.5% engineering and administrative overhead (EAO) on the project cost.
  • Senate Amendments

After conducting a series of budget hearings, technical working group meetings and consultations with the various agencies and departments, Mr. President, Your Committee on Finance now proposes Total New Appropriations of P1.862,824,653 trillion, the same level as the (NEP) National Expenditure Program and the House-approved budget. Realignments within and between agencies, however, amount to P91,821,325,000.00, P37.921 billion from Programmed New Appropriations and P53.9 billion from Unprogrammed Appropriations.

  • The major budgetary increases and changes consist of the following:
  • • Increase of P19 billion for the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program to cover past disasters including Yolanda, Glenda and Mario;
  • • Increase of P3.636 billion for the Department of Education, particularly for a Feeding Program, the Quick Response Fund, and Chalk Allowance for teachers;
  • • Increase of P3.636 billion for the Department of Education, particularly for a Feeding Program, the Quick Response Fund, and Chalk Allowance for teachers;
  • • Restoration of the House cut on DPWH amounting to P242.6 million under MFO 3 or “Maintenance and Construction Services of Infrastructures” and the restoration of P1.318 billion under MFO 1 or “National Road Network Services.” In addition, an increase of P1.130 billion will be provided for the Quick Response Fund of the DPWH to bring it to P2 billion;
  • • Restoration of the House cut on DPWH amounting to P242.6 million under MFO 3 or “Maintenance and Construction Services of Infrastructures” and the restoration of P1.318 billion under MFO 1 or “National Road Network Services.” In addition, an increase of P1.130 billion will be provided for the Quick Response Fund of the DPWH to bring it to P2 billion;
  • • Additional P816.229 million for the Philippine Crop Insurance Service which will now total P2 billion;
  • An accompanying Special Provision in the Supreme Court budget provides that … “all non-recurring appropriations herein such as, but not limited to, foreign-assisted projects and locally-funded projects, shall not form part of the Judiciary’s appropriation that may not be reduced by Congress, in order to clarify matters Mr. President.
  • • Increase of P500 million for the Quick Response Fund of the Department of Health;
  • • Increase of P421.5 million for the Bureau of Customs for Workplace Modernization and various equipment to counter the perennial problem of smuggling;

• Additional budget of P362.472 million for the Department of National Defense as Buildings Outlay for the National Defense College of the Philippines as well as for Force Sustainment or Enhancement of the various Engineering Brigades of the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, and the Philippine Navy.

  • • Increase of P300 million for the Modernization Program and Faculty Development of the Philippine Normal University;
  • • Increase of P108.907 million for Jail Facilities under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to be sourced from the cut in Monitoring and Evaluation Cost of PAMANA and the Grassroots Participatory Program of the DILG-OSEC;
  • • Realignment of P2.915 billion in the budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, specifically from the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program and the KALAHI-CIDSS projects to Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens which will benefit 460,647 senior citizens at a total cost of P2.770 billion in line with R.A. No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010. Additional funding of P20 million will also be provided for the Comprehensive Project for Street Children, Street Families and Indigent Peoples-especially Badjaos, as well as an additional P95 million for Protective Services for Individuals and Families in Difficult Circumstances.
  • • Increase of P15 million for the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos for the Hajj Travel Assistance and Endowment Administration Services;
  • Mr. President, in so far as special and general provisions. Your committee on Finance proposes the following.
  • Proposed Special and General Provisions

Foremost among the proposed special and general provisions proposed by the committee is Sec. 68 on the Meaning of Savings. It is defined as the portions or balances of any released appropriations in the GAA which have not been obligated, whereas the House-approved bill does not require that the funds be released to be declared as savings, only that such fund have been obligated.

  • The Senate general provision also states that savings may result from non-commencement of the P/A/P or the inability of the agency to obligate its released allotment and implement it within the period when the appropriation is valid, whereas the House version qualifies that savings also result from non-commencement of a P/A/P, meaning the inability of the agency to obligate an allotment only within the first semester of the year. In the same manner, the Senate provision demands more fiscal responsibility from agencies by adding the proviso in Sec. 68 that “Programmed appropriations which have not been released or allotments not obligated due to the fault of the agency concerned shall not be considered as savings and shall revert to the General Fund.”
  • In compliance with the Supreme Court ruling on the Disbursement Acceleration Program, a new general provision on the “Meaning of Augmentation” is proposed by your committee in Sec. 69 which states that savings cannot be used to augment a non-existent P/A/P through the use of an appropriation not otherwise authorized by the subject GAA, and that the existence of an appropriation for an allotment class, whether for Personal Services, MOOE, or Capital Outlays, in a P/A/P is necessary for purposes of augmentation.
  • Other notable special and general provisions, Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, are as follows:
  • • Deletion of Special provisions under special purpose funds which allow savings from the said funds to be made available to the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the government including Constitutional offices, in compliance with the Supreme Court decision prohibiting the cross-border transfer of savings from the Executive to the other branches of government;
  • • Deletion of Special provisions under special purpose funds which allow savings from the said funds to be made available to the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the government including Constitutional offices, in compliance with the Supreme Court decision prohibiting the cross-border transfer of savings from the Executive to the other branches of government;
  • • Deletion of Special provisions under special purpose funds which allow savings from the said funds to be made available to the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the government including Constitutional offices, in compliance with the Supreme Court decision prohibiting the cross-border transfer of savings from the Executive to the other branches of government;
  • • Detailed listing of the Farm-to-market road projects under the Department of Agriculture is now found in Volume II-A of the GAA. This is used to be a lump sum appropriation Mr. President both under the NEP and the GAB;
  • New Special Provision under the DepEd on the Preservation and Restoration of the existing Gabaldon School buildings to promote the country’s cultural heritage;
  • • New Special Provision under the Department of Health on the National Health Insurance Program, allocating the sum of P37.060 billion to cover the full premium subsidy of the health insurance premium for the following: a) Indigent Families under the NHTS-PR of the DSWD; b) Existing 2014 Poor and Low Income Enrolees, other than the Indigent Families under the NHTS-PR of DSWD, enrolled under the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) whose enrolment have been validated and renewed for 2015; c) Indigent Elected and Appointed Barangay Officials, which shall include the Punong Barangay, Members of the Sangguniang Barangay, Barangay Secretary, Barangay Treasurer, Barangay Health Workers and Barangay Tanod; and d) Senior Citizens, again, in accordance with law;
  • • The use of the Special Vehicle Pollution Control Fund under DOTC-OSEC, particularly the amount of P2.532 billion for air pollution control of LTO as well as the repair, rehabilitation and maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit which is considered as a pollution-free transportation system;
  • • Earmarking P15 million as financial assistance for the indigent Muslim Filipinos to enable them to participate in the annual celebration of the Hajj as part of the education and cultural enrichment program of the government;
  • • New General Provision stipulating that the Monitoring and Evaluation Expenses of the agencies mandated to implement or oversee the implementation of programs and projects shall not exceed three percent (3%) of the project or program cost.

