On the island of Mindanao lie the Zamboanga, Northern Mindanao, and Davao Regions, or Regions IX, X, and XI, respectively. It is where some of the early settlers established their communities and became the foundations of modern civilizations. Modern Filipinos living in the area now embrace the comforts of the contemporary world while preserving their centuries-long traditions.
It is relevant for Northern Mindanao and the Davao Region locals to live accordingly to the foundations that early settlers and modern leaders established to progress efficiently into the future without compromising their national and cultural identity. Hence, they decided to elect individuals who share similar perspectives into the 19th Congress as they lead with tenacity and compassion. On the other hand, the Zamboanga Region is the first export-processing zone in Mindanao, with fishing and farming as the primary economic activities.
HON. JOSE MANUEL F. ALBA
(Bukidnon, First District)
Rep. Jose Manuel F. Alba, or Cong. Joeman to his constituents, was driven to pursue a career in politics by his deep-rooted motivation to serve his community and make a positive difference in people’s lives. Witnessing the challenges faced by individuals in his constituency, he felt compelled to take action and become their advocate in shaping policies that address their needs and aspirations.
As someone new to this position, he is eager to champion specific policy changes and initiatives that align with his core values and vision for his constituents. Two key areas that resonate strongly with him are financial literacy and bamboo economic enterprise program.
Firstly, he firmly believes in the transformative power of financial literacy. Empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills to make informed financial decisions can significantly impact their lives and uplift entire communities. He intends to champion initiatives that integrate financial literacy into our education system, into the workplace and ensuring that our youth are equipped with the tools to navigate the complexities of personal finance and build a strong foundation for their future.
Secondly, his bamboo economic enterprise program hold immense potential for sustainable development and economic growth. Bamboo is a versatile resource that can address various needs, from environmental conservation to poverty alleviation. He aims to advocate for policies that promote and maximize utilization of bamboo. By supporting a thriving bamboo industry, we can create employment opportunities, protect our environment, and contribute to sustainable development in our country.
Rep. Alba’s commitment is anchored on championing policy changes that aims to empower individuals, foster sustainable development, and create a brighter future for the people of the First District of Bukidnon.
HON. CHEENO MIGUEL D. ALMARIO
(Davao Oriental, Second District)
Being a district representative, Rep. Almario doesn’t position himself above the people. Instead, he poses himself as a friend to all. He celebrates his people and what they can do for the community. Rep. Almario also has a fresh perspective on leadership by continuing established programs by earlier district representatives while experimenting with other projects to see which works in his region and create new opportunities and experiences for his constituents.
An advocate of the youth, Rep. Almario spearheads events that inspire the younger generations to pursue their interests, enjoy the moment, and explore new horizons beyond their comfort zones. He also encourages people to maximize technological advancements in promoting accessibility and as a gateway to advancing in modern times.
His efforts in the 19th Congress are evident in his principally authored bills like reverting to the national government the discharge of primary health services of the Davao Oriental Provincial Medical Center, strengthening the mental health services of state universities and colleges, and establishing the public schools of the future.
HON. JASON P. ALMONTE
(Misamis Occidental, First District)
“My journey into politics is fueled by a heartfelt dedication to being a public servant who connects with people on a personal level while seizing opportunities that make a meaningful impact on their lives by advocating policies that focus on accessible healthcare and education, and empowering local businesses and industries.”
Progress within his district is what Rep. Almonte hopes to inspire as a public leader. He keeps himself productive with the various responsibilities he must uphold throughout Misamis Occidental’s First District and the House of Representatives. Despite the number of tasks he must accomplish, Rep. Almonte doesn’t let the quality of his service to the people diminish and shows them that his dedication to their welfare is permanent.
The district representative keeps his door open to courtesy calls and collaborations with government agencies and personalities or private organizations. Rep. Almonte keeps a close eye on what happens in his district so he can act with solutions accordingly. In the meantime, he also sees the completion of infrastructure projects to make life easier for everyone.
For the 19th Congress, he’s the principal author of bills like granting the Magna Carta for daycare workers, instituting a National Comprehensive Program for the early detection of developmental delays and disabilities in children aged zero to five, and establishing evacuation centers in every city and municipality.
