Senator Pia Cayetano on Monday appealed to her colleagues in the Senate to prioritize discussions on the bill seeking reforms on the corporate income tax which President Duterte has certified as urgent.

images 3 1 - Cayetano asks senators to prioritize CREATE bill over franchise of Bulacan airport
Sen. Pia Cayetano

Cayetano, chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, made the call just before the Senate was about to start interpellations for House Bill No. 7507, a franchise bill involving the construction of the Bulacan airport.

The senator requested that the proposed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) be taken up first over the said House measure.

“My understanding is, our priority is CREATE. I had 10 people on the list to interpellate. With all due respect to all, I don’t want to deprive anyone of their opportunity to defend their bills, to interpellate other bills,” Cayetano manifested on the Senate floor during the plenary session.

“But can we please proceed with CREATE first because I need to spend a little bit of time on it each day. Maybe we can do two hours of CREATE and then move to another subject and then come back to CREATE,” she added.

Cayetano admitted she feels the pressure of time since she doesn’t know how many days the bill can be discussed and how long she can respond to other senators’ questions regarding the measure.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri tried to bargain to keep the interpellation of the franchise bill involving San Miguel Aerocity Inc. first as he reasoned out that the franchise applicants would have a problem if the Senate fails to approve it this week.

But Cayetano explained she also wants to interpellate on the franchise bill but she needs time to focus on CREATE.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, for his part, clarified that no one is being prevented from asking questions regarding the franchise bill. After suspending the session for a few minutes, Sotto announced that the franchise bill will be taken up after tackling  the proposed CREATE bill first. 

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