Monday, October 22, 2007

Roxas urged to Palace to 'come clean' on P600-M unliquidated funds

The Arroyo administration should “come clean” on over P600 million in unliquidated and unaccounted funds last year amid the brouhaha over the source of cash gifts given to local government officials and congressmen in MalacaƱang, according to Senator Manuel Roxas II.

“The seeming cloak of secrecy raises suspicions of slush money being paid out in the guise of humanitarian spending. Until such things are explained, the public’s mistrust of the administration will remain,” Roxas said. (Inquirer)

Roxas on Palengke Tips and cheaper medicines

Senator Mar Roxas was a guest in the television program Sis last October 10, 2007 where they discussed market weighing tips, why he is popularly referred to as Mr. Palengke, the impact of Cheaper Medicines Bill to the poor, his small and micro enterprises accessible loans bill, among others.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mar Roxas speaks on the Affordable Medicines Bill

This is a clip of Philippine Senator Mar Roxas, taken from cable news network ANC's 'The Big Picture' aired on August 17, 2007, where he talked to host Ricky Carandang his advocacy for more affordable quality medicines.

Mar Roxas speaks on the Opposition and the Presidency

This is a clip of Philippine Senator Mar Roxas, taken from cable news network ANC's 'The Big Picture' aired on August 17, 2007, where he talked to host Ricky Carandang about being part of the political opposition. Mar also speaks candidly about bringing the country to a better place.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Senator Mar Roxas wants to strike off from the statute books all criminal liabilities attached to libel and guarantee public access to information to advance the freedom of the press and democratic governance, respectively.

He urged President GMA to certify his bills decriminalizing libel (SB 110) and his Free Information Act (SB 109) to substantiate her avowed commitment to human rights.

"The libel law has been used to inflict fear on journalists already saddled with the threat of physical harm when reporting events to the ire of the high and mighty."

Civil damages are enough penalty for, and deterrence of libel, he added, considering that it is difficult to prove malice because this issue goes straight to personal motives of the journalist.

He said it is ironic that the Philippines, while claiming to be a beacon of democracy in Asia, suffers from vicious shootings of reporters.

SB 110 also limits the venue for filing libel suits to the regional trial court where the media office or address of the charged journalist is located.

"Presently, one can file a libel suit virtually anywhere and leave a reporter without legal or financial means twisting in the wind, to the whim of the powerful and influential."

At the same time, Roxas said information on matters of public interest must be readily made available to the people under pain of sanctions against errant government officials and employees illegally hiding secrets from Juan dela Cruz.

He cited the present controversy surrounding the government's questionable $330-million broadband deal with China's ZTE Corp. as an example, tying this to the Constitutional guarantee of free access for the people to official information, except when the disclosure of such would harm the privacy of individuals, trade secrets, national security, public order and safety, and foreign diplomatic relations.

"As much as a broadband network is a matter of national security concern, I don't see how details of the ZTE deal or any contract on the matter can be withheld from public scrutiny under these Constitutional exceptions it does not impinge upon national security, high diplomacy or anyone's privacy," Roxas said.

"While I welcome the government's assurance that the broadband deal is under review, the people still have a right to see the actual or proposed contract and its conditions."

"Free access to information is not only a Constitutional right but a practical tool to improve the economy. The nation's development and progress must be founded on trust and dialogue between the people and the State fueled by the free flow of information."

SB 109 requires government agencies to respond to all written requests for information within two days, unless proper justification is given by the government body, subject only to the payment of reasonable fees for the viewing or reproduction of such information.

Penalties are levied against officials or employees who knowingly and unjustly refuse to provide access to information, or who consciously release false or misleading information.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It's no to higher government fees

Senator Mar Roxas called on the President's economic managers to present a clear-cut plan to the public on how the administration intends to sustain its fiscal program despite shortfalls in tax and other revenue collections. He expressed alarm that revenue shortfalls are now driving fiscal policy rather than the other way around leading to potentially bigger burdens on the people. "There is this business principle that makes sense especially for government: Never give up the long-term." (

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Roxas warns against HSA sans implementing rules

IMPLEMENTING the Human Security Act without a proper set of guidelines and its implementing rules and regulations poses a danger to the security and human rights of every Filipinos, Sen. Mar Roxas said on Tuesday, reacting to news that President Arroyo has announced that the Antiterror Law will take effect as scheduled on July 15.

