Albay 2nd District, Congressman Joey Salceda
Have you ever gotten a chance to meet a person with amazing insights that you suddenly grew hope to see a better Philippines in the near future? I just did and it was a very moving meet up.
Just last week, before Valentine’s Day, I and the rest of my FBN family were able to have a dinner with one of the finest congressman’s in the Philippines. We were very fortunate to have been able to meet Albay’s Congressman Joey Salceda who travelled all the way to Manila just to show his support for our blogger’s association. And it’s not always that we meet someone so great so we were indeed very honored by his presence.
He was benevolent and smart. His take on politics is wise and his concern for the people – I feel it’s genuine. I could support him on the next election even only after meeting him for the first time. But it wasn’t his goal. He’d rather help in other ways. But during his term, he’s taking steps to make the world a better place for our kapwa Pinoys.
With the group talking to him, we found out what’s been keeping him busy as a congressman. And in all his endeavors, he’s been putting our least advantaged brothers on top of his priorities. And I knew then that he’s one of those “pang masang pulitiko” of the country.
Most of his platforms tackle the enhancement of the quality of education in the country. One of the notable bills he submitted is the Meister Schools Act, which will create specialized senior high schools that will teach highly-technical skills compatible with the manufacturing and other high-value industries. Noting him share his thoughts about this bill, he said:
“I have always been a believer in Technical and Vocational Education. It’s what will transform our young population into an economic powerhouse.”
And I definitely agree. It’s not just the white collared jobs that can bring prosperity to our younger workforce. Those in the field can earn as much and maybe even more as we see other countries continuously scouting Filipinos with special skills. Besides, most of our industries that are helping our thriving economy are those that involve physical works like construction.
This Meister Schools Act goes hand in hand with another bill he proposed which is the K to 12 Reform Act. Congressman Salcedo said about this:
“There are four main problems that my bill is trying to address: First, Filipino teenagers, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018, are among the most academically challenged students in the world. Second, K to 12 graduates are not yet employable. Third, learning materials are depressingly deficient in content and effectiveness.”
He shows concern for other developmental aspects of students too like their proper nutrition. He also sees the importance of well-balanced meal to perform better at school because he believes that “the most critical part of cognitive development is childhood, and when children are hungry, we cannot expect them to develop their full intellectual potential.” That said, he wishes to have free meals in schools.
Apart from education, he also acts on the needs of the poor by proposing Cheaper Medicines Law to make sure that everyone who needs medication can get them. He wishes to eliminate the discrimination in acquiring medical help where medicines and equipment for grave illnesses can only be afforded by those who are wealthy.
We know so well, too, how much farmers in the country are so underprivileged so Cong. Salceda wants to give them the chance to improve their lives with the “The Rural Agricultural and Fisheries Financing Enhancement System Act” where banks are to lend a certain portion of their portfolio to farmers and fisher folk. Of course, it has not worked to the fullest because farmers aren’t banked in the first place. And to make the benefit accessible to farmers who are far from their towns or the cities, he proposes the elimination of the need for “physical banking because of virtual applications that allow you to open a bank account in your cellphone and borrow from a BSP-registered bank.”
Finally, and this is timely because of the Ncov 2019 scare, it would be nice if the Center for Disease Control and Prevention will be approved. The congressman hopes it to be a special sector that will prepare the country’s mitigation of and response to communicable diseases.
With Congressman Joey Salceda
FBN Family with Congressman Joey Salceda
There’s so much to admire in this man. His dreams for a healthier, more competitive, and equal country are what most of us also hopes for.