Nearly three enduring decades of nothing but untainted, out and out public service made me the civil servant I am today. From a newcomer legislator of my hometown, then to a three-term local chief executive, to being here at this very chamber, I am deeply gratified to have stayed and committed for my beloved Tarlaquenos from the very beginning until now. It is but apt and proper to primarily express my unending gratitude to God Almighty, whom I have sought for guidance and never failed to impart me with prudence and vim to do nothing but good for our people.
Lord, with unending praise, I shall yield to your Holy Name and Will.
I am likewise, thankful to the integral constituency of the second district – from undivided voters to unwavering allies and friends who trusted me for the second time around to be part of this provincial council. To my loving family – God’s greatest gift to me, thank you for always being there. These span of years of serving the people from the grassroots up to the district echelon honed me to be further adroit in the daunting tasks of local policy-making. Hence, renewing this tenure implies another productive chapter for this representation, which I anticipate to be steadily imbued with dynamism and throughput.
This renewed opportunity will further ascertain what we have already endeavored and prospered for our province… for our people… for our Tarlac. Being alongside with our kababayans – seeing, feeling, hearing and bearing with them, molded me to be more aware and proactive with the problems that afflicted their communities, which we can throw a light on at full tilt through appropriate legislative measures. These various hands-on involvements with communities taught me boundless points to improve my calling as a humble representation of our district.
It is also a formidable admission on my part that through these experiences, I draw might and optimism to endure with the challenges that lies ahead. The propitious opportunity to serve this constituency hand in hand with our beloved provincial governor, honorable Victor Yap, similarly taught me valuable and progressive views on governmental headship and advocacies that guarantee the uninterrupted progress of our people. This grassroots ascendancy, where this humble representation unceasingly anchors its legislative agenda, places the province’s citizens as midpoints, a proven gauge that confidently invests on human capital and development.
I warmly commend our governor for his tried and tested Sulong Tarlac platform with its four enduring pillars – Pagkain Muna, Kalusugan Muna, Trabaho Muna and Edukasyon Muna. This attainable quartet paradigm shall be my constant muse on instigating the initiatives and proposals solely catered for our people. Through these pillars, we have evolved from being a nearly crippled agency to a now effectual, dependable people’s body rolling a much-desired overhaul – straightway among the frontrunners on collective nation building. But more needs to be done.
Allow me then, fellow members of this august body, to cite some of the accomplishments and envisioned proposals of this humble representation for our province. AGRICULTURE 1. Tarlac is anticipated to be the leader in agricultural innovation. Among my top agenda is to be able to draft a road map that will boost the local organic movement. Last year, a nationwide organic congress was held that showcased the different organic produces and commodities of Tarlac to the country. Let us not allow the opportunity to pass every year on encouraging different local cooperatives to organize and support organic farming within their assemblies.
Inopportunely, the Gulayan venture has some deficiencies that need to be attended. In coordination with the Department of Agriculture by means of legislation, we are determined to provide an effective subsidy to farmers that will cater to their necessities. In this way, we can steadily reach our goal in making Tarlac the leader in agriculture. ENVIRONMENT 2. Relative to targeting a sustainable solution to environmental concerns, I shall prioritize the authorship of a statutory regulation towards visualizing and attaining a “Plastic-free Tarlac”.
Major metropolises have already yielded on this scheme; it is of the time and essence that we also take the lead in our region for our mother Earth. 3. On top of this is our winning endeavor of effectively calling the attention of local hospitals of convincing their management to strictly impose the appropriate disposal of biological wastes within their communities. Yet, it is still essential for us to be vigilant particularly for funeral mortuaries and slaughterhouses to conform to the proper procedures on waste management.
If the need arises, we shall revise existing local rulings based from national policies like the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and the Sanitation Code of the Philippines that will give teeth and permissible police powers to implementers as well as to levy for appropriate taxes and in contrast, to offer awards and incentives for those who will conform to this initiative. HEALTHCARE 4. With regards to our championing endeavors on local public healthcare, this representation shall fully devote on supporting through legislature, the award-winning, first field health service info system in the country, the Wireless Access for Health.
We all discern that due to its success, it is already well sustained by numerous benefactors. However, this venture still hopes that it acquires a much-needed backing from a statutory perspective especially that it plans to expand soon to other municipalities of the province. 5. Though becoming an effective harbor for individuals who lacks capitals to access medical services locally, the Philhealth ng Masa program similarly requisites stronger legislative measures to ensure that every family shall be covered with affordable and quality healthcare.
Utilizing suitable legislation and consistent discourse with Philhealth, we can solicit to this ever-accommodating public insurance figure to be more lenient and adaptable to indigent constituencies – the poorest of the poor, who lack or does not have any notion on how to get credentials necessary for getting covered (like birth certificates, clearances and the likes). Through proper legislation and consideration among concerned bodies, we can shed a light on this and with full hopes find a solution through this dignified chamber.
LIVELIHOOD 6. This representation shall also thrust for a sounder investment code that will be adaptable to the needs of prospective investors. This will convey a mutually advantageous atmosphere between the province and investors that is favorable for employment generation. In partnership with corresponding local business chambers, we shall seek help on crafting a measure encouraging upright MFIs coupled with appropriate financial literacy trainings among our constituencies in the rural areas. EDUCATION 7.
One of my primary focuses on education is for our province’s technical and vocational schools to come up with efficient curricula for enhancement and assessment of our future labor force. In the advent of the mandatory K-12 program of our national government, these ladderized courses offered by various tech-voc schools shall offer a window of fresh opportunity for our citizens to finish a short course, go out and work, and then return for a more advance course or maybe even move into a university for a degree.
The practicality of ladderized education is to be understood as a shining beacon of hope for our indigent constituencies who desire to pursue their dreams through education. PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT AND LGUs 8. Our commitment with our fellow civil servants and government employees within the capitol workplace and other attached agencies is still deemed precedence where legal mandates are necessary to further redefine and innovate bureaucracy.
Aside from streamlining to make our structure more efficient, we should, through legislative courses mechanize ingenious innovations highlighting human resources development and quality management system approaches. 9. Finally, a big fragment of my legislative agenda will focus on our local government units to competently generate revenues so they could come up with ways to solve the long-standing paucity of funds prevalent in them. I know for a fact that we should center our agenda to our districts, for I myself became a part of resolving its scenario, back when I was still the mayor of Gerona.
This is of course, plausible with the support of our national, provincial and local governments and different exponents that are willing to work hand in hand for our province. There are big shoes to fill in, especially with these planned initial thrusts and agenda that I personally consider, would be indispensable for this very august chamber to discern and willingly take part of. This representation shall be and will be disposed to accommodate more rightful propositions pertinent to the issues of our times, most prominently those that sways our constituents, a vision that is truly reflective with that of the Sulong Tarlac manifesto.
I am similarly poised that through the vitality and aggressiveness of our new vice governor, honorable Kit Cojuangco Jr. , and with your succor, fellow colleagues in this august chamber, we can build a more meaningful purposeful solidarity, regardless of political affiliation, towards formulating an all-inclusive agenda that will hopefully serve as a steadfast, literal ‘sanggunian’ for our counterparts in the seventeen municipalities and in this capital city. Participatory governance is the way to go for I consider it to be a two-way gain between our Sanggunian and these seventeen local Sangguniaans making up the whole province.