• Amended General Provision setting a one-year Availability of Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2015 GAA, or only until December 31, 2015.

  • • Again in keeping with the Supreme Court ruling on Augmentation, the committee proposed the insertion of the following statement in Sec. 70 entitled “Rules in the Realignment of Allotment Classes and Reprioritization of Items of Appropriations which states that: “In all cases of realignment, the existence of an appropriation in the Object of Expenditure and Allotment Class is necessary for realignment.”
  • • Insertion of the phrase “Unless otherwise provided in a Subsequent Law” in Sec. 84 stipulating that the requirements of ARMM shall be provided in the implementation of nationwide programs in recognition of the proposed BBL, now pending before Congress ;
  • • A new General Provision on Reportorial Requirements stating that such shall be posted in the website of agencies for at least three (3) years;
  • • Amendment in the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund and the Pension and Gratuity Fund, requiring the DBM to submit, within the first quarter, to Congress the amounts allocated to the Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman, and that in no case shall releases to the said offices exceed the amount submitted to Congress also for purposes of utilizing these as savings to augment the budget of these constitutional offices;
  • • Amended provision under the Unprogrammed Fund earmarking P472.485 million to cover the terminal leave benefits of the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) employees when they were still under the defunct Bureau of Post;
  • • A new Special Provision under the Unprogrammed Fund providing appropriation cover for the release of funds previously deposited in the Bureau of Treasury for the Implementation of Remedies, including safeguard measures pursuant to R.A. No. 8800, the Safeguard Measures Act of 2000.
  • Closing

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, adhering to the separation of powers of the three branches of government where the infamous DAP is concerned is akin to a tightrope balancing act, for admittedly, the DAP has its advantages and disadvantages. Despite being declared by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional and void with respect to four acts or practices, the program was, after all, instrumental in arresting our flagging economic growth by stimulating public spending radically through the national budget and allowing the Executive the needed spending flexibility in their day-to-day operations.

  • Still the Constitution tells us emphatically that the power of the purse belongs to Congress. It is hoped, Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, that with these proposed amendments in the Fiscal Year 2015 budget or GAA, Congress will adhere to the ruling of the highest Court in the land and regain its Constitutionally-mandated control over the purse strings.
  • Indeed Mr. President, it’s either walking the tightrope or plunging to the depths of national despair, eroding the recent credit rating gains that have won us praises in the eyes of the international community.
  • Thank you, Mr. President and thank you distinguished colleagues. We ask earnestly for your help in the timely passage of the 2015 National Budget. At this junction, Mr. President, may I ask that we recognize Senate President Pro-Tempore Recto.

Speech: Sponsorship Speech for the Supplemental Appropriations for FY 2014[edit]

  • Mr. President, distinguished colleagues.
  • I rise to sponsor the Supplemental Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014 amounting to P22,467,608,000.
  • House Bill No. 5237 passed by the House of Representatives on third and final reading yesterday identifies three (3) classifications of projects contained in this measure, Mr. President. First are the projects that have remained unpaid and outstanding after being declared unconstitutional in the Supreme Court ruling on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). These projects, amounting to a total of P1,902,744,124 were commenced or completed prior to the Supreme Court’s PDAF ruling and are all valid obligations incurred by the government.
  • Second are the partially-implemented or unimplemented projects that were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in its ruling on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). Such projects, such as the Coconut Scale Insect Emergency Action Plan for coconut farmers, the rehabilitation of LRT Lines 1 and 2, or the construction of fish ports, lighthouses and seawalls shall help our long-suffering masses escape from the claws of poverty and are thus deemed important.
  • The third and last classification of projects under this measure, Mr. President, are urgent infrastructure, socio-economic, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects which are not funded in any existing appropriation laws. These projects, such as the MRT 3 Rehabilitation and Capacity Extension, the updating of DSWD’s National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), or the Emergency Housing Assistance for Victims of Typhoon Yolanda, constitute crucial development initiatives that shall benefit displaced and poverty-stricken Filipinos.
  • Your Senate Committee on Finance conducted two budget hearings on this matter, Mr. President, to gain a more thorough knowledge on the various projects involved in this measure. All national government agencies and government-owned or controlled corporations that shall implement the said projects served as resource persons for the consecutive hearings.
  • Mr. President, your committee is essentially proposing Supplemental Appropriations amounting to P22,467,608,000 for Fiscal Year 2014, which shall be available for release and obligation within one (1) year after the date of effectivity of this act.
  • Lastly, we have also added the proviso in Section 3 on the Use and Release of Funds, that a uniform formula or parameter be developed for the fair and equitable distribution of Emergency Shelter Assistance funds across typhoon-affected barangays, municipalities, or provinces nationwide.
  • Mr. President, esteemed colleagues, once more we are tasked to exercise the power of the purse in the enactment of this Supplemental Appropriations for 2014. I therefore ask for the swift passage of the measure.
  • Thank you.

