As a significant agriculture nexus in the Philippines, Region III or Central Luzon is vital in the country’s development and preservation. Each province focuses on specific products and contributes to the country’s economy and tourism, among other sectors. Let’s not forget their cultural and historical relevance in promoting a sense of identity and patriotism.
With the proper leadership from the local and national governments, Region III maintains its position as a hub for growth and development. In the 19th Congress, Filipinos from Central Luzon and nationwide can see the contributions of their elected representatives in strengthening the status quo and exploring the boundaries of progress. Their initiatives demonstrate how provinces can embrace prospects to their benefit.
HON. JAIME D. COJUANGCO
(Tarlac, First District)
“My motivation to pursue this career actually stemmed from my Lolo ECJ, Lolo Henry, and Dad. I want nothing more than to continue their legacy of mindful legislation and overall improvement to the lives of the people of Tarlac.
To be honest, I was naive at the start. Thinking that I had all the answers and knew better than my constituents, saying that I would focus on certain policies that I thought were more important. However, the truth is that to truly understand the needs and wants of your constituents requires you to actually interact, converse and debate with them. At the end of these genuine interactions is when you will uncover the things that matter to them most. The policy needs of Tarlac are ever-changing and I look forward to building the new Tarlac with my constituents.”
Hailing from a family with ties in politics, the young Rep. Cojuangco came into his own and stepped up as a district representative. Armed with the knowledge and experience from his family’s legacy, Rep. Cojuangco brings a fresh perspective to his leadership that allows him to put his constituents’ welfare as the topmost priority. He also explores new avenues for improvement to provide various experiences and opportunities to people from all walks of life.
During his time as a district representative, Rep. Cojuangco spearheaded the completion of various projects, including establishing relevant infrastructures, like a public market, government offices, and bridges, to increase accessibility and convenience within his district. He also partners with other government agencies to extend benefits to the public.
In the meantime, his agenda in the 19th Congress spans various sectors, providing different advantages for Filipinos. His principally-authored bills include mandating the inclusion of agricultural concepts in the curriculum of all primary and secondary schools, creating a tripartite council to address the job-skills mismatch, unemployment, and underemployment in the country, and institutionalizing the transition to e-governance in the digital age.
HON. AMBROSIO JR. C. CRUZ
(Bulacan, Fifth District)
“To be an active part of nation-building through legislative interventions. Most especially, the shift to a Federal system of government that will bring the government closer to the governed, thereby reducing substantial corruption in the government.”
Rep. Cruz, also known as Boy to his constituents, has been a staunch figure to Bulakeños for years. As the former mayor of Guiguinto, Bulacan, people already know his personal touch as a public servant because they know how the representative cares for his constituents. He leads his district with a fortified sense of Bayanihan to encourage everyone that change is possible and rewarding if everyone works together toward a common goal.
The district representative, although frequently busy, always keeps a smile on his face when interacting with his public. He collaborates with various government agencies to bring benefits to the public, such as assistance programs to several communities and displaced workers. Rep. Cruz also recognizes the potential of the youth for nation-building through various projects that highlight their abilities and passions.
His concern for the Filipinos and his efforts extend to the House of Representatives, where he principally authored bills like mandating the construction of a coastal road connecting the CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela) area to the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan. Other filed bills include creating the Department of Water Resources Management and requiring all national, regional, and provincial government hospitals to establish, operate, and maintain a dialysis ward or unit in their respective hospital to provide free dialysis treatments to indigenous patients.
HON. DANNY A. DOMINGO
(Bulacan, First District)
If there’s one thing that Rep. Domingo uses to describe himself and his brand of public service, it’s becoming a dad or father figure to his constituents. People also know him as a servant of justice who values the truth. The public often approaches him to address problems Filipinos face daily in society. Like a father, he’s an ideal example of strength and sympathy, becoming someone that society can look up to.
Some of his projects and programs include medical missions, environmental clean-up drives, and agricultural grants to empower his farmer constituents to have a better livelihood. He also spearheads other initiatives, like the waterway dredging efforts, to improve his district’s quality of life.
For the 19th Congress, Rep. Domingo is the principal author of several bills, like integrating a comprehensive study of Philippine history during World War II into the higher education curriculum, prescribing the guidelines for the establishment and operation of local universities and colleges, and providing for the enabling environment to foster the growth of public-private partnerships for infrastructure and other development projects.
HON. MARIA ANGELA S. GARCIA
(Bataan, Third District)
Rep. Garcia, also fondly known as Gila by her constituents, was a three (3) term Mayor of the Municipality of Dinalupihan. She is the first Representative of the newly created Third (3rd) District of the Province of Bataan, comprising the towns of Dinalupihan, Morong, Bagac and Mariveles, being masterplanned as the “Bali” of the Philippines.
Her inspiration in public service is her beloved father, Enrique “Tet” Garcia, Jr., who served as Governor and Congressman of the Province of Bataan. She leads with grace, knowledge, and wisdom, which she aptly exhibits through her efforts in various committee memberships in the House of Representatives. She’s creating a legacy of her own, with programs that positively impact the lives of Filipino families.