“The government should not implement the Human Security Act without a set of implementing rules and regulations. Doing so would be like constructing a building without the architectural, electrical and mechanical plans being approved. Eventually, due to poor planning and a weak foundation, the building will collapse and affect innocent people,” Roxas said in a statement. (Manila Times)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

On "fragmented opposition in the Senate"

From Senator Mar Roxas:

"There is an attempt to pin on two other senators (Ping and Loren) and myself the blame for a fragmented opposition in the Senate. Yet, whoever wins the senate presidency by courting the administration senators is clearly the real purveyor of division within the opposition ranks. Whatever the outcome of the Senate Presidency race, the LP senators except for Sen. Kiko Pangilinan will remain with the minority bloc. The people's mandate in the last election is clear: an independent, fiscalizing Senate under the leadership and control of the opposition. I follow that mandate."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mar Roxas disowns anti-PGMA and Corona e-mail

Sen. Manuel "Mar" Roxas II disowned Wednesday an email accusing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of corrupting the judiciary by appointing the wife of Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona to a juicy post. At the same time, Roxas asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to examine the email from, which his media relations officer Jennifer Bugarin branded as "fabricated." (GMANews.TV)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Roxas blasted the House for the non-ratification of the Cheaper Medicines Bill

Sen. Manuel Roxas II, chairman of the Senate trade and industry committee, blasted the House for the non-ratification of the Cheaper Medicines Bill. President Arroyo turned down calls for a special session of Congress to enable lawmakers to pass the pending cheap medicines bill.

Interesting insight also from Ram Maxey.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Put people’s needs first


“For the next Congress to be more productive and cohesive, I strongly urge the administration not to equate politics with obstruction, or all opposing views with attempts to destabilize those in power. Rather, let us begin a national dialogue on how politics can scale up our modest economic gains, how we can spread out our still limited progress, how we can deepen and sustain our competitive advantages as a nation.”

“With so many problems confronting our country, there is certainly room for consensus and consultations, for critical thinking and constructive partnerships. Our goal in the 14th Congress should be to put people’s needs first; and to reflect this in how we approach the budget, draft legislation, and prioritize our work in the different committees. For this to succeed, the executive branch must also forego its own biases, and learn to reach out to the new Senate.”

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Pay the teachers

Senator Mar Roxas urged the Department of Finance to immediately order the release of payments to thousands of public school teachers who rendered poll duty in the May elections.

Roxas issued his call upon verifying that a huge number of teachers have yet to be fully compensated for their service. The Teachers’ Organization for the Philippine Public Sector, a member organization of the Public Services Labor Independent Confederation informed the senator that several of their members have yet to receive the P3,000 honorarium plus P300 transportation allowance promised them by the government. (Yehey! News)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Price relief for hypertensive Filipinos

Nearly eight million Filipinos have hypertension. Stressfully high medicine prices worsen their ailment. But relief is probably in sight. The state-owned Philippine International Trading Corp. is seeking to void the local patent of the hot-selling hypertension drug Norvasc. And it has strong legal basis for it. Norvasc sells for P41.41 per 5-mg tablet in the Philippines. Senator MAR Roxas says the same Norvasc formulation retails in India for only P5.77. The PITC should be allowed to legally import from India, he adds, "to benefit 7.76 million hypertensive Filipinos." (ABS-CBN Interactive)

EVEN if Congress is on recess due to the elections, there is a sustained effort to hasten the approval of Senate Bill (SB) 2263 which seeks to lower the prices of medicines, said Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas III. "Even if Congress is in recess for the national polls, we, together with fellow legislators across party lines, our staff and various stakeholders are engaged in constant consultations in order to build a consensus on the lower priced medicines bill," he said.
(Sun.Star Manila)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Voters Education by MAR Roxas

Please feel free to disseminate these voter education videos. Filipinos must look into their hearts, analyze thoroughly, and vote for candidates that best represent the interest of the country. We pray for high voter turnout this Monday.

