Senator Sergio R. Osmeña III
"Working with you towards a kinder society and a better world".
Senator Serge Osmeña, of Cebuano-Negrense-lllongo descent, takes pride that his family has had the honor to have contributed three generations of direct descendants to serve in the Philippine Senate. Both his grandfathers Sergio Osmeña Sr. and Esteban dela Rama, and his father, Sergio Osmeña Jr., had been elected senators.
Like his forebears, Sen. Serge Osmeña's legislative efforts have been focused on measures that would transform Philippine society into one that will be kinder and gentler to all Filipinos, especially those who still live in want.
He has made a special effort to craft numerous reform measures dedicated to improving the socio-economic conditions of the Filipino. Sixty-five bills he authored have been passed into law, including the Absentee Voting Law, Retail Trade Liberalization Act, Government Procurement Act, Securities Regulations Code, and the Regional Headquarters for Multi-National Companies Act. He has also co-authored 55 other laws including the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act, the Clean Air Act, the Anti-Money Laundering Act and the Safeguards Measures Act.
Among the current priority bills which he is sponsoring is the "Farmland as Collateral" bill of which he is also the principal author. The passage of this bill into law would greatly improve the lives of the agrarian reform beneficiaries, as it would liberate them from the shortcomings of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law or R.A. 6657. Through this bill, the beneficiaries would be given the right to mortgage their lands for the purpose of obtaining funds at more favorable rates of interest than they currently have to pay. They would no longer have to suffer the mandatory ten-year prohibition period currently prescribed in R.A.6657.
In all past Congress, Sen. Osmeña III has always filed the most number of bills in the Senate. He has also chaired 14 out of 36 Senate committees - including Agriculture and Food, Trade and Commerce, Economic Affairs, and Agrarian Reform.
He was recently elected chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies. He is tasked with steering the passage into law of the Securitization Bill, the Pre-Need Code, the Amendment to the PDIC Charter, the PERA Bill and the Revised Investment Company Act (Mutual Funds). All these proposed measures are critical to the development of the Country's long-term capital market.
Sen. Osmeña III has always emphasized the urgent need for developing the countryside areas where the poorest of the poor live and work. Out of his total 3,251 infrastructure projects in all 79 provinces, 80% are situated in the rural areas.
Farmers and fisherfolk have benefited from his tireless efforts to enhance the countryside's transportation network. Thus far, he has caused to be
constructed 674 farm-to-market roads aside from numerous mini-irrigation projects.
He has also championed the fundamental need of all Filipino children to be properly trained to meet the challenges of life. To date, he has funded a total of 935 school buildings nationwide, the most by any senator.
He has moreover directed substantial budgetary support to government-owned medical institutions to fund the medical needs of indigent patients. To date, a total of 2,888 Filipinos have been the beneficiaries of Sen. Osmeña's medical assistance program at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), National Kidney Institute (NKI), the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) the Lung Center, the Vicente Sotto Medical Center, the Baguio General Hospital, and the Lingad Memorial Hospital.
Senator Serge Osmeña III has likewise campaigned relentlessly for justice for victims of toxic wastes at the former U.S. bases in Clark and Subic. He has extended assistance to victims in the form of hospitalization and financial support.
Bearing in mind that the lasting solution to the scourges of crime, corruption and poverty faced by our people lies primarily in meeting their economic needs, he founded the Entrepinoy Foundation whose objective is to train any Filipino who is willing to take risks and embark on small business ventures. A firm believer in entrepreneurship, Sen. Osmeña III is confident that once a man is taught how to fish, he will never go hungry again.
He has earned the reputation of being the Senate's fearless fiscalizer. Known to be fiercely independent, he has earned the respect of many for his numerous exposes on graft and corruption, among others the anomalous IMPSA-CBK, PIATCO, Tiwi-Makban, Marconi and Casecnan contracts, saving billions of pesos for the Filipino people. During his first year in the Philippine Senate in 1995, he was already recognized by the Free Press magazine as "Most Outstanding Freshman Senator" for this exposes.
During martial law, Sen. Sergio Osmeña III was unjustly imprisoned for five long years, In November 1974, he embarked on a hunger strike, along with his cellmate Geny Lopez, to protest the unjust detention of thousands of innocent Filipinos. This resulted in the release of 1,022 political prisoners in December 1974. Defiant to the very end, Sen. Osmeña III and Mr. Lopez subsequently executed a daring escape from their maximum security prison cell in Fort Bonifacio. This exploit was immortalized in the movie, "Eskapo".
Sen. Serge R. Osmeña III is a farmer and businessman by training and was educated at Harvard, Georgetown, and the University of the Philippines. He is married to Bettina Mejia Lopez of Iloilo, Pampanga, and Leyte and has six children.
Grateful for the renewed mandate he received from the Filipino voters who voted him third placer in the senatorial race of 2001, he vows to continue exerting his utmost in his remaining years in the Senate so that our children may inherit a country that will be safer, cleaner and better.