Among her efforts in her district is the strengthening of education, health, and livelihood programs. The representative also empowers the farmers and agricultural sector prevalent in the province she leads. She also embraces the potential of technology and modern advancements in creating a competitive and thriving environment for farmers.
Meanwhile, her contributions to the 19th Congress, through her principally-authored bills, includes the creation of the Metro Bataan Development Authority, conversion of the Bataan Peninsula State University – Bagac Campus, creation of the DPWH Third District Engineering Office of the Province of Bataan, and co-authorship of the Magna Carta for Barangay Health Workers.
HON. JEFFERSON F. KHONGHUN
(Zambales, First District)
“A particularly important quality that I possess is my genuine concern for my constituents, understanding that being in whatever position I hold, I have the responsibility to serve them. In my whole political career, this has always been my vision: to make ways to improve the lives of the people who trusted me to lead.”
From being mayor to vice governor to district representative, Rep. Khonghun carefully climbed the ranks of the local government, thanks to the trust and support of his constituents, which he rightfully earned over the years. He established himself as a public servant whose strength lies in helping his public achieve new opportunities and live better lives under his watchful eye. He proves there is much to accomplish through hardwork and a deeper connection with the public.
Even though district representatives have a lot on their plates, Rep. Khonghun goes above and beyond to offer his services to Filipinos however he can. Among his many initiatives were providing better roads, supplying health equipment and medical services, and offering scholarships to equip the public with the skills they need as professionals.
On the other hand, his contributions to the 19th Congress include providing distance incentive allowances for public school teachers, granting full insurance coverage to all qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, and requiring mandatory safety training for all public utility vehicle drivers as a requirement for approval of driver’s licenses.
HON. DORIS E. MANIQUIZ
(Zambales, Second District)
There’s more to Rep. Maniquiz than being a district representative. To her hundreds and thousands of constituents, she’s Nanay Bing, a motherly figure devoted to bringing the utmost care and compassion to every Filipino. Her warm demeanor encourages the public to turn to her during good and bad times, as she’s ready to lend a sympathetic ear. Nonetheless, Rep. Maniquiz is keen to take on challenges that come her way.
Her love for her constituents is evident in the way she provides various projects and programs. These include providing financial assistance to senior citizens, establishing a better government through orientations and funding, and encouraging the youth to embrace their passion for sports and culture.
In the 19th Congress, she principally authored bills like strengthening the barangay unit by providing additional benefits to barangay security, health, and nutrition workers, professionalizing paralegal practice in the Philippines, and fortifying the conservation and protection of Philippine cultural heritage through cultural mapping and an enhanced cultural education program.
HON. AUGUSTINA DOMINIQUE C. PANCHO
(Bulacan, Second District)
Rep. Pancho goes by another title than Congresswoman in her district. She labeled herself as “Ditse Tina.” “Ditse” means second eldest sister in Hokkien. But being a “ditse” is more than a word of endearment for Rep. Pancho as she also lives accordingly as a public servant. Like an elder sister, she maintains a constant presence in her jurisdiction to demonstrate how active she is in bringing positive change to their lives.
Bulacan is a province rich in history and brimming with individual potential. As the district representative, it falls on Rep. Pancho’s shoulders to bring opportunities and benefits to her district. Some of her programs and projects empower the youth by tapping and honing their interests. The lady legislator also led other efforts like providing patients with financial assistance, establishing modern infrastructures, and more.
She’s also making waves in the House of Representatives by being the principal author of several bills in the 19th Congress. These include but are not limited to granting incentives for commercial and industrial establishments and developers who will incorporate rainwater harvesting technology in their businesses, establishing the Public Schools of the Future in Technology, and fortifying the procedure for registration of voters while adopting an online registration system.
HON. EMERSON D. PASCUAL
(Nueva Ecija, Fourth District)
If there’s one thing that Rep. Pascual prioritizes as a district representative, it’s providing quality public service to his constituents. He keeps himself aware of trends and developments he can implement in his district to achieve efficient results in nation-building. Rep. Pascual also maximizes his online presence to promote transparency, evidently setting an example of what Filipinos should expect from someone who puts the public first.
Among all his efforts, Rep. Pascual recognizes the relevance of education among the youth. He works from town to town to offer scholarships to students, who he believes are the next generation of public leaders and servants. Besides the younger generations, Rep. Pascual also offers financial support to elders and those who require medical attention. To him, no one should be left behind.
His regard for education is also noticeable in the 19th Congress, wherein he’s the principal author of an act converting the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology into a comprehensive university known as Nueva Ecija State University, expanding and rationalizing its curricular offerings, and strengthening its governing board. Rep. Pascual’s other bills include regulating the use of treatment technology for municipal and hazardous wastes and managing the use of treatment technology for municipal and hazardous wastes.
HON. SALVADOR A. PLEYTO
(Bulacan, Sixth District)
“I was not really interested in politics but I was interested in being of service to the public ever since I was young. I brought about change to the community with what I have and what I have achieved as an engineer who started from the lowest-ranking employee to be the Undersecretary of the DPWH. Being elected Congressman to the newly created Sixth District of Bulacan, my vision is to create a real upliftment of the conditions of my constituents. Using a mix of grassroots and holistic approaches, I prefer a hands-on and personal approach to my leadership. I am focused on long-term and maintainable programs that would be most beneficial to the people and would affect the community in a very positive way. At present, I maximizes my time in doing legislative work with numerous committee memberships so I can learn more and at the same time share my knowledge. I also visits my area of jurisdiction to personally know the plight of my constituency.”