Long version

Short version

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Roxas bewails low OAV turnout

Senator Manuel Roxas said the "very low" voter turnout for the Filipino overseas absentee voting (OAV) for the 2007 midterm elections is disconcerting, GMANews.TV learned Saturday. Roxas told reporters that the 5% voter turnout on the 20th day of the 30-day OAV period is "very low" as against the 65% turnout on the last day of the 2004 national elections. OAV secretariat's 2004 national elections record showed 236,722 of the 364,187 registered Filipino overseas absentee voters cast their ballots. For this year's elections, the secretariat has recorded only over 25,000 of the total 504,000 voters, 20 days into the 30-day voting period. (GMANews.TV)

Roxas prods voters: reverse low-turnout trend

Sen. Mar Roxas on Friday urged all 45.5 million registered voters—including 504,000 voting overseas—to exercise their sovereign right to vote. Roxas made the call in light of figures showing that the average turnout of voters in national polls in the last 21 years was a less-than-ideal 76.9 percent. (Manila Times)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Mar Roxas Channel News Asia Interview

Senator Mar Roxas was featured lately by Channel News Asia. Watch this interview.

Your feeback will be very much appreciated.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Roxas to discuss tariff issues with Negrense sugar leaders

Senator Mar Roxas yesterday said the World Trade Organization negotiation process is gaining some momentum and a meeting set in India could disrupt the status quo on agricultural products' tariffs. (Visayan Daily Star)

Roxas say CARP needs review

Senator Mar Roxas yesterday stressed the need to improve on the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, saying it has not been as successful as it was hoped to be since it has not alleviated poverty. (Visayan Daily Star)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Unfair to Senator Mar Roxas

With all due respect to parties concerned, it appears that Senator Mar Roxas may have been unwittingly placed in an awkward situation when he lauded a move by the Supreme Court slapping a temporary restraining order on a preliminary injunction imposed by a lower court against the passport project of the Department of Foreign Affairs. (Alvin Capino's column in Manila Standard Today)

Friday, March 30, 2007

“Roxas Amendments” consistent with US Appellate Court Decision on Norvasc

Senator Mar Roxas expressed victory over the recent decision of the United States’ highest appellate court invalidating the patent of Pfizer over amlodipine besylate, a hypertension drug under the brand name Norvasc.

He said the decision last week of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is consistent with his proposed amendments to the Intellectual Property Code, or Senate Bill No. 2263, also known as the cheaper medicines bill. (Senate)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

US hearings on killings 'not interference'

Senator Manuel Roxas II said the US congressional hearings were important in highlighting the continued killings but added he found it "sad that other countries would show concern about these 800 deaths, valuing the lives of those who were killed, more than we ourselves do." (Asian Journal)

DFA to proceed with e-passports in July

Senator Manuel Roxas II visited the DFA’s passport division the day after the Supreme Court allowed the production of the machine-readable passports and talked to the officials about the passport modernization project. “It is good that the DFA can now proceed with the implementation of the e-passport. With this modernization program, our passports will become more acceptable to other countries," said Roxas. (GMANews)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Passport crisis and on PERC’s survey: RP “most corrupt” in Asia

Senator MAR Roxas was interviewed last March 14, 2007 by Joel Reyes of Saksi sa Dobol B about the passport crisis and on PERC’s survey: RP “most corrupt” in Asia.

Here's the transcript of that interview:

Joel: Ito pong TRO sa kontrata ng passport?

MAR: Everyday ang application for passport halos walong libo at kung ang imbentaryo na lamang ng passport ang siyang gagamitin dadating ang Hunyo sa loob ng tatlong buwan ay wala ng passport na ipamimigay dahil sa ubos na ang nasa imbentaryo ng DFA.

Joel: Maari bang gumawa muna kahit handwritten para lamang can we make do with what we have while there is a TRO?

MAR: Maari namang ipagpatuloy itong sulat kamay na pasaporte pero magpapahaba lamang ito ng panahon na problemado ang ating mga kababayan sa kanilang pagbiyahe kasi ang mga nagsusulat kamay na lang na pasaporte ay iyung mga bansang katulad ng Tunisia, Togo, Nepal sila na lang. Dito sa Asia, tayo na lang ang pinakahuling bansa na hindi machine-readable iyung passport.

