August 17, 2022

More lawmakers have revealed the items they wished President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. can tick off when he delivers his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 25, at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Among the most urgent topics they want addressed are safe school reopening, quality education, Mindanao peace development, support for small businesses, food security and agricultural, local production of Covid-19 vaccines, and mass transportation.

Marawi siege and Mindanao peace and development

Basilan lone district Rep. Mujiv Hataman, in particular, wants the Marcos administration to implement and fund the Marawi Siege Compensation Act “to ease the pain of a people that have been unable to return to their homes for the fifth straight year now.”

Aside from the Marawi siege of 2017, the lawmaker hopes that Marcos can focus on the development of the conflict-torn region because this will bring lasting progress to Mindanao.

“Kaya nananawagan ako kay Pangulong Marcos na sana ay matutukan ang Marawi at ang progreso ng Mindanao, at ingatan ang kapayapaan na napakatagal nating ipinaglaban. Hinog na sa pag-unlad ang Mindanao dahil sa kapayapaang nakamit natin nitong mga nakaraang taon (I am calling on President Marcos to hopefully focus on Marawi and the progress of Mindanao, and maintain the peace that have long been fought for. Mindanao is ripe for progress because of the peace we achieved these past years),” he said in a statement.

Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman (Photo from ARMM Bureau of Public Information via Facebook)

He also wants to hear about the chief executive’s plan on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), highlighting the importance of maintaining peace in the region.

Health care and local production of Covid-19 vaccines

Biñan City Rep. Marlyn “Len” Alonte and Quezon Province 3rd District Rep. Reynan Arrogancia are looking forward to Marcos’ plans for the health care sector, as well as the possibility of producing Covid-19 vaccines domestically.

In a separate statement, Alonte said that the country must have more school clinics with health professionals, barangay health workers, and barangay nutrition workers.

She also supports the funding for “ample” medicine supplies and basic medical equipment, while “extra attention” to schools for special needs kids must be given.

Biñan City Rep. Marlyn Alonte (Photo from Alonte’s office)

Alonte and Arrogancia both back the promise of locally producing Covid-19 vaccines, with both pushing for a virology institute, particularly a biosecurity microbiology institute.

Education

Arrogancia and Kabataan Partylist want the President to bare his plans for the education sector, with the partylist group highlighting the need for the passage of the Safe School Reopening and Student Aid Bills.

“Ito ang dapat i-certify as urgent ni Marcos Jr. kung gusto niyang magkaroon ng pondo para maging ligtas ang plano nilang pagbubukas ng mga kampus. Hindi pwedeng salita lang; dapat may pondo at aksyon (These are what should be certified as urgent by Marcos Jr. if he wants to have a fund for the safe opening of the campuses. It cannot be all talk; there should be fund and action),” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raoul Manuel said.

Instead of the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) earlier floated by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, the lawmaker stressed the need instead for the resumption of Philippine History, Filipino, Literature, and Constitution in the high school and college curriculums.

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel (Photo from Manuel’s Facebook page)

Arrogancia, for his part, said that the Department of Education (DepEd) must now focus on the quality of education instead of access to it by “recruiting, training, and retaining the best, the brightest, and the most compassionate teachers.”

MSMEs

Arrogancia also asked the Marcos administration the prioritize the Ease of Doing Business – Anti-Red Tape Authority Law (EODB-ARTA Act) by providing it with better funding and more personnel for the agencies tasked to implement the law.

He suggested an easier registration process, affordable flat rates for micro-registrants, online sellers, and some small and medium enterprises for the first five years as solution to calls to tax small businesses and online sellers.

Food security and agriculture

With food security a looming crisis in the country, Alonte said she supports subsidizing farming, fishing, and livestock raising from production to retail.

In a statement, she noted the lack of a “transparent commodities market” in the Philippines, while the rest of the country’s Southeast Asian neighbors have “agricultural commodities trading.”

“To ensure affordable food prices, we should make sure supplies are enough when and where consumers need them. For this, we need commodities trading, mobile apps connecting food producers to retailers, and an intelligent database on food supplies and trading,” Arrogancia said.

Quezon Province 3rd District Rep. Reynan Arrogancia (Photo from Arrogancia’s office)

Mass transportation

Arrogancia stressed the need to make railways “the backbone of long-haul mass land transport,” while “bus lines connect cities and towns parallel to and linking to the rails via short haul and safer faster turnaround routes for better economies of scale.”

Ideally, the Philippine National Railways South Line should run until Sorsogon in the Bicol Region, and to Leyte and Samar, and as far as General Santos City and Davao City under the Mindanao railway network.

“I believe profit should not be the primary motive for operating our light rails and railways. Public service must have precedence over profit. This is why from 2023 onwards, I am for at least 50 percent government subsidy of train and light rail fares plus performance benchmarks,” he added.

President Marcos is scheduled to deliver his first address to the nation on Monday, July 25.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deployed hundreds of law enforcement authorities to ensure peace and order during the SONA.

