In the Northern area of the Philippines, there lies a community with a vibrant history and heritage. The regions of Ilocos (Region I), Cagayan Valley (Region II), and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) are bustling areas known for their tourism, agriculture, and economy. It’s where people can see a beautiful interweaving of the past and present, thanks to its leaders’ historical preservation and bid toward modernization.
The House of Representatives features several individuals, like the representatives from Regions I, II, and CAR, who further efforts of innovation and recognition for what the areas and its people have to offer.
HON. MENCHIE B. BERNOS
(Abra, Lone District)
“Having a career in public service means an opportunity to serve the people. I am now in a position to address concerns like infrastructure, education, healthcare, and agriculture. Our work in creating a sustainable economy and a developed society continues so that progress will always be felt by all Abreños.”
From being the local chief executive of La Paz, Abra, Rep. Ching B. Bernos rose to prominence in the Province of Abra upon her election as Congresswoman in 2022. In the august halls of Congress, she remained steadfast to the motto “Agtultuloy ti PROGRESO…,” serving Abreños through various initiatives, programs, and projects. She is the author of 109 measures of national and local importance. She is Vice Chairperson of the House Committees on Appropriations, Public Order and Safety, and Social Services, on top of her membership in the other five key committees.
A defining moment for Cong. Ching was when she led the efforts for relief to her affected constituents after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Abra in 2022. She also spearheaded the provision of ambulance units to local government units, bringing to national awareness the situation in Abra. As such, she continues the infrastructure development endeavors in Abra, improving accessibility of communities and helping local farmers reach their markets efficiently and effectively; lighting up roads to keep drivers and tourists safe; and constructing multi-purpose buildings to improve governance and community activities.
Rep. Bernos’ legislative measures include: creating an additional Regional Trial Court branch in Abra; creating the Abra River Basin Development Authority; strengthening public health emergency response; providing sustainable management of forests; promoting the right to adequate food; Magna Carta for private school teachers; and mandating the use of on-grid solar energy systems in government offices.
HON. MIDY N. CUA
(Quirino, Lone District)
“I am motivated by the immense potential of the people of Quirino. I have seen how talented and hardworking Quirinians are. I would like to help them succeed by making sure that they are provided with quality education, access to healthcare services, and opportunities to earn income.”
Being a representative in the modern age, Rep. Cua leads her district with the knowledge and expertise needed to bring significant progress. She uses her time wisely to advocate for the public’s demands to live better lives. The lady lawmaker also works closely with other agencies and local government units to achieve the best results and broaden her reach in her area, ultimately attaining her goal of satisfying her constituents.
One of Rep. Cua’s efforts in her district is providing opportunities to develop the quality of education and recognizing the potential for teachers and students to achieve this objective. During events, Rep. Cua personally meets with her constituents, lending a sympathetic ear to members from various communities, like women, children, and elders, and offering them assistance through numerous projects and programs.
She’s also a trailblazer in the 19th Congress as the principal author of bills like establishing a period of validity for registration certificates of motor vehicles, creating a Bangko Sentral Peso (BDSP) as a medium of exchange or as money for use on all digital means, and introducing a tiered system of social pension for indigent senior citizens.
HON. DANTE S. GARCIA
(La Union, Second District)
“There is a pressing issue that I do feel I am really passionate about. Having started as a Barangay SK Chairman almost 30 years ago, it has been my ardent dream to be noble as a public servant and bring the government much closer to the people.”
As a representative, Rep. Garcia aims to bring the government’s services as close and accessible to the people as possible. He continuously bids for the advancement of his district by being one step ahead as a leader and making himself approachable as a public leader. His constituents are always happy to see him when he frequently visits them to see how else he could improve their lives.
Rep. Garcia recognizes the potential of empowering his people, which is how he has centered the projects and programs he offers from his office as a district representative. He provides cash assistance and distributes livelihood opportunities to various communities. Rep. Garcia also implements other services in his jurisdiction to improve his constituents’ quality of life and is a staunch advocate of the fortified local agriculture industry.
The lawmaker also keeps himself occupied with his efforts in the House of Representatives. Some of his contributions, in the form of principally authored bills, include establishing the Young Farmers and Fisherfolk Challenge Program, promoting integrated urban agriculture in urban areas nationwide to address food security, and establishing the agriculture information system in all cities and municipalities.
HON. RAMON JR. N. GUICO
(Pangasinan, Fifth District)
“Because I have always yearned for positive changes, I took it upon myself to bear the heavy responsibility of leading our community. My vision for our people, our district, and the whole province has always been clear: to empower people through more responsive and more effective local governance.”