2013[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • We are conscious of the fact that the timely passage of the budget is the key to fuel not only the entire government machinery but also our capability and capacity as a nation especially in this challenging time.
  • The cataclysmic force that hit our country requires serious response to influence significant rehabilitation and reconstruction of the communities barreled by catastrophes. We need to infuse major financial foundation to recoup and retain the physical, economic and social viability of these communities.
  • By strengthening the protection of the citizen whose testimony is necessary and indispensable for the successful prosecution of a case, we also strengthen accountability and reduce corruption in the public and private sectors.
  • Education is the great equalizer in society. It is the best way to guarantee that all Filipinos, regardless of station in life, get an equal opportunity to a better life.

Mid-Term Campaign Trail[edit]

  • The government does not have the mandate to create jobs. This should be the function of the private sector but the government should provide policy support for businesses to generate permanent or long-term jobs.
  • For Team Chiz, the philosophy is never to let our guard down and to run scared with the survey results guiding our steps along the way.
  • Like billions of Catholics around the world, I greet Pope Francis’ election with a great measure of hope and optimism because it signals a fresh start. For many Catholics, this beacon of hope and optimism could very well rekindle a faith scarred by scandals and controversies.
  • While it took all of 27 years for the state to finally recognize the atrocities it inflicted on Filipinos whose democratic rights were suppressed under Marcos, the compensation law seeks to give justice to victims of the dark days of oppression and hopefully give an assurance that it will not happen again.
  • The elections are not about what rallies I should or not join but rather about issues and platforms, pure intentions and commitment to principles. It is sad that they have focused on rallies as an issue for this campaign.
  • In this highly competitive world, there is a crying need for the government to assure that schools in the country, for one, are able to produce graduates who have the capability to find quality work that mostly requires a sufficient level of technology skills.
    • [www.philstar.com/headlines/2013/02/16/909422/chiz-wants-eco-growth-translated-jobs The Philippine Star]
  • I am happy and humbled by the continued confidence by the people, but what is important is that public servants seeking the people’s vote like me continue to work to prove that we are worthy of the positions entrusted to us.

Speech: Nomination of Senator Ralph Recto as Senate Pro Tempore[edit]

  • Mr. President, distinguish colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.
  • The person I have the honor of nominating today as our Senate President Pro Tempore may be a young at 49 years of age. But don’t let his supposedly youthful looks deceive you.
  • He was already in Congress twenty-one years ago, in 1992. In that pre-cellphone age, Mr. President, distinguish colleagues, myself, Sonny Angara, Sonny Trillanes, JV (Ejercito), Grace (Poe), Alan (Cayetano), and Nancy (Binay), all of us were still college. Bam (Aquino) was in high school.
  • Through three terms in the Lower House and two terms here, Mr. President, he has earned the reputation as a lawmaker with a head for numbers, and an eye for figures – whether tax , budgetary, and perhaps in a previous lifetime, of the female kind.
  • It has been said Mr. President, that while we can only read the prose in the laws we pass, he sees numbers in them, and imagine them in digits.
  • While we simply see the provisions, he would see the costs hidden in each section, and then proceed to remind us of their burden to taxpayers.
  • So whenever the tug of populism tempts us to pass measures without regard of their fiscal cost, he is there to ask us if those who will ultimately foot the bill can actually afford it.
  • Mr. President, this ability – this ability to give us a reality check before we write a check charged to the people – to me is his value to this institution and the service he renders to the citizenry who sent him here.
  • And because he believes numbers don’t lie, he minces no words in explaining them, and will not consult the political weather bulletin on when to expose them. So much so, that he sometimes sails against the wind, driven only by the motto set by his grandfather, who also once sat here, that one must do what is right over what is popular.
  • Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, having logged eighteen years of service in the legislature, two years of hard labor in the Cabinet, and helping out in the local government unit of Batangas for nearly nine years on a pro bono capacity, the one I am nominating, Mr. President, today has certainly paid his dues and has earned his right to be promoted for a podium position.
  • I think it is time for us to ensconce him in the rocking chair up there that we reserve for senior members of the chamber.
  • Besides, Mr. President, distinguish colleagues, he has twenty years experience of being number two already, as he reportedly plays number two in matriarchal household with his wife.
  • True or not, this man who is married to the Star for All Seasons will remain an all-weather friend to me, and to most of us.
  • On this note, Mr. President, distinguish colleagues, it is my distinct honor and privilege to nominate Senator Ralph Recto as our President Pro Tempore.

2012[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • As a father, I will work hard to ensure that I teach them the right values in life and with the RH Bill, to arm them with knowledge so they can ably decide for themselves.
  • It is not for any institutions or any foreign entities for that matter to dictate upon us what to and what not to tax. IMF and its chief has no business in even suggesting that we impose tax on text. The power to tax is inherent in Congress and any external intervention is already meddling with our sovereignty.
  • I will be running for senator as an independent and I have no plans of joining any political party.
  • Alliances are political certainties and there is rhyme and reason to that. The polls may be already next year but personally I think it’s not yet the right time to be busy about political shopping.
  • The mismatch problem occurs as the workers required by companies for their vacancies are difficult to fill up due to shortage of talents in the labor pool. An Asian Development Bank study said labor mismatch is one of the culprits behind the country’s slow economic growth and that the mismatch may be caused by too many highly educated people chasing too few jobs in the country.
  • The least that government can do for our athletes in general is to show that they have our support. We ask them to carry our flag and compete with the highest possible degree of sportsmanship and excellence while representing our country. Government should be able to ensure their safety.

Twitter Feed[edit]

  • I believe that both sides of the RH debate genuinely want what is best for our people, we just differ in our experience, approach abd belief. Those who voted or will vote for or against the RH bill are not necessarily good and not necessarily evil.
    • Francis Escudero Twitter feed: @SayChiz (1:22 p.m. 2012 December 17)
  • In victory and more especially in defeat, we should stand behind and be proud of Pacquiao. He has nothing to be ashamed of. Pacquiao gave it his all. It just so happened that Marquez was the better boxer, at least for today. My congratulations to him.
    • Francis Escudero Twitter feed: @SayChiz (10:40 p.m. 2012 December 09).
  • IMF's Lagarde has no business in even suggesting that we impose a tax on text. I am against it and will oppose it! Our house is in order. If at all, she should make suggestions to her fellow Europeans who can perhaps learn a thing or two from us. Proud to be Filipino!
    • Francis Escudero Twitter feed: @SayChiz (2:01 p.m. 2012 November 19).
  • I love putting my kids to sleep. Cherishing every moment of it knowing that it won't be the same once they are all grown up.
    • Francis Escudero Twitter feed: @SayChiz (9:09 p.m. 2012 September 09).

