MANILA – Despite her battle with lung cancer, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago has emerged with the most number of bills and resolutions filed in the Senate in 2014.
Senate records show that Santiago filed a total of 1,007 bills and resolutions, followed by detained Sen. Jinggoy Estrada with 604 bills and resolutions; Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, 307; Sen. Lito Lapid, 219; and Sen. J.V. Ejercito, 217.
Santiago has consistently been the Senate’s top performer since her election in 2004.
She is also credited for sponsoring or authoring the following laws: Reproductive Health Act; Biofuels Law; Renewable Energy Law; Sin Tax Law; Magna Carta of Women; Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act; Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity; Cybercrime Law; Seatbelt Law; Exact Change Act; Philippine Standard Time Act; Motorcycle Helmet Act; Kasambahay Law; Anti-Bullying Law; Archipelagic Baselines Law; and Climate Change Act.
Meanwhile, Santiago has urged for the passage of the following bills before her term ends in 2016: the Anti-Commercialization of Human Organs, Tissues or Parts of Living Persons Bill; Anti-Epal Bill; Anti-Political Dynasty Bill; Billboard Regulation Bill; Call Center Bill; Child Care Centers Bill; Certificate of Intention to Run for Public Office Bill; Clear Sidewalks Bill; Compulsory Teaching of Ethics Bill; Deceased Donor Bill; HIV and AIDS Bill; Magna Carta of Workers in the Informal Sector; Pthalate-Free Toy Bill; Special Education Bill; Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom; and Whistleblowers Bill.
Among the 538 bills she filed in 2014 were proposals for the institutionalization of an age-appropriate curriculum to prevent the abduction, exploitation, and sexual abuse of children which are prejudicial to their development (Senate Bill No. 2339); stricter monitoring of bank accounts of politically exposed persons (Senate Bill No. 2438); part-time employment in place of retrenchment (Senate Bill No. 2470); and increasing court-awarded damages for death (Senate Bill No. 2513).
Santiago also filed resolutions urging the Senate to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation on the alleged Binay farm; projects by controversial Hilmarc’s Construction Corp.; the constitutionality of the Visiting Forces Agreement; and the series of abduction cases in Makati City, among others.
As chair of the Senate foreign relations committee, Santiago presided over hearings on the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and the murder of transgender woman Jennifer Laude. She also secured Senate ratification of important treaties, including the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), and the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response.
Santiago also chaired the foreign affairs committee of the Commission on Appointments (CA) until the end of her term in the bicameral body in December.
The senator’s committee was also the top performer in the CA, having secured the confirmation of more than 300 ambassadors, consuls, and other high-level officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs.
In July last year, Santiago announced that she had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. She has later revealed that she is in remission.