Month: April 2007


A lot of you hear about my biking and running from media coverage. But not all of you know about the work I’ve done in the senate. I’d like to share the same with you as it is important to me that you also know about my senate work.

I am currently the chairperson of two senate committees, Health and Demography and Environment and Natural Resources. As such, I have sponsored a number of measures on these subject matters in the last two-and-a-half years. The bills listed below are those that have passed in the Senate. Two major bills have been signed into law by the President, namely, the Biofuels Act (RA 9367) and the Hospital Detention Act (RA 9439). We expect the other measures to likewise be signed into law before the 13th Congress formally adjourns this June.


“Biofuels Law” (Republic Act 9367) – Reduces the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels, protects public health and the natural ecosystem, and supports domestic industries engaged in biofuels production, particularly the sugar and coconut sectors. I am a co-sponsor and author, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago being the principal sponsor.

“Oil Pollution Compensation Act of 2007” (Senate Bill 2600) – Creates an Oil Pollution Management Fund which will cover expenses for containment and cleanup operations in case of an oil spill. The bill has been passed by both chambers of Congress and is now awaiting the President’s signature.

***thats me with Congressmen Neric Acosta and Miles Roces in Guimaras after the oil spill incident

“Cebu Central Protected Landscape Act of 2007” (SB 2532) – Consolidates the management of Cebu province’s five remaining forest areas and critical watersheds to be known as the Cebu Central Protected Landscape. Like SB 2600, the bill is ready for signing by the President.


“Hospital Detention Law” (Republic Act 9439) – Prohibits any hospital or medical clinic from detaining, directly or indirectly, patients who have fully or partially recovered or who may have died, for reasons of nonpayment of their hospital bills or medical expenses.

“Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act” (SB 2490) – Pushes for greater public awareness on the benefits of breastfeeding. It mandates the establishment of lactation stations in the workplace and public places where nursing mothers can express their milk. The Senate has approved the measure while the House is expected to pass its version soon.

***at the Fabella hospital encouraging new moms to breastfeed continuously

“National Anti-Rabies Act” (SB 2541) – Mandates dog owners to have their pets immunized against rabies and registered with their local government unit. This measure only needs the President’s signature to become law.

“Mandatory Hepa-B Immunization Act” (SB 2012) – Expands the national immunization program by making basic immunization services against Hepatitis-B mandatory for infants within 24 hours after childbirth. The measure has passed the Senate but is still waiting for the House’s final version.

“Cheaper Medicines Act” (SB 2263) – Reduces drug prices by amending specific provisions of the Intellectual Property Code. I co-sponsored the measure with the main author, Sen. Mar Roxas III. This bill awaits the House’s final version.


Republic Act 9421 – Upgrades the Valenzuela General Hospital into a 200-bed capacity tertiary hospital to be known as the Valenzuela Medical Center;

Republic Act 9420 – Converts 200 beds of the 2,000-bed Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium for tertiary general health care; and

Republic Act 9419 – Increases the bed capacity of the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center in Marikina from 150 to 300 beds.


Other bills I have authored are pending before the different senate committees. For more details on my bills, updates on my work in general please visit my website at


Ever run out of fun things to do on your birthday? I found a great way to celebrate mine. . . I joined the Philippine duathlon and tri team at the Mekong River International Multisport event in Thailand.

Here is a recount of my racing weekend.

I had planned on running a sprint duathlon the first day and a sprint tri, the 2nd day. But 30 mins before the race started, team manager, Melvin Fausto prevailed upon me to run as an elite in the olympic distance. . I had not trained for this at all, but I figured why not? Worse case scenario, i would be very tired and very slow. . but at least i would burn a lot of calories and could eat a lot.

But it turned out to be a good race! Planned a steady 10K between 1:52 and 1:53. Did a 1:53! My bike was suprisingly good, despite the lack of practice. . . Figured i would only bike a 1:30 and anything faster would be a bonus. I ended up with a 1:19. . . Last run was good too. About 26+. So, including time in the transition area my time was 2:42 which i was very happy with considering that my only serious training was my run. .

The Team did very well. We took 1st and 2nd place in the under 23 women, Monica and Annalisa. And 1st and 3rd under 23 mens, August and Ryan. Our defending champ Ryan, failed to defend his title as the field was really deep and strong this time with non-asian entries.

Next day, was the triathlon race where i registered as an age grouper for the sprint distance.

Boarded a ferry that took out us 750 meters. When the whistle blew, Ani and I jumped off the side of the ferry and swam. As planned, Ani swam with me but around 250 meters into the swim, i told her to go ahead since i was fine. I knew she had a shot in winning so sayang naman if she just paced with me. Sure eneough, she did!. Yey Ani!

Swim turned out to be nice and uneventful (compared to last year where i found myself halfway to Laos because of the current). Bike and run went well too. And i finish in 1:20.

The hightlight of Sunday was that national champ, George Vilog beat the Philippine record! He clocked in at 1:56. Its an ITU certified race so we’re waiting for final word that it will be honored by TRAP.

And so ends a great weekend of racing and hanging with some admirable people, the men and women comprising the Philippine duathlon and tri team. . . Good job team!

Next birthday uli!