HON. ADRIAN MICHAEL A. AMATONG
(Zamboanga del Norte, Third District)
“The goal of reducing poverty in our district, where more than 50 percent of the constituents are impoverished, motivated me to pursue a career in politics. I strive to establish a special economic zone focused on expert-quality smoked fish and rubber and coconut products. I make healthcare accessible to my constituents by providing them with the necessary assistive devices and making sure that they do not have to pay their hospital bills. For the environment, we’ve planted 25,000 seedlings, mostly narra.”
Finding a district representative with genuine intentions can be challenging at times. However, Rep. Amatong made it easy for his constituents by showing them he could give the ideal service to benefit everyone in his district. Rep. Amatong maintains an air of decorum that demonstrates his authority over a situation and keeps his cool during complications. On the other hand, he’s open-minded to change and welcomes others’ opinions and concerns with open arms.
If he’s not in his district, moving around to see if everything’s okay and where there’s room for improvement, Rep. Amatong never misses out on sessions in the House of Representatives. While there, he takes the opportunity to learn new things to bring back and share with his constituents.
The district representative is also the principal author of bills like defining the rights of women deprived of liberty in jails and correctional facilities, developing the rubber industry by establishing the Philippine Rubber Industry Development Board, and designating a consular office of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte.
HON. JOHN TRACY F. CAGAS
(Davao del Sur, Lone District)
“I was motivated to enter politics because I’ve seen the changes that it could bring. The ability to help and serve widely and in a more gripping way is fulfilling for me as an individual and a politician. Changing one’s community for the better is what we all hope to achieve. Because of this, I hope to champion and make systematic advancements in governance, local policies, education, health and of course, agriculture.”
Rep. Cagas, also known as Manong John, dedicated himself to providing his constituents with inclusive and unconditional service as a district representative. He also believes it’s his moral obligation and responsibility to give and help those who have less. Despite the pressure of giving his constituents a voice in the House of Representatives, he doesn’t forget to show the public the lighter side of life, inspiring them to embrace prospects as they come their way.
He utilizes the benefits of technology in engaging his public to collaborate with them and establish a relatable connection. In the meantime, Rep. Cagas also offers financial assistance to empower his constituents and ensure their safety, all while highlighting the rich culture of Davao del Sur.
On the other hand, Rep. Cagas also principally authored bills that improve the quality of life in Davao del Sur, such as establishing community forests in various provinces in Davao del Sur, establishing a Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Training and Assessment Center in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, and designating multi-purpose breeding farms and hatcheries to produce crabs, shrimps, and lobsters in the province.
HON. SITTIE AMINAH Q. DIMAPORO
(Lanao del Norte, Second District)
“My motivation to run for politics came from my father, Former Representative Abdullah Dimaporo. Throughout his years in public service, I intend to continue his legacy of bridging culture and religion by promoting long-lasting unity in the Province of Lanao del Norte. By embracing diversity and nurturing mutual understanding, I aim to build a strong connection that will pave the way to a promising and harmonious future for the Province.”
As a district representative, Rep. Dimaporo showed that she’s a livewire in accomplishing her duties while pursuing her passions as an individual. She sets an example for women and others that anything is possible if they put their hearts and minds into it. Nonetheless, she maintains a constant presence in the House of Representatives and her district to show that her constituents can depend on her anytime.
The district representative is keen on pioneering new experiences and being a catalyst for change in Lanao del Norte’s Second District. She embraces the possibilities of alternative energy sources to create a green city within her jurisdiction while encouraging her constituents to participate in opportunities that raise awareness about environment-friendly prospects.
In the meantime, she also makes significant waves in the 19th Congress through principally-authored bills, including establishing a Coastal Aquaculture Center to support and rehabilitate the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Northern Mindanao Brackishwater Aquaculture Fish Farm in Lala, Lanao del Norte, founding a National Library of Unity and Peace in Tubod, Lanao del Norte, establishing three (3) arboretums, and installing the Philippine High School for the Arts in Lanao del Norte
HON. ANTONIETA R. EUDELA
(Zamboanga Sibugay, Second District)
Rep. Eudela’s idea of being a district representative is to have the same perspective as her constituents. She doesn’t regard herself as above everyone else. Instead, she knows her position prompts her to be a people’s champion and join in the bid to create the Philippines with globally-competitive industries and equally capable individuals. She also encourages her constituents to consider her an “Ate,” or elder sister, to whom they can turn to in good or bad times.
