Greco Belgica was the former councilor in the 6th district of Manila from 2004-2007. He is under the Democaratic Party of the Philippines running as part of the senatorial slate of presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte and vice presidential candidate Allan Peter Cayetano.
He was one of the most active leaders that questioned the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and other discretionary funds from when the issue exploded until today. Belgica’s main position as espoused by his campaign is to convert all discretionary funds such as the pork barrel into tuition vouchers. He also espouses the need for free education as a means to relieve social inequality. He proposes to tag the P25 billion that was used to be appropriated to the PDAF to set up the Tuition Voucher Fund.
Belgica also campaigns for a one-time 10% income tax flat rate for all individuals. This means removing all other taxes such as the 12% value added tax with the goal of elevating the standard of living for Filipinos by getting to take home most of their salary. He stated that, “Our advocacy is for the Senate. It would not be solved by the city council, mayor, Congress or the president.”
PRINCESS JACEL KIRAM, the Heiress of the Sultanate of Sulu
Princess Jacel Kiram is the heiress of the sultanate of Sulu. She wants to elevate the discourse of reclaiming Sabah (now called North Borneo) into the legislature. She is running under the slate of Vice President Jejomar Binay, the United Nationalist Alliance.
At the top of her list is to create lasting peace in Mindanao. For Kiram, the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is not the right solution to the problem at hand and it is not inclusive – it goes counter to the interests of the Lumads, the Sulu Sultanate, the MNLF and other Christian groups. In addition, the existing laws on the IPRA Law, claim to Sabah and the Tripoli and Jakarta Peace Agreements were not considered in the making of the BBL.
According to Jacel Kiram, “Mindanao has diversed people base on ethnicity, religious affiliation and origin. These stakeholders must be well-represented and well-heard so that no contradictions will arise.” To create lasting peace in Mindanao, all stakeholders must first do away with war and must be included in the decision making process. Her candidacy for a national position is a way to ensure Muslim participation.
ROMAN ROMULO, Education and Security for Students
Roman Romulo is currently the representative of the lone district of Pasig City. As a legislator he was engaged in the co-authorship of various house bills on areas of education, public health, culture, public infrastructure development and the environment. He is also one of the main supporters of the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill (FOI).
He is best known as the champion of the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) Act which aims to integrate all government programs on assistance and scholarships for college students. For Romulo, “The UNIFAST effectively empowers all Filipino youth who dream of a good education by giving them access to the financial means of achieving that dream. Now even without the patronage of politicians, the Filipino youth can get financial assistance or grants to achieve a good education.”
His main concern when elected in the Senate is centered on bettering the education system. Romulo urged universities to establish a crime prevention unit in their campuses to ensure the safety of their students. Quality education is important but at the same time, the lives and security of students are as vital.
DANTE LIBAN, The Filipino Family Man
Dante Liban served three terms as a representative of the 3rd district of Quezon City. He also served for a year as chief of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in 2002 then resigned over differences in policy opinions with then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He is running as an independent candidate under the senatorial slate of presidential hopeful and current Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
In his bid for the Senate he aims to create a distinct department that focuses on Filipino families. With the plan to create the Department of Families, Seniors, Women, Youth, and Children, Liban emphasized that it is not going to be an overlap with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). For him, the creation of such government arm will aid the DSWD in delivering services given that it will be de-loaded from other responsibilities. With his proposal, services for families will be of higher quality because it is more focused and specialized.
Liban also stressed that, “We should promote the Filipino family, protect the Filipino family, and strengthen the Filipino family.”
ALDIN ALI, Para sa mga Pamilyado, Empleyado at Pilipino
Partido ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka’s Aldin Ali’s senatorial bid focuses on his tag line “Pamilyado, Empleyado at Pilipino.” Ali puts at the center the need to ensure that all Filipino families have sufficient food, good health, access to quality education, clean and safe neighborhood and the reunification of OFW families by having enough jobs locally.
The welfare of Filipino employees will also be taken cared of. Ali stands for workers rights that includes security of tenure through the eradication of contractualization, humane working conditions, just salaries and benefits, lowered income taxes and fast and reliable means of transportation especially the LRT and MRT.
For Ali the Filipino community must be reformed with Christian-Muslim Democratic ideals in order to resolve the conflict in Mindanao. If given a seat in the Senate, he promises to fight only for the interest of the Filipino people.
MARTIN ROMUALDEZ, Team Malasakit
Martin Romualdez is currently the representative of Leyte’s 1st district. Romualdez is an esteemed business man and has tremendous experience in the private sector. His move to the public sector is a way for him to offer his expertise in handling business and development to the public. It is a way to give back to his home and especially his province.
Public service. Being a public servant for him is not just a day-to-day job that one does everyday. It is a vocation that one needs to seriously engage in to be able to provide quality service for one’s constituents. With this, distinction and credit is of no importance him – what is most valuable is to be able to impact the lives of people.
Constitutional advocacy. Romualdez calls himself a constitutionalist. For him, the Constitution must consistently be promoted and upheld. It is vital for the public to know the general contents and the authority of the Constitution.
Giving back. As public servant a seat in the government is the best way to show genuine concern for the people. It is the most efficient position to bring service for all.
Fear of God and love for family. Romualdez is a devoted family man and servant of God.
With these core values – Martin Romualdez’ character as a public servant may be measured. These are the values he intends to inculcate in his work.
Bernadine (Dine) Racoma is a writer, researcher, and multi-awarded blogger. You can find Bernadine Racoma at Google Plus, Facebook, and Twitter. She is an advocate and co-founder of BlogWatch.
Profile as of March 9, 2017.