When it comes to being a leader and a public leader, Rep. Pleyto wants the complete experience of service for his constituents. His dedication to the people allowed him to earn their trust and support. Rep. Pleyto recognizes how the past is relevant in paving the way for the present. He also acknowledges various opportunities that could lead the Filipinos toward modernization and globalization.
Besides his affinity for public service, the district representative is also an engineer who uses his knowledge to best benefit Filipinos under his jurisdiction. One of his recent undertakings is the Farm to Market Road Project in Angat, Bulacan, one of his primary goals this year. He also works closely with other government agencies to address frequent social problems.
Rep. Pleyto also has an array of contributions in the House of Representatives, having principally authored bills that aim to enact a new Philippine Building Act to make infrastructures more resilient against natural calamities, rehabilitate and upgrade existing resettlement areas while providing employment opportunities to uplift the living conditions of residents, and strengthen the practice of midwifery as a profession in the country.
HON. NOEL “BONG” N. RIVERA
(Tarlac, Third District)
“My passion alone to help my fellow countrymen in times of great need ignited me to start my political career. I wish to uplift the lives of my fellow constituents by providing the necessary funding for infrastructure in order to improve the delivery of health, educational, and social services.”
His constituents expect Rep. Rivera to carry out his responsibilities as a district representative efficiently. But beyond the call of duty, Rep. Rivera never fails to add a touch of contentment and compassion to show the public his unwavering dedication to providing immediate action to address their concerns, whether it may be big or small. He values the opportunities life brings him, and aims to become a beacon to guide others achieve their goals.
Rep. Rivera believes in the youth’s potential, which they could unleash through the appropriate avenues. He highlights their physical and mental abilities by holding basketball tournaments and pageants to boost their confidence and be one step closer in achieving their dreams. He also conducts frequent People’s Day to extend services like medical missions and more to require attention.
Despite being active in his district, Rep. Rivera also made an impact in the 19th Congress through principally-authored bills like prohibiting game-fixing, emancipating agrarian reform beneficiaries from financial burden by condoning unpaid amortizations and interests and exempting payment of estate tax on agricultural lands awarded under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, and protecting the right of the people to freedom of religion in the Philippines.
HON. MIKAELA ANGELA B. SUANSING
(Nueva Ecija, First District)
Rep. Suansing is a public finance expert who graduated from and taught in Harvard University prior to being elected to Congress. Committed to uplifting the lives of Filipino farmers, she joined public service to enhance the country’s agricultural productivity and promote reforms in the country’s educational system. Despite being a neophyte, she holds several key positions in Congress: Assistant Majority Floor Leader, Senior Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Ways and Means, and Vice Chairperson of the Committees on Agriculture and Food, Higher and Technical Education, and Economic Affairs. She also had the privilege of being entrusted to successfully defend several of the current Administration’s priority legislative measures in the Plenary of Congress.
As a Representative of Nueva Ecija, the Rice Granary of the Philippines, Rep. Suansing champions the welfare of farmers and different sectors through the 144 House bills that she has principally authored. Among these notable bills are those that provide for the following: 1) expand and improve the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) to provide additional subsidies to farmers, 2) authorize government agencies to use the funds for the 4Ps rice subsidy to purchase palay directly from local rice farmers, 3) institute a universal social pension for senior citizens, 4) provide free dialysis to senior citizens and indigents, 5) the New Agrarian Emancipation Act, and 6) provide for free professional driver’s license application and renewal for PUV drivers.
HON. CHRISTIAN TELL A. YAP
(Tarlac, Second District)
“My Tatang Apeng, my Mother Susan and my Tito Vic have been my inspiration in serving the people. Their legacy and unwavering dedication for the betterment of every Tarlaqueño are paragons for public service. My advocacies and policy initiatives will focus on economic sustainability, climate change, agriculture and urban development.”
Hardworking and reliable are only some adjectives that aptly describe Rep. Yap as a district representative. From being the mayor of Victoria, Tarlac, he worked his way to the House of Representatives, armed with the support and dreams of his constituents. People know his brand of service because it’s ever-present and efficient, something they wish to experience often and share with other Filipinos. Rep. Yap maximizes his resources and power to improve the public’s quality of life.
Among Rep. Yap’s projects and programs in his district is the establishment of infrastructures like multi-purpose buildings and health centers to meet the ever-evolving demands of the people. Nonetheless, it doesn’t stop him from embracing adventure and opportunity, which he allows the public to enjoy through festivals and exhibits that also feature the vibrant community of his district.
When it comes to the 19th Congress, Rep. Yap is the brains of several bills, being their principal author, like creating the Department of Economics and Development Planning, establishing the National Rice Price Monitoring Council and the Regional Rice Monitoring Boards in all regions of the country, and providing for the Magna Carta of out-of-school youth.