Imelda backs kin, party-list in May polls

Imelda Marcos

FORMER First Lady-turned Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos returned last Saturday to Tacloban City to boost the candidacy of her daughter, nephews and Tingog party-list.

“I am home again to campaign for my daughter Imee, my nephews Tacloban Mayoral candidate Alfred Romualdez, Leyte First District congressional candidate Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, and Tingog party-list with incumbent Leyte First District Representative Yedda Romualdez as first nominee. They will be of great help for more development of Tacloban and Eastern Visayas,” said Marcos.

She visited her hometown of Tolosa and nearby municipalities in Leyte, while in Tacloban, she also received a blessing and prayers from Fr. Wilson Chu, the parish priest of Sto. Nino Church Parish.

In her sorties, Marcos urged the public to vote for Tingog party list while praising the track record of Yedda Romualdez in the present 17th Congress.

The former first lady believed that the legislative agenda of Tingog is a boost to the regional development in the country.

“With Eastern Visayas now being the poorest region in the country, there is a need for a stronger voice to represent it in creation of relevant policy and legislation, as well as in ensuring the delivery of government services. A more region-based approach to governance and development has become a real necessity, given that more and more region-specic issues and problems require a cohesive and integrated response across sectors and geographic areas,” said Jude Acidre, second nominee of Tingog.

Acidre hoped that every family in Eastern Visayas will see their home region not only rise from the devastation left by the 2013  Super Typhoon Yolanda but also transform it into one of the country’s top 10 highly-developed regions in 10 years.

According to Acidre, typhoon Yolanda not only resulte in a massive loss in terms of life and property but also exposed the ills and vulnerabilities of depressed communities in the regional countryside.

“Regional representation through the party-list system offers an opportunity for these often unheard communities to seek and implement long-term and stable solutions by way of legislation and public policy, empowering them to play a stronger role in national development,” he said.

“We highly believe in the power of regional representation in bringing the government closer to the people. As a regional party-list organization, Tingog will not compete with the regular district congressmen since the party has its own agenda and concerns. In fact, having a party-list representative will increase the number and certainly enhance the delivery of more programs and projects to marginalized sectors,” he added.

Through the party-list system of representation, Tingog aspires to be a stronger and more proactive party-list representative for Eastern Visayas in Congress. “As such, we seek to empower various sectors within Eastern Visayas, as well as articulate their dreams and advocate for their welfare, in addition to addressing various social challenges and lling long-standing gaps,” said Acidre.

If elected to the 18th Congress, Tingog intends to file and advocate for the following proposed legislation, based on the following four-point agenda:

1. Higher family incomes through the creation of more industries which would bring more jobs, particularly the creation and expansion of the Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone (LEIZ), in order to ramp rural industrialization and expand the manufacturing sector in the region; sustainable support for small business; increased farm and agribusiness output.

2. Increased social services like the free Alternative Learning System (ALS) and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) by institutionalizing the implementation of the Alternative Learning System in the basic education and establish at least one ALS learning center in every municipality; quality and accessible healthcare service by establishing a level III tertiary hospital in Samar to be known as the Samar Island Medical Center; implement a stronger conditional cash transfer (4Ps) program.

3. Innovative and proactive governance through an enhanced local government autonomy, empowering barangay workers by ensuring a more adequate and stable compensation and benet structure, including civil service eligibility for long-serving barangay secretaries, treasurers, tanods, and health workers; effective regional governance through the creation of creation of the Eastern Visayas Development Authority (EVDA), a proposed development agency tasked to steer the sound and balanced industrial, economic and social growth of Eastern Visayas; results-based disaster resilience  by strengthening disaster governance and the capacity of the government to prepare, manage, and respond to natural disasters through the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience.

4. Sustained economic growth through bigger share in the national budget which can be done by increasing the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share of local government units (LGUs) from 40% to 50% and establish a Local Government Enhancement Fund as separate 10% funding for provincial, city and municipal governments in addition to the 50% IRA to be used to improve their service delivery performance.