We got invited recently for the Yes to Clean Election Forum. They featured the candidates for senatorial race of Liberal Party wherein former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas is the standard bearer.
We were able to listen to the two aspirants for this May elections during the forum that was held at the ground floor of Cybergate Tower 3 in Mandaluyong City last February 6, 2016. Former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla and former actor and COO of Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Mark Lapid are among who presented their platforms why they want to be senators.
Petilla’s track record includes Ateneo engineering graduate, a former Governor of Leyte and Cabinet official of President Benigno Aquino III under the Department of Energy. On his talks obviously he is more knowledgeable in terms of energy crisis. He told us the price index of different power supplies that the Philippines are using. He also shared his thoughts on using the nuclear power plant and the Malampaya Gas.
Petilla also impressed us on his familiarity about community health problems. He told us that he used to think that Philhealth should be abolished because it is not reliable. But he is now convinced that it is a work in progress and remittance of payments to different hospitals is now faster.
We had a one on one interview with Petilla. We talked about the energy crisis that my beloved province of Palawan. He said that it’s an issue between the contract of power supplier and the cooperative. He believes that the cooperative should enforce what is mandated to its contract in order to resolve the crisis. He also discussed why Palawan is not benefiting from Malampaya Gas, to think it is the cheaper option of power supply that Luzon is now enjoying. He said that Palawan cannot accommodate the watts produced by the gas, and it will be an overboard expense for the people of Palawan if they will buy the gas.
Somehow I was blown away with Petilla’s skills in addressing these kinds of issues, even though we know that it is his work in the past and he should be knowledgeable to it. However he makes a stand and was convincing enough to offer solutions to the problem. I think he will make sense in making laws and bills that the Senate of this country needs. His expertise in local governance up to Cabinet position is a plus factor.
Next speaker is the son of incumbent Senator Manuel Lito Lapid. Mark Lapid is a former Governor of Pampanga and was appointed as Chief Operating officer of TIEZA, a special office under Department of Tourism. Mark, like his father, also ventured into showbiz. He had his own solo action films way back and is now married to former actress Tanya Garcia.
Lapid emphasized on his talks that his main concern in running as senator is to give employment with his background in Tourism. He believes that many people will benefit from this industry. He also discussed local regulations needs polishing in terms of tour guidelines to ensure the safety of the tourists. Nevertheless, he is convinced that the tourism industry of the country is still one of the best high earners for our economy.
He admits that his father’s image in the senate is tagged as the silent leader during plenary sessions. But he told us that his father is not silent in terms of work. He is proud to say that his dad passed many bills on record in the senate. Given a chance he wants to pursue laws regarding free medical checkups for the poor.