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Senate soars

The guy has every right to be happy and proud.

He has skillfully steered the Senate along an independent path while keeping sight of its mandate and mission to serve the people while partnering with the Executive and its other half—the House of Representatives—in crafting meaningful socio-economic legislation.

The result is a high public approval rating for the democratic institution that serves as a political counterweight to the presidency.

This has been its historical role, and its leadership must stay the course.

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Monday welcomed survey results showing that 65% of Filipinos were satisfied with the performance of the chamber, saying that the positive numbers are an indication that the public is pleased with the direction and work of the institution and its members.

The survey, conducted from March 25 to 28 this year by the Social Weather Stations showed the Senate enjoying the highest satisfaction ratings among four institutions surveyed by SWS--the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Cabinet of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, and the Supreme Court--with 65% of the 1,200 respondents saying they were satisfied with the performance of the Upper Chamber.
    
"Our positive numbers are encouraging, and can be viewed as an indicator that our people are pleased with the direction of the Senate and the work it is doing," said Pimentel.
    
The Senate was followed by the SC, with public satisfaction ratings of 56%; the House of Representatives, with public satisfaction ratings of 53%; and the Cabinet, with public satisfaction ratings of 50%. On the other hand, a little more than one out of ten respondents (13%) said they were dissatisfied with the Senate, while 2 out of 10 (21%) said they were undecided.
    
According to Pimentel, the members of the Senate, its officials, and its employees "deserve much of the credit for the positive results of the survey."
    
"That being said, I think we should not be content with the numbers we now have," said the legislator from Mindanao. "There's always room for improvement, and the Senate should always strive to do more because ultimately it is our people who benefit when we in the Senate do our job, and do it well."
    
According to the SWS, the 65% satisfaction ratings obtained by the Senate in March 2017 is six percentage points higher than what it obtained during the same period in 2016, and nine percentage points higher than what its satisfaction ratings were in 2015.
    
People generally look up to senators the way they do to the President because both have the same constituent—they are all elected nationally.
    
The Senate is also traditionally the training ground for future Presidents.
    
Three previous Presidents—Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and Benigno Aquino III —were senators before seeking and attaining the highest office in the land.