Joel: Ano ba ang prinsipyo bakit sulat kamay lamang iyan, paano ang security codes?

MAR: Talagang iyun lamang ang sistema nuong nakaraan at hindi na naging moderno ito nitong mga dekadang ito. Ang problema rito ay sa anti-terrorism na mga ginagawang hakbang ang mga bawat bansa ay ang mas ninanais nila ay itong machine-readable na passport kasi mas sigurado ito.

Joel: Nagkakaroon pala ng problema Senador ng problema yung ating mga kababayan na lumalabas ng bansa kasi hindi pa machine readable ang ating passport.

MAR: Tama po iyun talagang sinasabi natin bagong bayani natin ang mga OFW. Hindi ba’t human reasource ang ating ipinagmamalaki na katangian ng bansa natin na siyang susulong sa ating ekonomiya, itong ating mga OFW, ay dapat gawin natin ang lahat para maging mas sigurado sila.

Eh iyung ating passport diyan lamang sa Recto ay nakakagawa na ng passport hindi ba? At kung ganun ang reputasyon ng ating passport na kahit sa Recto ay nakakagawa ng passport kaya naman pagdating ng ating mga kababayan sa ibat-ibang immigration counters sa ibang bansa ay talagang napapahirapan sila at mas matagal at kung minsan napapagkamalan pa sila kaya’t lalong ini-eksamin, lalong ini-interview at lalong pinapahirapan.

Joel: Reaksyon po ninyo sa survey na ginawa ng PERC, iyung Political and Economic Risk Consultancy na ginawa noong nakalipas na Enero at Febrero mukhang topnocher na naman tayo? Iyung ibang bansang napasama nuong nakalipas na panahon ay medyo naka-angat na at nag-gain pero tayo talagang dumausdos.

MAR: Finally, naging topnotcher tayo? I think that that report needs no further commentary. The report speaks for itself na talagang dapat ito ang dapat pagtuuanan ng pansin.

Joel: Pero ang sinasabi ho kasi ng palasyo ng MalacaƱang ay ano na naman yan ay ang ginamit na datus dito ay lumang datus pa at lipas na mga datus.

MAR: Ang pagka-alam ko diyan sa PERC na iyan ay iyung mga interview ng mga negosyante na lumilibot dito sa Asya. So, ito yung mga luma man o tama o kung ano man ang puntos dito ay iyan ang mga pananaw nitong mga negosyanteng ito na siyang inaasahan natin na pumasok at mag-invest, magtayo ng kanilang mga negosyo sa bansa natin.

Halimbawa, mamayang hapon mayroong debate sa mga tatakbong Senador dapat tanungin ito sa kanila lahat: Anong gagawin po ninyo dito sa bagay na ito? Kung talagang sinasabi ng lahat dapat isulong ang ekonomiya, dapat number one iyan ang dapat pagtutuunan ng pansin ay napakalaking dagok ito na ang pananaw, ang perception nitong mga mamumuhunan na siyang inaakit natin na pumasok rito ay masama.

Joel: So sa mga darating na debate para pagka-senador ay gawing paksa ito?.

MAR: Magandang gawing paksa iyan para naman hindi lamang kanta at sayaw ang ginagawa.

Ano ba talaga ang hinihintay ni Juan dela Cruz? Hindi ba iyung trabaho, iyung laman ng tiyan at laman ng kanilang bulsa. Iyan naman ay lahat ay ekonomiya at kung walang pumapasok dito na negosyante na magtatayo ng pabrika – hindi ibig sabihin ang stock market ha, kasi ang stock market na iyan larong mga mayayaman lamang iyan eh – iyun talagang nagtatayo ng pabrika, nagtatayo ng negosyo dito na siyang nagkakaroon ng employment, iyan talagang hinihintay natin.

Ngayon, kung napakasama ang pananaw nitong mga namumuhunan na ito ay anong pag-asa natin na pumasok nga sila rito? Kaya dapat ito talagang pagtuunan ng pansin kung anuman dapat na gawin ay iyun dapat nang sa ganun ay malutas itong problema na ito.