Statement: on the Passing of His Father Rep. Salvador H. Escudero III[edit]

  • My father, Representative Salvador “Sonny” H. Escudero joined our Creator at 3:30 a.m today. He died in his sleep at home in Sanville, Quezon City after battling colorectal cancer for almost two years.
  • Tatay has always been the center of our family. He was a father first and foremost and a man who deeply loved his country and his people second. He devoted his entire life to public service.
  • While we mourn the passing of our father, we thank everyone who cared for him and supported him in life, and we thank those who continue to pour their love, support and prayers for him and our family in this most trying moment.
  • Our father's remains now lie in state at the main chapel of Mt. Carmel Church in New Manila, Quezon City.
  • His remains lie in state at the Mt. Carmel Church at Broadway corner 5th Street, New Manila, Quezon City until Tuesday.
  • On Wednesday, his remains will be transferred to the House of Representatives at the Batasan Complex. The House of Representatives will be holding necrological services at the Plenary Hall at 9a.m.
  • A final wake will be held on Thursday until Saturday in our hometown in Sorsogon City, province of Sorsogon.
  • His remains will be transported back to Quezon City on Sunday morning. A mass will be held at the Arlington Memorial Chapel in Araneta Avenue, Quezon City where his remains will be cremated.
  • His ashes will be brought to the columbary at Christ the King Parish in E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City.

2011[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • I urge the AFP and also the PNP to aggressively go out there and fill the yearly quotas for new recruits. Spend the budget intended for hiring new personnel. Don't let the old system prevail again where the allocation for hiring new personnel is scrimped on so that the amount can be converted into savings and diverted to line the pockets of some unscrupulous individuals. This has already cost so many lives and has orphaned thousands of wives and children.
  • I commend our soldiers for their gallantry and bravery and for fighting for our freedom. I want to know if our soldiers were killed in a legitimate encounter or were they again butchered like pigs like what happened with our five marines.
  • As a country, which is unfortunately frequented by natural calamities many times over in a year, we should already build, establish and continuously strengthen the capacity of our rescue forces so we can easily mobilize forces to avoid loss of lives and properties.
  • While it is true that we are recipients of certain aids from the US government and without making excuses for the misgivings of our law enforcement, it is not for foreign entities to rate us or grade us or whether we pass their benchmark or not, especially when no bases are given. We are not their students and they are not our teachers to say the least.
  • Statistics and information has become the lifeline in policy-making the world over. We must be at par with our neighboring countries, if not the world, to be equipped with vital and current information on world trade, events and trends.
  • We want people to remember what should be remembered on how fraud was committed to rob FPJ of his rightful place in history and on how people who voted for him of their political rights to install the president of their choice were also cheated.
  • Let us not just bear witness to cases of involuntary and forced disappearances. These have caused our country big black eyes and have placed us under tight watch of both local and international rights groups and even foreign governments. We need to put this measure in place.
  • It is high time that our government start to acknowledge that we have a labor-export policy and rid the industry of unscrupulous labor recruiters and protect our migrant workers. We already have enough, ripe reasons to initiate a government- to-government arrangement for labor migration since we have long seen the reality of labor exodus of Filipinos to other countries. The Philippine government can no longer deny this.
  • The issue of prisoner swap is highly emotional and delicate. We have to carefully tread within the ambit of a particular country’s laws, which we would also like other countries to respect ours. But as a government, it behooves us to do everything within our capacity to give our people what the government should – to protect its people in and out of the country.
  • I still believe that majority of our officers and men in uniform are honest and hardworking. It would be a disservice to lump them together with those crooked individuals.

2010[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • Home is my sanctuary; once inside, anything that happened outside is already forgotten. To be able to play with my twins and read stories to them is always a pleasure, especially when they amaze me with their new found words or phrases. Kids are amazing spirit boosters!
    • Pamsy Tioseco, "Fit and Fabulous", Woman Today 01 October 2010, p. 54.
  • That whatever position I'm holding right now won't last forever. It will come to an end, and so I better be sure that at the end of it all I'd still be able to hold my head up high and still be able to live and breath freely.
    • on the best political advice his father has given to him
      • "The Commissioner", FHM 01 September 2010, p. 54.

2009[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • Let an hour of darkness enlighten us of the need to change our lifestyles if we are to arrest the continuing degradation of the planet. Let it also remind us of the dark future we are facing if we don't act now.
  • This bill, if passed into law, will serve as a deterrent to those who will take advantage of the poverty situation in order to profit from selling our women and children. This is one of the most repulsive crimes in society today, and we must not allow our women and children to fall prey to these vultures.

Twitter Feed[edit]

  • I encourage you to visit the devastated areas and talk to the people and listen to them... Not just distribute relief and then leave. I encourage you to visit the devastated areas and talk to the people and listen to them... Not just distribute relief and then leave. I assure u that you will learn a lot by being able to see things from their eyes... and perhaps those who criticize would understand. Beyond receiving relief goods, sometimes they also need someone who will listen to them. Try it. I promise that u will learn a lot.
    • Francis Escudero Twitter feed: @SayChiz (5:44 p.m. 13 October 2009).
  • Typhoon-prone areas in our eastern seaboard should have rescue units, pre-positioned relief and safe/dry evacuation centers (not just schools).
    • Francis Escudero Twitter feed: @SayChiz (11:38 a.m. 03 October 2009).