Her constituents know Rep. Eudela for being a supportive public leader. Apart from recognizing individuals who stood out in their respective fields, she also distributes cash assistance to the medical and educational areas to improve their services. In the meantime, she doles out financial aid to indigenous communities in her district to create a holistic brand of service.
She also principally authored several bills in the 19th Congress, such as promoting inclusive and sustainable economic development through the institutionalization of the “One Town, One Product” Philippines program, mandating private higher education institutions to waive the college entrance examination fees to underprivileged graduating high school students and graduates belonging to the top ten percent of their graduating class, and prescribing the guidelines for the establishment and operation of local universities and colleges.
HON. SANCHO FERNANDO “ANDO” F. OAMINAL
(Misamis Occidental, Second District)
For Rep. Oaminal, there’s nothing as too much or going beyond the call of service. His passion and dedication as a public leader allow him to display genuine care for the people in his jurisdiction as he guides them toward a progressive future while frequently reminding everyone to be kind. His constituents often see him in his district to determine what else must be done or oversee the completion of various set programs.
Rep. Oaminal spearheaded various infrastructure projects throughout many barangays in his district to provide comfort and accessibility to the public. He’s also quick to respond to times of crisis, often offering financial assistance and safety to affected families. Another example of his efforts includes going around barangays to see how they can connect the roads.
He also principally authored bills in the 19th Congress, like providing zero-interest salary loans to all government employees in government financial institutions, establishing the Philippine Children’s Medical Centers in Visayas and Mindanao, and reorganizing the Philippine National Police.
HON. KHYMER ADAN T. OLASO
(Zamboanga City, First District)
Rep. Olaso has a strict perspective on his duties as a district representative. With all the issues that Filipinos face daily, he insists that band-aid solutions are never the answer and refrains from engaging in such. After all, addressing the root of the problem will bring significant change and results. Rep. Olaso is also a man of action who prefers to get a firsthand experience of the situation to determine its gravity instead of handing off the task to others.
Due to his energetic personality, constituents often see Rep. Olaso taking on tasks that push for the safety and benefit of the public. He advocates environmental preservation, encouraging the public to plant trees and refrain from unethically disposing of their garbage in bodies of water or public spaces.
The district representative is also known for keeping busy in the House of Representatives by pushing various laws. Some examples of his principally authored bills include instituting policies for the protection and welfare of caregivers in practicing their profession, mandating all barangays to create a registry of skilled workers, and increasing the social pension of indigent senior citizens.
HON. WILTER Y. PALMA
(Zamboanga Sibugay, First District)
“As a son of Zamboanga Sibugay, I have pursued a career in politics due to my passion for public service and aspiration to create meaningful change for the people. Throughout my tenure as Mayor, Governor, and now a neophyte Congressman, it has been my life’s work to ensure the betterment of not just the lives of the Sibugaynons but also the lives of every Filipino. As a neophyte congressman, I am aiming to champion policies on sustainable development, affordable healthcare, accessible quality education, and equality, not just for the Sibugaynons but for the entire Filipino people.”
Hard work and pure intentions bear fruits a thousandfold, as proven by Rep. Palma in his jurisdiction. His constituents see his efforts and authenticity through the projects and programs he implemented in the region and appreciate him for taking on his roles and responsibilities seriously. Rep. Palma leads his people with dedication as he shows what the future has to offer if they embrace progress and modernity.
Rep. Palma exhibits continuous support to various communities in his district. For instance, he offers assistance to fisherfolks in his jurisdiction through the distribution of fiberglass boats. The district representative also works with other government agencies to find better solutions for his constituents’ needs. And to ensure that his public gets enough attention and representation, he conducts Municipal visits.
For the 19th Congress, he’s responsible for bills such as providing additional health benefits to barangay health and nutrition workers, ensuring food security through mandatory crop insurance coverage to farmers, and creating the health emergency auxiliary reinforcement team under the Department of Health.