More lawmakers have revealed the items they wished President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. can tick off when he delivers his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 25, at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Among the most urgent topics they want addressed are safe school reopening, quality education, Mindanao peace development, support for small businesses, food security and agricultural, local production of Covid-19 vaccines, and mass transportation.

Marawi siege and Mindanao peace and development

Basilan lone district Rep. Mujiv Hataman, in particular, wants the Marcos administration to implement and fund the Marawi Siege Compensation Act “to ease the pain of a people that have been unable to return to their homes for the fifth straight year now.”

Aside from the Marawi siege of 2017, the lawmaker hopes that Marcos can focus on the development of the conflict-torn region because this will bring lasting progress to Mindanao.

“Kaya nananawagan ako kay Pangulong Marcos na sana ay matutukan ang Marawi at ang progreso ng Mindanao, at ingatan ang kapayapaan na napakatagal nating ipinaglaban. Hinog na sa pag-unlad ang Mindanao dahil sa kapayapaang nakamit natin nitong mga nakaraang taon (I am calling on President Marcos to hopefully focus on Marawi and the progress of Mindanao, and maintain the peace that have long been fought for. Mindanao is ripe for progress because of the peace we achieved these past years),” he said in a statement.

Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman (Photo from ARMM Bureau of Public Information via Facebook)

He also wants to hear about the chief executive’s plan on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), highlighting the importance of maintaining peace in the region.

Health care and local production of Covid-19 vaccines

Biñan City Rep. Marlyn “Len” Alonte and Quezon Province 3rd District Rep. Reynan Arrogancia are looking forward to Marcos’ plans for the health care sector, as well as the possibility of producing Covid-19 vaccines domestically.

In a separate statement, Alonte said that the country must have more school clinics with health professionals, barangay health workers, and barangay nutrition workers.

She also supports the funding for “ample” medicine supplies and basic medical equipment, while “extra attention” to schools for special needs kids must be given.

Biñan City Rep. Marlyn Alonte (Photo from Alonte’s office)

Alonte and Arrogancia both back the promise of locally producing Covid-19 vaccines, with both pushing for a virology institute, particularly a biosecurity microbiology institute.

Education

Arrogancia and Kabataan Partylist want the President to bare his plans for the education sector, with the partylist group highlighting the need for the passage of the Safe School Reopening and Student Aid Bills.

“Ito ang dapat i-certify as urgent ni Marcos Jr. kung gusto niyang magkaroon ng pondo para maging ligtas ang plano nilang pagbubukas ng mga kampus. Hindi pwedeng salita lang; dapat may pondo at aksyon (These are what should be certified as urgent by Marcos Jr. if he wants to have a fund for the safe opening of the campuses. It cannot be all talk; there should be fund and action),” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raoul Manuel said.

Instead of the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) earlier floated by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, the lawmaker stressed the need instead for the resumption of Philippine History, Filipino, Literature, and Constitution in the high school and college curriculums.

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel (Photo from Manuel’s Facebook page)

Arrogancia, for his part, said that the Department of Education (DepEd) must now focus on the quality of education instead of access to it by “recruiting, training, and retaining the best, the brightest, and the most compassionate teachers.”

MSMEs

Arrogancia also asked the Marcos administration the prioritize the Ease of Doing Business – Anti-Red Tape Authority Law (EODB-ARTA Act) by providing it with better funding and more personnel for the agencies tasked to implement the law.

He suggested an easier registration process, affordable flat rates for micro-registrants, online sellers, and some small and medium enterprises for the first five years as solution to calls to tax small businesses and online sellers.

Food security and agriculture

With food security a looming crisis in the country, Alonte said she supports subsidizing farming, fishing, and livestock raising from production to retail.

In a statement, she noted the lack of a “transparent commodities market” in the Philippines, while the rest of the country’s Southeast Asian neighbors have “agricultural commodities trading.”

“To ensure affordable food prices, we should make sure supplies are enough when and where consumers need them. For this, we need commodities trading, mobile apps connecting food producers to retailers, and an intelligent database on food supplies and trading,” Arrogancia said.

Quezon Province 3rd District Rep. Reynan Arrogancia (Photo from Arrogancia’s office)

Mass transportation

Arrogancia stressed the need to make railways “the backbone of long-haul mass land transport,” while “bus lines connect cities and towns parallel to and linking to the rails via short haul and safer faster turnaround routes for better economies of scale.”

Ideally, the Philippine National Railways South Line should run until Sorsogon in the Bicol Region, and to Leyte and Samar, and as far as General Santos City and Davao City under the Mindanao railway network.

“I believe profit should not be the primary motive for operating our light rails and railways. Public service must have precedence over profit. This is why from 2023 onwards, I am for at least 50 percent government subsidy of train and light rail fares plus performance benchmarks,” he added.

President Marcos is scheduled to deliver his first address to the nation on Monday, July 25.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deployed hundreds of law enforcement authorities to ensure peace and order during the SONA.

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