Statement: Remembering the King[edit]

  • If Fernando Poe, Jr. were with us today, he would have celebrated his seventieth birthday, as always, with family, friends, and his legion of fans.
  • One of the most influential figures in Philippine cinema, Da King touched the lives of many people even before running for the presidency in 2004. A prolific and outstanding actor who won the most best actor awards from FAMAS, he would not need his acting skills in 2004--as his genuine concern for Filipinos of all walks of life was apparent as he went around the country to campaign against a government that was as crooked and menacing as the villains he faced in his movies.
  • It is said that life imitates art, and in FPJ's case that was true. He played tough, honest heroes who fought for the common tao; and as someone aspiring for the most powerful office in the land, he exhibited those same qualities, and was supported by millions of his countrymen.
  • There are those who would say that it is unfortunate that his campaign for the presidency did not turn out like one of his movies--for in 2004, it appeared that the villains had won the day. As his spokesperson then, I know that he would have told us not to lose hope for, like in the movies, good will ultimately triumph over evil.
  • Happy birthday, Idol. You can be assured that, as one of your movies says, "Hindi Pa Tapos Ang Laban!"

Statement: on the latest conviction of Aung San Suu Kyi[edit]

  • I deplore the decision of the junta in Myanmar to continue the illegal house arrest of Nobel peace prize laureate and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • It underscores the state of repression in Myanmar and shows that the junta remains oblivious to worldwide criticism of its human rights record, particularly the detention of monks and students demonstrating peacefully as well as the violent suppression of ethnic minorities seeking autonomy.
  • Like the late former president Cory Aquino, whose recent demise we mourn, Suu Kyi has fearlessly demonstrated her steely resolve not to be intimidated by those who seek to snuff out the light of freedom, and have chosen instead to wage war rather than promote peace.
  • As history has shown, overcoming tyranny takes time and patience, blood and sacrifice. It also takes a leader, who is willing to overcome the odds and be the sole beacon of hope. Suu Kyi is that kind of leader.
  • She may be temporarily confined now to the walls of her house, but these walls are temporary. For crumble they will, due not to the ravages of the elements but more because of the unwavering desire of the people of Myanmar to be liberated from the shackles of repression.

Statement: on the Passing of Former President Corazon C. Aquino[edit]

  • I join the whole country in extending my sympathies to the Aquino and Cojuangco families on the passing of a humble and noble woman, former President Corazon C. Aquino.
  • Their loss is the loss of every Filipino. In democracy's darkest hour, she joined many others in confronting a repressive dictatorship. Her willingness to accept the daunting challenge of running against Ferdinand Marcos--despite criticism that she was a "mere housewife"--served as a catalyst for an unprecedented bloodless uprising that would lead to the restoration of democracy and the reinstitution of the many freedoms we enjoy and cherish today.
  • History tells us that our first woman head of state was far more than a "mere housewife," but an uplifting figure who inspired her countrymen to begin the arduous task of rebuilding our nation. Experience shows us that an honorable and virtuous president who leads by example will always enjoy the respect of her fellow leaders and her people. And Cory's life teaches us that with an unwavering faith and a sincere desire to serve the nation, any Filipino can make a difference.
  • Let her story forever inspire us and future generations of Filipinos, and serve as a constant reminder that the Filipino is worth fighting for.

Statement: A Call for Heroism[edit]

  • Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Valor celebrates the heroism of Filipino soldiers who fought, against seemingly invincible odds, to defend our people from foreign enslavement in World War Two.
  • This year's commemoration becomes even more meaningful because the great sacrifice our soldiers made, not only in the battlefields of Bataan and Corregidor but in the ensuing resistance campaigns, has finally been recognized, however late in the day, by the United States.
  • The heroism of our soldiers is especially inspiring because most of them were in their 20s, inexperienced in the art of warfare, who answered the call of the motherland with unflinching courage - so very much like the revolutionaries who won freedom and founded Asia's First Republic.
  • While today no foreign invaders threaten our sovereignty, there's another front that is on the line - our economy. Like a pandemic plague, worldwide recession now engulfs all nations. If stable, prosperous democracies are floundering in its wake, what more of developing countries such as ours?
  • We need then to pull together, like the defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, and take stock of the situation. For, today is not business as usual. The times demand that we set aside personal agendas for the urgent task at hand: that of leading our people in overcoming the difficult times in the days ahead.
  • Let the sacrifices of our heroes serve as an example and inspire us to come together, and teach us that our personal interests and well-being should always give way to the collective good of the Filipino people and the betterment of the country we all love.

Statement: I Stand by the Side of Freedom[edit]

  • The right-of-reply issue has nothing to do with fearing media nor with the 2010 elections. Rather, it has everything to do with imposing unnecessary restraints on media.
  • This is not the first attempt to pass a right-of-reply bill in the Senate. A similar bill was filed in the pre-martial law chamber but did not prosper.
  • Then as now, the position of Eddie Monteclaro, president of the National Press Club at that time, remains relevant.
  • He said: "The right of reply is better than realized through editorial discretion and voluntary acts rather than through forcible dictation through state machinery which infringes upon a basic freedom."

Public servants, as they say, live in glass houses, and they must steel themselves from criticism while in the service of the people.

  • I have had my share of criticism and continue to be pilloried, at times, by the media. When one is on the side of truth, however, one does not need to fear media.
  • We cannot legislate responsibility. Self-regulation is the best option. I have crossed the line; I stand on the side of press freedom.

Speech: The Socio-Economic Peace Program of Senator Francis Escudero[edit]