Kung totoo nga na lumang datus ito ay ang puntos ay iyan pa rin ang pananaw, in other words, the perception is the reality so kahit luma iyan o kahit ano man iyan, ang puntos dito ay iyan ang pananaw nila kaya’t dapat gumagawa na tayo ng mga hakbang nang sa ganun ay mabura itong pananaw na ito.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Roxas urges gov't to set up integrated plan for Pandacan oil depot

Senator Mar Roxas on Friday urged the government to come up with an "integrated plan" that would ensure of smooth, fair and orderly execution of the Supreme Court's decision to close down the Pandacan Oil Depot. (Balita)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The 2010 Programme for the IT Outsourcing Sector

This is the speech (pdf) delivered by Senator MAR Roxas during the E-Services Philippines: 7th Global Outsourcing and Exhibition held last February 15, 2007 at EDSA Shangri-la Hotel.

Your feedback will be very much appreciated. Thank you.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Pharmacists urged to back lowering prices of drugs

SENATOR Mar Roxas on Sunday called on the Pharmaceutical HealthCare Association of the Philippines (Phap) to join hands with the Department of Health (DOH) in expanding public access to quality medicines at more affordable prices rather than block the passage of legislation to lower the cost of medicines. (Sun.Star)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Affordable medicines

FOR a change, the Senate took the initiative on an important bill ahead of the House of Representatives, which now plays follow-the-leader on the issue of costly medicines. The Senate, voting 20-0, approved on third and final reading Senate Bill 2263, authored by Sen. Mar Roxas, which seeks to amend the Intellectual Property Code to make medicines more accessible to the poor and the middle-class. (Manila Times)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cold weather no excuse to raise vegetable prices

Senator Mar Roxas on Wednesday said vegetable supplies from Benguet province remains ample, thus traders should not use the cold weather as a basis to increase its prices."The cold weather is not an excuse for traders to raise the prices of vegetables," Roxas said after making rounds in public markets in La Trinidad and Atok, Benguet with its respective mayors Nestor Fongwan and Concepcion Balao. (Balita)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Liberal Party speech by Senator MAR Roxas

From Senator MAR Roxas:

"On January 29, I delivered the keynote address at the 61st Anniversary celebration of the Liberal Party. To prepare for this speech, I took time out from a hectic schedule to seriously reflect on what needed to be said and how I should say it given the poisoned environment that we find ourselves in.

I would like to share a copy of this speech with you so that you’d know best my beliefs and concerns as a public leader and your humble representative in the Senate. In it, I said that our people are the country’s greatest strength. It also sets forth a clear platform for the Liberal Party.

Let me know if it strikes a chord or not and why. Certainly, any suggestions or comments you may have on how you and I can make our country better shall be deeply appreciated."

Read the full speech of Senator MAR Roxas.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Liberal Party bares platform

AS LIBERAL Party (LP) executive vice president, Senator Mar Roxas on Monday unveiled the policy of the political group as he pointed out that most Filipinos view politicians as "unreliable, unrepentant, irresponsible, expensive, irrelevant, and thus unnecessary." Roxas said the challenge for the LP is to be relevant to the people and present bold ideas on how to improve their quality of life. He said political debate should be shifted from political personalities to political issues that show the way to improve the quality of life of Filipinos. (Sun.Star Manila)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Roxas urges legal community to back bill to lower cost of medicines

Senator Mar Roxas, also known as `Mr. Palengke', called on the legal community to back a pending bill that seeks to lower the costs of medicines in the country through amendments to the Intellectual Property Code. In response, the PBA commended Roxas and expressed support to his bill, describing his efforts in promoting the Filipino nation's health and physical well-being as "noble". (PIA)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

France & the 'health gap'

As Philippe Douste-Blazy, the minister of foreign affairs, puts it: "Of the issues threatening the balance of power in our world, the ‘health gap’ between North and South is now undoubtedly the most worrying. Quite apart from the question of ethics or of moral obligation, leaders are now beginning to appreciate the eminently political impact of issues on poverty and public health. A country which has no healthcare system, no prevention policy and no access to medicines is a vulnerable and destabilized country."

Our own response to the "health gap" within is Sen. Mar Roxas’ campaign for the lower cost of medicines, for as we are wont to say that in our country, if you’re poor and you get sick, you die. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies are getting rich on the misery of the sick and poor. (Manila Bulletin)