Rep. Guico, or “Monching” as he is often affectionately called, is a well-known politician in Pangasinan owing to his lengthy tenure as mayor of Binalonan. Now the representative of the Fifth Congressional District of Pangasinan, the lawmaker hopes to bring out the prospects that his district and its people have to offer in realizing a modern and able community. Seen as a father figure by his people, the responsibility of leading them on the right path rests on his shoulders.
As a tenured local chief executive and former President of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), Rep. Guico is one of the foremost champions of strengthening local governments to provide faster and improved services to the people. As such, he spearheads numerous infrastructure projects throughout his jurisdiction to support the effective and efficient operations of numerous local government units.
In the 19th Congress, some of his noteworthy legislative proposals are: establishing a general minimum wage rate for private-sector workers, implementing competitive grant programs to retain highly qualified teachers in rural communities, and imposing a nationwide ban on the use of single-use plastics to eliminate plastic pollution in the Philippines.
HON. FERDINAND ALEXANDER A. MARCOS
(Ilocos Norte, First District)
Coming from a family of politicians (with his father and grandfather as the incumbent and former President of the Philippines, respectively), a lot is riding on the representative’s shoulders. Yet Rep.Marcos, or Sandro, as his constituents fondly call him, doesn’t disappoint. He spent years learning about the ins and outs of politics, allowing him to become the efficient leader he is today. The young Rep. Marcos keeps himself busy by going around his district and the Philippines to offer assistance and innovations when he can.
Rep. Marcos is big on fulfilling his promises, with some of them being infrastructure projects. One of his recent accomplishments is the realization of a functioning sandbox in Pasuquin to provide free IT/Wi-Fi needs, meet the demands of modern society, and empower technologically-savvy minds. He also assists other industries like agriculture, education, and health, among other sectors.
His principally authored bills in the 19th Congress include institutionalizing the transition of the government to e-governance in the digital age, establishing satellite specialty hospitals in Northern Luzon to provide access to specialized medical care, and creating the Environmental Protection and Enforcement Bureau (EPEB) under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
HON. FRANCISCO PAOLO P. ORTEGA V
(La Union, First District)
“My becoming a public servant could have been influenced by the fact that I grew up in a family of public servants in the political arena. I started as Barangay Kagawad at age 22 and in almost just two decades is now a member of the House of Representatives. From the start, I have always been passionate and focused on programs and interventions on Education, Youth and Sports and Innovation. It is my conviction that our young people, as they are the future of this country and leaders of the next generation, should have the opportunities for better education, develop and hone their skills and achieve their full potentials through innovative and sustainable endeavors.”
When there’s a chance to describe how Rep. Ortega leads his people, it’s always with power (or “Paower,” as a play on his name). But it’s not the kind of power that restricts people to a specific situation. Instead, it refers to his competency as a public servant who puts the welfare and safety of his constituents to heart. Rep. Ortega’s calm and warm demeanor makes him a friend and confidante to the public.
Rep. Ortega focuses on empowering various sectors of his community, but he also gives particular notice to the youth because of their potential to become the next global leaders. He offers educational assistance to senior high students in schools across his district. On the other hand, the representative also oversees the establishment of new infrastructures to improve the public’s quality of living.
Despite being busy in his district, Rep. Ortega has already left an impact in the House of Representatives. He’s the principal author of bills that call to preserve agricultural land and regulate its conversion to non-agricultural purposes, providing for the development of sustainable cities and communities in the country, and creating a national policy on adolescent pregnancy, including its prevention.
HON. JOSEPH S. TAN
(Isabela, Fourth District)
Despite being a government official, specifically a district representative, Rep. Tan presents himself to his constituents as their best friend in tireless service and persevering progress toward nation-building. Since he was the former mayor of Santiago, Isabela, Rep. Tan established himself among the public as a reliable public servant and leader—a trait he brought to the House of Representatives. An engineer by profession, Rep. Tan uses his knowledge and expertise to work on improvements in his assigned provinces.
Rep. Tan has several ways to empower Filipinos, from harnessing their creative and athletic skills to providing them with opportunities and services that could further their potential. The lawmaker also champions agricultural progress and environmental preservation, among the other goals on his agenda. He’s also a friend to communities like the youth, elders, farmers, and more.
In the 19th Congress, Rep. Tan’s contributions as the principal author of bills include establishing specialty centers in hospitals under the direct supervision and control of the Department of Health, providing for the enabling environment to foster the growth of public-private partnerships for infrastructure and other development projects, and providing for the Magna Carta of barangay health workers.