  • A former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Sir Harold Mc Millan, once said, "It is not the things that one did in one's life that one regrets, but rather the opportunities missed."
  • If we, the Filipino people, were to view the last 60 years, they may be termed as the decades of missed opportunities.
  • After the 2nd World War, the Philippines had the second highest per capita GDP in Asia. Today, we have one of the lowest.
  • During the 50's, the Philippines had one of the highest standards of education in Asia. Many of our neighbors sent their sons and daughters to study at our institutions of learning.
  • Today, we are ranked so poorly in achievement scores. The average high school graduate in Japan has a better knowledge of science and mathematics than the average Filipino college graduate.
  • During the 60's, the Philippines produced enough food to feed her people. Today, we are the biggest importer of rice in Asia.
  • During the 60's and early 70"s, the Philippines had one of the lowest electricity rates in Asia. Today, we have the highest.
  • Prior to martial law, we had only around a million Filipino immigrants to foreign countries. Today, estimates reach nine million Filipinos who have voted with their feet.
  • The question we all must ponder is - what is wrong with us?
  • Why does our march down the road to development seem to be a pattern of 3 steps forward, 2 steps back?
  • Today, we have been asked to present to you our "socio-economic-peace program" for the next six years.
  • My friends, there have been dozens of economic programs these past 60 years. I myself have seen so many Medium Term Development Programs prepared by very capable men and women from government, academe and the private sector.
  • So what I will present to you this afternoon will not be anything new or novel to you. What might be different is the approach or the priority given to some sectors or programs.
  • Let us agree on our common goal. As public servants, we serve the highest interests of our people. Primarily, we seek to eliminate poverty and improve the quality of life of every Filipino.
  • In a market economy, this means striving for higher family income, a highly educated and/or trainable workforce, better health care, affordable food and housing and peaceful communities.
  • The intermediate goal is the creation of millions of new jobs and livelihood opportunities. This would necessitate being able to successfully attract much greater amounts of direct investments, especially foreign investments.
  • To succeed in enticing investors, we submit that whoever becomes President should focus on 6 areas of priority:
  • First, on my list would be Good Governance. We must repair our house. Many of our institutions have been severely weakened. The trust and faith in the fairness of such critical institutions as the Comelec, the Dept. of Justice, the AFP-ISAPH, the PNP, the Sandigan aside from the chronically corrupt Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
  • We must have a stable policy environment. No more ATRAS - ABANTE.
  • We must enforce the laws and enforce them speedily. People will obey and follow our laws if there is certainty of punishment.
  • We must enlist the best and the brightest to serve in government, and pay them a salary equivalent to what they would earn in the private sector.
  • We must follow the principle of subsidiarity -- devolving authority to the lowest level of government which can handle the problem. Regions and provinces, cities and municipalities are tired of waiting for Imperial Manila to act on their problems.
  • As soon as the national government can afford, a larger percentage of the Internal Revenue allotment should be given to local government units. It is presently 20%. By devolving added responsibilities, this could eventually go to 60%. This would speed up the development of the countryside.
  • As soon as the national government can afford, a larger percentage of the Internal Revenue allotment should be given to local government units. It is presently 20%. By devolving added responsibilities, this could eventually go to 60%. This would speed up the development of the countryside.
  • Such budget deficits are unsustainable. We must put a stop to smuggling - estimated by foreign institutions to be as much as $10 billion (as P480 billion) a year. The uncollected VAT alone would be over P50 billion.
  • Third, we must invest in our youth and in our future.
  • There is a Chinese Proverb, which says, if you plan for one year, plant rice. If you plan for ten years, plant trees. If you plan for 100 years, plant people.
  • It is accepted fact that the world has been moving from an economy of goods to an economy of knowledge. And knowledge is the single most important resource to any advanced society.
  • We must give our children the equal opportunity to develop their minds and bodies to the fullest. We will continue, even expand, the conditional cash transfers (or CCT's) to the poorest families so that their children will have the means to get to school and the nutrition to support a healthy brain - and body. We must cut down drastically that 34% drop-out rate in primary grades.
  • The higher the knowledge and skills of our workforce, the higher their earning power. Whether they decide to remain here or go abroad, the economy will benefit because of their remittances.
  • Government must provide the hardware - classrooms, desks, chairs, and the software - books, teacher retraining.
  • The reported backlog of 40,000 classrooms is unjustifiable. At a cost of P500,000 per classroom, it would cost only P20 billion to build everything. That's only one year's income of PAGCOR. I am incredulous how the future of millions of Filipino children has been irretrievably lost because of the insatiable greed of those in power.
  • In California, the entire net income of its grant California Lotto has been exclusively earmarked for its schools.
  • We should align government subsidies to private and public colleges with courses that meet the demands of the market. Like engineering and computer sciences.
  • McKinsey and Company has a new study that shows that the persistent gap in academic achievement between children in the United States and their counterparts in other countries deprived the U.S. economy of as much as $2.3 trillion in economic output in 2008 alone. Can we imagine how much that academic gap has cost us in potential income?
  • Fourth, we must be self sufficient in producing our basic food staples such as rice and corn and fish.
  • Agriculture development is an activity very close to my heart because my father, now congressman Sonny Escudero, served as Secretary of Agriculture under 2 presidents.
  • Agriculture development is an activity very close to my heart because my father, now congressman Sonny Escudero, served as Secretary of Agriculture under 2 presidents.
  • While the average Malaysian or Thai household spends only 34% of its income on food.
  • By lowering their expenditure on food, we would be awarding every family with an increase in disposable income, and mitigate labor demands for wage increases.
  • Let us be reminded that the poorest families belong to the agricultural sector. 40% of our labor force is directly dependent on agriculture. Another 20% are indirectly dependent.
  • Increasing research and development budget to 5 percent of the agricultural production (GVA=P1.17trillion) would bring about better varieties and more efficient farming methods which would increase yields and give the farmer higher incomes even while farmgate prices go down to benefit the consumer.
  • Increasing research and development budget to 5 percent of the agricultural production (GVA=P1.17trillion) would bring about better varieties and more efficient farming methods which would increase yields and give the farmer higher incomes even while farmgate prices go down to benefit the consumer.
  • We should try to make seamless the transport of agricultural products from Mindanao to the Visayas and NCR; from the Cordilleras and the Cagayan Valley to Manila. From farms to bagsakans or markets or seaports.
  • Fifth, we must fast track our infrastructure development.
  • Aside from pump priming our economy, we would be bringing down the cost of transportation and opening up those areas of our country which have not been developed.
  • We must prioritize projects already partially built. Half a bridge is equivalent having no bridge at all. Then we have to focus on widening our major arteries. Especially where traffic jams occur daily. The wastage of people's time and fuel runs into billions not counting the inefficient use of trucks which deliver goods.
  • We must prioritize projects already partially built. Half a bridge is equivalent having no bridge at all. Then we have to focus on widening our major arteries. Especially where traffic jams occur daily. The wastage of people's time and fuel runs into billions not counting the inefficient use of trucks which deliver goods.
  • We already spoke of lowering costs of food, labor, and transportation.
  • Now we must move heaven and earth to lower energy costs. We must complete the sale of NAPOCOR generating plants and PPA contracts to the private sector to generate more competition. Thus far, only about 40% have been privatized.
  • It is unconscionable that this government charges more royalty on the sale of our very own natural gas from Malampaya than it taxes imported coal and fuel. We pay P1.40 per kilowatt hour for electricity from generated from natural gas and only P.17 per KWH from coal. Does that make any sense to you?
  • We should consider lowering our income tax rates to equal Hongkong or Vietnam or Thailand. One of the major reasons why many locators do not like the Philippines is because they would have to pay their executives more takeout to equalize take home pay. For example, Hongkong has a tax rate of 17% while our marginal income tax rate is 32%.
  • Lastly, we must lower bureaucratic costs. This refers to "under the table" payments.
  • Most business executives accept that bribes and grease money are costs of doing business in "soft "states.
  • You bring in a container, you pay P200, 000 but only get a receipt for P60,000. Meaning that P140,000 goes to the bureaucrats and tong collectors.
  • We sign a contract for a North Rail that cost $17 million per kilometer while the equivalent cost in Shanghai is $7M.
  • We witness the President approve a contract with ZTE for $328 million which turned out to be overpriced by as much as 60%.
  • All such shenanigans bring up the cost of doing business in this country.
  • These are our six priority areas. But I should add the Environment and Tourism.
  • The former will guarantee a healthier life for future generations and upholds the principle of stewardship - that we are merely caretakers of the world which we presently inhabit - And that we must hand on to our children the land and waters in as good a condition as when we inherited it from our fathers.
  • Tourism is an economic activity that leverages on the beauty that our Creator willed to us. It will also encourage development of the far reaches of our country. And it would complement efforts to protect the environment.
  • What can I say about the peace efforts with our Muslim brothers and the NPA?
  • Let's begin with one principle: it is better to talk, than to shoot.
  • But these two have been intractable problems for decades, even a century. Their root causes have been social injustice and economic injustice. Brilliant minds and experts have been harnessed to tackle these problems. And still the problems persist.
  • I possess no silver bullet or magic wand. But this much I can promise - we will ensure that each and every rebel shall realize that he or she owns a part of this land we love, that whatever our creed or color, our political beliefs or ethnic group, we are first and foremost Filipinos.
  • This is where I would like to bring up the subject of equity. Economic statistics show that although there has been GDP growth over the past 23 years, the number of families living in poverty has increased - up to about 5 million families or 27.6 million people. This demonstrates that benefits of that growth have accrued to the wealthy. The rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer. This is clearly unacceptable to all of us.
  • It is particularly galling to read a United Nation country report released in April 2008 that "poverty reduction in the Philippines has logged far behind that of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and China.
  • These are countries that started with higher levels of poverty incidence than our country but have successfully managed to lessen, if not virtually eliminate, extreme poverty.
  • Whoever gets himself elected President in 2010 will have a steep mountain to climb.
  • Which bring us back to my original question: What is wrong with us? Why do we Filipinos always shoot ourselves in the foot?
  • Perhaps the answer can be found in an old African adage: "If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together."
  • Whoever wins, whoever gets to lead our country, let us pledge to work together and rally behind him. By working as a team, by going together, it is a certainty that we will go farther.
  • I pray that that common commitment would be the result of these debates.