HON. CELSO G. REGENCIA
(Iligan City, Lone District)
Before Rep. Regencia took on the role and responsibility as a district representative, he was a three-consecutive term Mayor in Iligan City. Due to his efficiency in the office, the people have since trusted him to be their leader. His approach to being a public leader is showing his constituents utmost care through his brand of service and responding to their needs whenever they call upon him.
Rep. Regencia doles out financial assistance and helps their families lead better lives. In the meantime, he creates opportunities to provide livelihoods to men, women, and displaced workers and raises awareness about preserving the natural environment. The district representative also eyes other prospects of infrastructure projects that could improve the region’s security.
Meanwhile, he also lobbies for bills that he principally authored, including providing for the enabling environment to foster the growth of public-private partnerships for infrastructure and other development projects, establishing the Artificial Intelligence Industrial Research Park (AIIRP) in the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, and installing a district hospital in Iligan City as the Iligan City District Hospital.
HON. LAARNI LAVIN ROQUE
(Bukidnon, Fourth District)
When people think of their homes, they think of a place that brings them solace and an area where they can grow immensely. For Rep. Roque, she treats her role as a district representative by using the perspective of Bukidnon as her home, which proves to be efficient. It allows her to see things about the district as any other resident would, thus showing her where to focus her energies.
She advocates culture and the arts, highlighting Bukidnon’s vibrant heritage in festivals and other celebrations. Rep. Roque also knows the region’s tourism potential, inspiring her to support initiatives that feature her district as a must-visit location. Her constituents also witness her productivity in the House of Representatives and her jurisdiction, further solidifying their trust in her.
In the 19th Congress, Rep. Roque champions bills that support children with special needs, such as granting tax deductions to their parents and legal guardians, establishing a comprehensive training program for teachers, and creating a National Special Needs Screening Program under the Department of Health’s direct supervision.
HON. LORDAN G. SUAN
(Cagayan de Oro City, First District)
“I was motivated to pursue a career in politics to uplift and transform the lives of my fellow Cagay-anons. My vision is to provide opportunities for economic growth, development, social justice, and well-being, ensuring a healthier, safer and brighter future for my people and the country in general.”
With Rep. Suan at the helm of Cagayan de Oro City’s First District, people are confident and sure that he won’t leave them hanging whenever they need him to rise to the occasion or implement his brand of service. He sets an example of how public servants can efficiently meet the people’s demands. Among his many goals is creating a united and harmonious community he could lead toward a progressive future where no one gets left behind.
The district representative doesn’t miss opportunities to show his support for his constituents. Whether it’s financial aid or infrastructure projects, Rep. Suan remains on top of things to ensure that Cagayenos get nothing but the best from his office. He also holds frequent meetings with other representatives of government agencies to see where he can expand his vision for his district.
Meanwhile, he’s the principal author of bills in the 19th Congress, such as prohibiting and penalizing unauthorized practice of law, imposing a value-added tax on digital transactions in the Philippines, and establishing a legal scholarship and return service program for deserving students.
HON. JEYZEL VICTORIA C. YU
(Zamboanga del Sur, Second District)
“I came from a household where social issues, agricultural programs, scholarships, and the like, were discussed in the dining table.
I never really thought of becoming a public servant until the pandemic hit us— saw how our lives changed and how it affected our fellow Filipino citizens. Then I realized the importance of good governance.
Now, I focus my efforts to raise the technology in agriculture for our farmers, give more opportunities in education to our youth, and improve our infrastructure for our economy.”
Being a district representative is often demanding, but Rep. Yu never lets it show on her face, especially when interacting with her constituents. Their smiles and the knowledge of being capable of providing them with quality living conditions and more keeps her inspired to take on the mantle as their voice in the House of Representatives. Rep. Yu also has an eye for detail and focuses on every aspect of her district as best she can.
She shows her support to various communities in her district, including military personnel, the youth, and more. Rep. Yu knows the relevance of working together with everyone to ensure that nobody gets left behind. The lady lawmaker also keeps a close eye on her projects so they will be accomplished on time without sacrificing their quality.
Meanwhile, her contributions to the 19th Congress include principally authored bills like strengthening the National Measurement Infrastructure System (NMIS), promoting integrated urban agriculture in urban areas nationwide to address food security, and mandating the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to exercise supervision and control over provincial jails.