‘Malasakit’ for Eastern Visayas

Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez

TINGOG first nominee and Leyte First District Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt Romualdez yesterday vowed to sustain her “malasakit” (compassionate) brand of service and performance in serving the electorate under the Duterte administration as her team ended the 90-day grueling campaign period.

“Now is the time for change and we need one strong voice that will fulfill the dreams, hopes, and aspirations of the people who have been battling poverty for a long time. Let’s give the Eastern Visayas the chance to be one of the country’s most competitive regions in the country,” said Romualdez who underscored the importance to further industrialize Eastern Visayas to generate more jobs and uplift the region from poverty.

“Rest assured that the malasakit governance we have been implementing will continue to ensure that people who are less in life would enjoy more government’s malasakit under President Rodrigo Duterte through more funding for education, health and other social services,” Romualdez stressed.

Romualdez recalled that it was her husband, former Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, now a returning congressman who served as the former House Independent Bloc Leader of the previous 16th Congress, who initiated the “malasakit” brand of service and performance during the latter’s three-term as lawmaker of the First District of Leyte

“We would like to reiterate our appreciation to all our supporters who joined us during the campaign period. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you very much,” said Romualdez, the chairperson of the House Committee on Accounts, assuring their supporters that they will not “waste the trust and confidence given to them.”

Founded in October 2012 as Tingog Leytehon, a provincial political party based in Leyte, Tingog was officially accredited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as a party-list organization through a resolution promulgated in August 2015.

In the pursuit of bringing more “malasakit” reforms in Eastern Visayas and other parts of the country, Romualdez vowed to eliminate poverty and economic concerns, push for pro-poor programs and genuine developments to be felt by ordinary people and make the country less vulnerable to disasters.

Romualdez underscored the need for Region 8 to be represented under the party-list system to ensure that a marginalized sector will have one strong voice in Congress.

“We hope to give one strong voice to the people of the region and champion the cause of authentic regional development and make not only Region 8, but the entire country less vulnerable to disasters,” said Romualdez, one of the principal authors of the proposed Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) that the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading, which seeks to drastically reduce the country’s vulnerability to natural hazards.

“After getting back on our feet following Yolanda’s devastation, we are inspired by the challenge to make a much better Eastern Visayas,” said Romualdez, a registered nurse and a vice chairperson of the House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization, who represents Tacloban City or the ground zero during the Yolanda onslaught.

She said that Tingog’s multiplying number of supporters is very significant and a huge boost to their pursuit of ensuring a wider representation in the incoming 18th Congress for less fortunate people.

“We will work harder to show that we are worthy of all your support. Our team is committed to fulfill our duties and responsibilities to provide Filipinos better lives,” said Romualdez.

Tingog Second Nominee Jude Acidre, former seminarian from Sacred Heart Seminary’s Syzygos-Amadeus Batch 1999, echoed Romualdez’s appreciation to all their supporters as he vowed to continue the mission of enabling and empowering families and communities who were devastated by the 2013 Super Typhoon Yolanda to get comfortable lives.

“The past weeks of campaigning have brought us to different parts of Eastern Visayas as well as to several similarly situated regions of the country. After listening to their concerns about education, healthcare and livelihood, and sharing our vision of sustained growth in the regional countryside, we have become even more determined to work hard to give our people a voice in Congress,” said Acidre.

“Rest assured that we will remain, as always, committed to this cause of change and progress in the regions, where it is needed the most. Please vote for Tingog Party-List! Finally, please pray for us and for our country. Thank you very much!” Acidre added.

Tingog party-list other nominees include Jamie J. Go, Jaime “Boy” Go, entrepreneur and community volunteer from Javier, Leyte, as Third Nominee; Alexis V. Yu, pharmacist and community leader from Basey, Samar, as Fourth Nominee; and Jennifer C. Padual, community leader and human resource management professional from Guiuan, Eastern Samar, as Fifth Nominee.

On healthcare sector, Tingog “will work hard to ensure quality and accessible healthcare facilities, particularly the increase of the bed capacity of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC), the establishment of another government tertiary hospital to be known as the Samar Island Regional Medical Center and to push for the modernization of primary hospital especially in rural communities.”

Tingog will also push for the following legislative agenda that focus on regional development to uplift Eastern Visayas from poverty:

— Intensify investments in infrastructure support especially in rural communities, strictly within standards and adhering to disaster-resilient designs.

— Strengthen 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, push for the institutionalization of disaster management policies and methods anchored on community participation; propose relevant amendments to the government procurement system and the creation of national disaster evacuation plan.

— Boost rural-based education through the creation of an alternative farm and trade school system in the countryside, with the goal of improving the quality, as well as expanding access to, basic education.

— Institutionalize universal access to free healthcare through the service delivery network of healthcare facilities and rationalization of PhilHealth benefits.

— Increase agricultural productivity and sustainability through the creation of agricultural growth centers in identified regions in the country, farm-to-market facilitation, adoption of good agricultural practices, and provision of incentives to clusters of small and marginal producers.