Statement: on the Declaration of Martial Law in Maguindanao[edit]

  • I view with utmost concern the imposition of martial law in Maguindanao province, especially after the reported discovery of arms caches and documents related to past elections. I hope that this is not the case of "Maguindanao today-the Philippines tomorrow."

The constitution is very clear. Section 18, Article 7 explicitly states that only in case of invasion or rebellion, and when the public safety requires it, can the commander-in-chief exercise this extreme option. These two cases are not obviously present in Maguindanao.

  • The current state of emergency would have sufficed to address the clamor for justice for the massacre victims and restore the rule of law in the province. For the longest time, this government has tolerated and promoted the culture of warlordism in Mindanao. Now, it seeks to be a warlord to undo what it has done.

On its face, the declaration of martial law in Maguindanao is legally defective. The President's decision as well to suspend the writ of habeas corpus even during martial law is highly irregular. I am sure that Congress will act on this matter without delay.

  • In the meantime, I urge all military and police commanders to make sure that human rights are respected during this period.
  • I will oppose any attempt to use this tragic and reprehensible incident to prevent the truth about these illegal arms caches and documents that may related to electoral fraud from coming out through the imposition of martial law. I call on the people to be vigilant and to resist moves by those who seek to rule beyond 2010.

2008[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • It’s the oldest trick in the book. If you are being criticized, create a diversion. Invent tales so that from an aggressor you become the aggrieved party and people will start casting their sympathies at you.
  • Politicians do not have the monopoly of leadership. It has always been convenient for politicians to take charge in past protect actions, but it is already high time that we let the private citizens hold the rein and make their will take over.
  • I still have the butterflies whenever I talk in public. It's a healthy feeling, instead of feeling cocky. You got to think/guard about what you're gonna say, you don't end up being nonchalant about what you say and end up regretting it later on. It keeps you in check.
    • Jude Morte, "Tell It like It is", Manifesto, 2008, p. 71, ISSN 1908-6229.
  • I learned to speak Bicolano too; I never spoke the dialect when I was in the country. My roomie in Georgetown was Che Carpio, a UP Law graduate from Naga and a former seminarian. He gave me a Bible in Bicolano, by the time I returned from the US I was speaking the dialect instead of speaking in English. My father couldn't believe that I was able to speak Bicolano when I returned to the country. It's easy to learn another language using the Bible, because you roughly know the stories and if you have any doubt with the secular translation all you have to do is get an English or Tagalog version and compare. It's a verbatim translation of what was written there (the Bible).
    • Jude Morte, "Tell It like It is", Manifesto, 2008, p. 71, ISSN 1908-6229.
  • At the end of the day, when you look back, no matter what you are, who you are and what you do, you'll always go back to the basics or the undeniable. History is the best judge; when your epitaph is written you're just a day or a week old six feet under. Stick with the basics, stick to what you're sure of, and stick to something that cannot be judged as being either false, ambitious or arrogant.
    • Jude Morte, "Tell It like It is", Manifesto, 2008, p. 76, ISSN 1908-6229.

