Since the Philippines has centuries of tradition and influence from local and foreign inhabitants, it’s not unusual to see some elements preserved today. Region IV-A, also known as CALABARZON for provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, are some of the areas in the Southern Tagalog Mainland that offer such an experience. Local and foreign tourists know Region IV-A for its white beaches, cultural heritage sites dating back to the Spanish era, breathtaking mountains, and other travel destinations.
Another Philippine region famed for picturesque landscapes and rich heritage is Region V, also known as the Bicol Region. Its highlights include the nearly perfect conical Mayon Volcano, historic routes, colorful cuisine, and vibrant festivals.
Thanks to the staunch leadership of the congresswomen who represent various districts of CALABARZON and Bicol in the 19th Congress of the House of Representatives, the two regions continue to flourish as they efficiently interweave history with the modern world.
HON. MARIA THERESA V. COLLANTES
(Batangas, Third District)
Batangas is a hub for travelers who want to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the city and get closer to nature. As district representative, Collantes makes it her duty to care for the area’s surroundings. One of her recent projects is the Save Taal Movement or SATALA, which aims to conserve Taal Lake’s natural elements while boosting its nearby eco-tourism and socio-economics.
Collantes also focuses on the health and welfare of her constituents, often extending aid to Filipinos with medical conditions like undergoing dialysis and chemotherapy or visiting the youth to provide them with goods to help support their families. She also leads her district in conducting a Basic Training Course for Barangay Health Workers to equip them with the necessary skills.
On the other hand, her contributions to Congress include establishing several government agencies, such as PAG-IBIG and TESDA centers in Batangas, and creating the Taal Lake Development Authority.
HON. LIANDA BOLILIA
(Batangas, Fourth District)
With the moniker of “Siling Labuyo,” Bolilia has to live up to its name, which means the spicy red pepper in Filipino cuisine. It denotes her bravery in the position and how she uses her voice to speak up against the most controversial issues. Her nickname also signifies the heat and passion she has for public service.
The congresswoman always finds time in her busy schedule to be present in her district. Her constituents can catch her spearheading projects, including donation drives, medical assistance, and opening new infrastructures to better provide for the Batangueños in her jurisdiction.
Bolilia is responsible for pushing bills in Congress, such as creating the Department of Disaster Management, establishing the Southern Tagalog Medical Center in Ibaan, Batangas, and granting postgraduate scholarships to public elementary and high school teachers in state colleges and universities, among others.
HON. MARLYN “LEN” B. ALONTE
(Biñan City, Lone District)
From being a councilor mayor and to a representative, Alonte proved her political prowess to the people of Biñan. Her brand of public service is a covenant to her commitment to her people. She focuses on projects and innovations to help her district progress to a modern world.
With 24 years of experience, Alonte has numerous contributions in her name, which she continues to add to as she remains in office. Her projects include the construction of several infrastructures and supporting her public in celebrating and preserving their culture.
Some of her contributions include establishing a hospital in state colleges and universities that offer medical degrees nationwide, creating food banks in every city and municipality to provide a system of redistributing and recycling food surplus to promote food security and achieve zero hunger, and providing for the apportionment of the lone legislative district of Biñan City, Laguna.
HON. LANI MERCADO-REVILLA
(Cavite, Second District)
Revilla showed her skills as an actress before but has now established herself as a prolific politician who values her constituents’ happiness. She spearheaded fun yet worthwhile projects for the public but also remains active in preserving her district’s safety and welfare. The congresswoman also recognizes women’s strengths in various sectors.
Whether in the Plenary Hall or within her district, Revilla continues to advocate for women’s empowerment, education, and livelihood to provide her community with an opportunity for a better future. As a representative, she defines her public service as caring, which makes her well-loved among the public.
The principal-authored bills she pushed in Congress included acts providing direct financial assistance to Filipino rice farmers, establishing a credit assistance program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and promoting Philippine indigenous and traditional writing systems.
HON. RUTH MARIANO-HERNANDEZ
(Laguna, Second District)
Hardwork and empathy are the primary values of Hernandez as a congresswoman. She’s the voice of her people in various concerns, including safety, health, and education, among others. Although she smiles when she faces the public, Hernandez fights for what she believes is right.
Besides being a staunch advocate for women, Hernandez is also an ally of the LGBT community, which she demonstrated through the Love LGBT-Laguna General Assembly to promote Gender and Development in the region. She’s also vigilant in keeping her public well-informed about disasters and risks and how to manage them efficiently.
Hernandez’s recognized bills in the 19th Congress include providing a free annual medical check-up for Filipinos, promoting integrated urban agriculture nationwide to encourage food security, and strengthening mental health services of state universities and colleges.
HON. JOSEFINA TALLADO
(Camarines Norte, First District)
If there’s one word to describe the lady solon, it’s resilient. She overcame several odds in her life, starting with her well-deserved win as the district representative. She’s now an example of a strong woman who doesn’t fear going against the people who’ve done her wrong. Thanks to her steadfastness, she became the most efficient congresswoman in the district.
As a mother herself, Tallado conducts projects focusing on children’s welfare and the health of her constituents. She also oversees various donation drives that provide goods and benefits to community members. Tallado also leads medical programs to offer Filipinos quality healthcare.
Some of her bills in the 19th Congress have provided fixed salaries and other benefits for regular government employees to barangay officials, created an agricultural pension fund for enhanced social protection for agricultural workers, and established an elderly care and nursing complex in Camarines Norte.
HON. MARIA BERNADETTE ESCUDERO
(Sorsogon, First District)
Hailing from a political family, Escudero can attest that public service runs in their blood. Yet despite sharing this similarity with her relatives, she carved her own path as a trusted district representative for Sorsogon. She leads with grace and creativity, allowing her to establish a connection with her constituents.
One of Escudero’s priorities is highlighting the majesty of Sorsogon by promoting it as a tourist destination and preserving its rich heritage. She also values the public’s safety and security, which is why she established programs utilizing their finest and providing for the needs of her district.
In the 19th Congress, Escudero authored several bills, such as road conversions, promoting business growth and recovery by reducing the cost of business compliance for micro, small, and medium enterprises, and reducing waste by donating and recycling excess edible food, to name a few.