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Friday, April 19, 2024

Batangas’ firebrand

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Rep. Lianda Bolilia blazes a trail in Congress

The Fourth District of Batangas, nestled on the southeastern coast of the Philippines, brims with potential and hurdles. On the bright side, its fertile lands and proximity to the sea offer opportunities for robust agriculture and fisheries, while its stunning natural beauty positions it for sustainable tourism development. Additionally, ongoing infrastructure projects promise improved connectivity and economic growth.

Balancing tourism with environmental protection will be paramount, and mitigating the risks posed by natural disasters, particularly typhoons, requires proactive measures. Upgrading education and healthcare infrastructure is essential to empower residents and unlock the district’s full potential.

Championing the district’s welfare in the 19th Congress of the House of Representatives is Rep. Lianda Bolilia, fondly known as “Siling Labuyo” to her constituents for her firecracker personality that takes on challenges with steadfast and burning passion to herald change.

Bolilia, a native of Batangas herself, is no stranger to the struggles and aspirations of her constituents. Since taking office, Bolilia has become a force to be reckoned with. She is known for her bold stances and unwavering commitment to her district. Her focus is laser-sharp, tackling issues like poverty, infrastructure development, and agricultural revitalization with the same intensity as the famed Batangas chilies.

Yet don’t be misled. Although Rep. Bolilia is the “Siling Labuyo” of Batangas, she is a softhearted and warm individual, showing that gentleness and strength can go hand-in-hand for effective public service.

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Rep. Lianda B. Bolilia is a long-time public servant. With years of extensive experience under her belt, she maintains a commendable public service record.

She obtained her undergraduate degree in BS Journalism from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and pursued her Master’s degree in Public Administration at the Philippine Women’s University. In April 2023, she finished the Executive Course on Leading Successful Programs at Harvard Kennedy School in Boston, Massachusetts. The esteemed district representative is currently taking up another Executive Course, also at Harvard Kennedy School, this time online, entitled Promoting Racial Equality in the Workplace.

Her demeanor as a matriarch of Batangas’ Fourth District draws inspiration from her personal life as a mother to her two children, Karen and Justin, and husband Amado Carlos Bolilia IV, a former three-term Board Member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

Treading the path of politics

Her first step into politics was in 1998 when she served as a Provincial Board Member of Batangas until 2007. She’s now serving her third term as the Representative of the Fourth District of the Province of Batangas in the House of Representatives.

In addition to this primary role, she became the Deputy Majority Leader in the 18th and 19th Congress, concurrently making her an ex-officio member of all House Committees.

As District Representative, she advocates for the welfare of her local constituency. She also ensures the approval of legislation and a sufficient budget for the programs and projects that will bring development to the district.

She earned the moniker “Siling Labuyo,” referencing her unrelenting passion and tenacity despite her size. Under the banner “Serbisyong May Puso, Alagang Siling Labuyo,” Rep. Bolilia led the promotion of infrastructure development and access to quality health care, education, and sustainable livelihood, as seen in her commitment to bringing fundamental government services to far-flung communities.

Rep. Bolilia made significant developments across various sectors. For Alagang Kalusugan, it includes the “Basta Ikaw ay Healthy Ako ay Happy” projects (medical and dental missions, free pap smears, and free laboratory and diagnostics for senior citizens).

Meanwhile, for Alagang Edukasyon, there is the distribution of educational assistance, the “Bisita Eskwela” project, and the Byaheng Galing mobile library that visits barangays and public elementary schools, where Rep. Bolilia reads stories and distributes books and other school materials to encourage children to read. For Alagang Pangkabuhayan, she implemented Bigasang Bayan, Nego-Kart, Kasiling Labuyo microfinance, livelihood training/assistance in partnership with TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa ating Displaced Workers (TUPAD) with DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment), and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) with DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development).

She also has projects for Alagang Pangkaunlaran, which include various infrastructure projects like school buildings, multipurpose buildings, roads, bridges, water supply systems, and other developments.

As for Alagang Pangmamamayan, there is the Passport on Wheels, the Kagawad Fest, and Binyagang Bayan.

In the meantime, Rep. Bolilia also took the initiative to empower the local agriculture industry through various efforts across her district. Recently, Rep. Bolilia led the Turnover Ceremony of the Multiplier Farm for Goat Project and distributed BANCNET EMV cards and vegetable seeds to Farmers at the Pick and Go Farm in Padre Garcia.

Other than making a notable change in Batangas’ Fourth District, Rep. Bolilia also uses her voice in the House of Representatives.

Her legislative achievements from the 17th to 18th Congress include authoring bills enacted into law, such as RA 11032, which establishes a national policy on ease of doing business; RA 10931, which provides free tuition and other school fees in SUCs and state-owned Tech-Voc institutions; RA 11641, which led to the creation of the Department of Migrant Workers; and RA 10928, which extends the validity of the Philippine passport. In the present Congress, she is one of the principal authors of the House Bill institutionalizing the community-driven approach as a national strategy for inclusive growth and social protection (HB 1910) and creating the Virology Institute of the Philippines (HB 6452).She also focused on critical legislation to promote disaster resilience nationwide, including creating the Department of Disaster Resilience (HB 1749) and protecting the service sector, especially freelance workers (HB 0615).

Rep. Bolilia also authored and co-authored 454 house bills in the 17th and 18th Congress, with 76 signed into law. So far, in this 19th Congress, she has written and co-written 192 House Bills.

Her constituents are beyond grateful for her tireless efforts in ensuring their well-being and advocating for their future.

From championing agricultural initiatives to fostering sustainable tourism practices, Bolilia has tackled challenges head-on. Her tireless efforts in securing infrastructure improvements have paved the way for better connectivity and economic opportunities. But her contributions extend far beyond bricks and mortar. By prioritizing education and healthcare, she has invested in the district’s most valuable resource – its people.

Yet Rep. Bolilia’s legacy transcends individual projects. She has instilled a sense of empowerment within the community, encouraging residents to actively participate in shaping their future. Her commitment to transparency and open communication has fostered trust and collaboration.

Batangas’ Fourth District may be a peaceful yet bustling area brimming with potential, but it’s people like Rep. Bolilia, with that unwavering fire for growth, that empowers the public to embrace their strengths and fight for what they believe is right.

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