Statement: on the MOA-AD Supreme Court Decision[edit]

  • This ruling has finally nailed down the coffin of what was from the beginning an ill-penned accord. This should make all those who authored and had a hand in writing the accord to get red in the face and immediately turn in their resignation from the government for trying to bungle our Constitution.

Statement: on Energy Summit[edit]

  • We must review oil deregulation law and study the following: Removing VAT, lowering tariff, re-imposing price ceilings and prohibiting price manipulation. We should also spend on research and development to find alternate and indigenous sources of energy. The summit will not accomplish anything other than to highlight the ignorance and incompetence of energy officials who need to call a summit just to find out what’s going on.

2007[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • A gentleman treats his fellow man with fairness, always giving him the benefit of the doubt.
    • "Platinum Men", Metro Him, 2007 September-November, p. 66.
  • For those who accused me of turncoatism, please allow introspection. Who is the real opposition? Those who do nothing but criticize and accuse fellow oppositionist thereby dividing the bloc? Or those who choose to keep their silence first and who carefully choose their words in their desire to keep the group together.
  • Politics is not my end-all and be-all. I don't eat politics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And when I sleep, I don't dream politics.
    • Tita Valderama, "The Phenomenon of Chiz Escudero", Newsbreak, 2007 July-September, p. 21.
  • I believe that every person is a new person in every waking morning. She will always have the chance in her remaining three years in office. The best legacy she can ever give is first, a clean and honest election wherein the people can freely choose and elect their leaders. Secondly, she should not think about nor wait for our people's sympathy and trust. Instead, she should let her performance speak for her. This might be her chance to win it all back. If not today, maybe in due time.
    • Tony Lopez, "The natural successor to President Arroyo?", BizNews Asia, 11-18 June 2007, p. 25, ISSN 1655-7263.
  • What is good about campaigning using modern technology particularly the internet is that it is something new and does not cost anything. We have maximized the use of the internet in our campaigns. This is to set a trend and to show what is currently in demand among our youngsters.
    • Tony Lopez, "The natural successor to President Arroyo?", BizNews Asia, 11-18 June 2007, p. 25, ISSN 1655-7263.
  • It would be best to show our people that we can deliver rather than make promises that we can't keep. There is just one thing that I will do however, and that is to bring the voice and the vote of our people to the Senate.
    • Tony Lopez, "The natural successor to President Arroyo?", BizNews Asia, 11-18 June 2007, p. 26, ISSN 1655-7263.

2006[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • If you look at the history of the United States, which has a long history of democracy, you would see they committed the same mistakes over and over until they finally learned from them. The same, I think, goes for the Philippines. Even you look older democracies in Europe, the same story would be true.
    • Kap Maceda Aguila, "The Substance of Chiz", People Asia, 2006 June, p. 50, ISSN 0119-657X.
  • The best evidence that we are still in a democracy is the fact that there is still an opposition.
    • Kap Maceda Aguila, "The Substance of Chiz", People Asia, 2006 June, p. 50, ISSN 0119-657X.
  • An ideal country means being able to equalize opportunity each Filipino so that if anyone should devote enough time and energy towards advancing himself, or improving the quality of life of his family or loved ones, he would be able to do so without any strings tying him down; without any hands holding him down. That would be the most ideal thing any official or president can give to his or her people.
    • Kap Maceda Aguila, "The Substance of Chiz", People Asia, 2006 June, p. 51, ISSN 0119-657X.
  • I am not afraid to lose because politics is not the air I'm breathing. In fact, I long for the day when I'm no longer in politics and will live a quiet and less complicated life - I won't use the word simple because I'm living a simple life now.
    • Kap Maceda Aguila, "The Substance of Chiz", People Asia, 2006 June, p. 51, ISSN 0119-657X.

2005[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • Winning doesn't necessarily mean you're right. History will be a better judge of that. But that's the beauty of democracy — you believe what you believe, I believe what I believe, and as long as we're not hurting each other, that's fine. Placing a value judgement on a person's beliefs has no place in a democracy.
    • "Chiz the whiz takes aim at the Upper House",The Philippine Daily Inquirer, 29 May 2005, p. Q1.
  • I was once asked why I was always on the wrong side, I said, "probably not just on your side." In a democracy, there isn't supposed to be a wrong or right side. Just what the majority wants, nothing more.
    • "Who's afraid of People Power", Philippine Graphic, 31 January 2005, p. 28, ISSN 119-206X.
  • In democracy, it's a continuing struggle of convincing the other person to see things the way you do. You may succeed in doing that during one particular election then fail in the next.
    • "Who's afraid of People Power", Philippine Graphic, 31 January 2005, p. 28, ISSN 119-206X.
  • The younger you are, the easier it will be for you to adapt to a new lifestyle or to a new profession. The older you are, the more difficult it is. The thing to watch out for is, being eaten by the system. So if you look at our politicians now, you will see that the older ones have a harder time letting go. And when that happens, they lose their usefulness. The younger ones can handle change, and they can accept losing a position.
    • "Who's afraid of People Power", Philippine Graphic, 31 January 2005, p. 33, ISSN 119-206X.

Quotes about Francis Escudero[edit]

  • Senator Chiz has always looked into the spending trends of agriculture agencies. He comes prepared. He knows his budget back and forth, inside and out, often more than the so-called budget and agri-sector experts themselves. We need Chiz in the budget talks. There's a big gaping hole when he's not there.
    • Rep. Francisco Emmanuel Ortgea III, "Agri-savvy solon eyed in budget talks",The Standard, 04 September 2015, p. A7.
  • Chiz is the only vice presidential candidate who has a firm grasp of the budget process, and that would make him an invaluable asset if he were to go to the Executive Department.
    • Rep. Francisco Emmanuel Ortgea III, "Agri-savvy solon eyed in budget talks",The Standard, 04 September 2015, p. A7.

External links[edit]

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