Angara’s goal in re-election bid: Make my daddy proud
With a promise to carry on his father’s legacy, Senator Sonny Angara on Wednesday filed his certificate of candidacy with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to seek another mandate in the 2019 midterm polls.
The senator is the only son of the late Senate President Edgardo Angara, hailed as one of the country’s greatest statesmen.
The elder Angara is known as “the father” of the Free High School Act, PhilHealth, Senior Citizens Law, TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), CHEd (Commission on Higher Education), among others.
Angara said his performance in the past 15 years—as first-term senator and three-term congressman representing the lone district of Aurora province—motivated him to seek re-election.
He vowewd to continue the brand of public service that his father has built after devoting his life to improving the plight of the Filipino people.
“Ipagpapatuloy natin ang ating mga adbokasiya na nagbibigay ng patas na oportunidad sa bawat pamilyang Pilipino—mula kay bunso, ate at kuya, hanggang kay nanay, tatay at lolo at lola,” he said.
“Kumpletong suporta ang laman ng mga programang isusulong natin para tuloy-tuloy ang pag-angat ng pamilyang Pilipino,” said Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Way and Means.
He added, “Yan ang kalidad ng alagang Angara na gusto nating ipaabot at ipadama sa bawat isa,” said Angara, who was accompanied by his family, friends and supporters, after he submitted his CoC to the Comelec.”
Like his father, Angara, who now heads the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) party founded by the late senator in 1988, believes that education is the great socioeconomic equalizer.
“Lahat po ng magulang—mayaman man o mahirap—iisa ang pangarap para sa kanilang mga anak: ang makapagtapos ng pag-aaral. Education is a powerful tool to break the cycle of poverty,” he said.
When he was a congressman, Angara pushed for the Free Kindergarten Law, and then became one of the authors in the Senate of the Free College Law.
To further strengthen the education sector, Angara is also eyeing to expand the government’s scholarship program to cover poor but deserving students studying in private schools, especially in areas where there are no state universities or colleges.
“By putting premium on education, we increase the chance of every Filipino youth to land a decent high-paying job.
“This way, we will be able to reduce unemployment and underemployment in the country, and even bring back our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) to unite them with their families,” he said.
Angara sponsored the passage of the expanded Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Law that helps Filipinos find jobs faster especially in the countryside.
At least two million jobseekers are being assisted every year by PESOs in all provinces, municipalities and cities nationwide.
Angara is also one of the authors of the Universal Health Care bill that was recently approved in the Senate.
It aims to include free check-up and laboratory tests in the Philhealth coverage, and to make medicines become more affordable.
He also pushed for the 12% VAT exemption of senior citizens and persons with disabilities—on top of their 20% discount—on the purchase of their medicines and food, transport expenses, and other services.
“Ngayon naman po, isinusulong natin ang Universal Social Pension para masiguro na lahat ng senior citizen ay nabibigyan ng sapat na pagkalinga sa pamamagitan ng mas pinalaking pensyon,” Angara said.