Saturday, May 16, 2009

the documented profile of Loren Legarda

Senator Loren Legarda is the only female senator who has topped the senate race twice, in 1998 with over 15 million votes and in 2007 with over 18 million votes. She is also the only woman to become majority leader.
Drawing from her vast experience as a journalist for 20 years and a decade as a public servant, Loren authored and sponsored vital pieces of legislation geared towards environmental protection, promotion of entrepreneurship, protection of the rights of women and children, overseas workers and domestic laborers, providing better health services to the public, social justice, national unity and inculcating the value of nationalism and love of country. Her dedication as a legislator brought forth the passage of many significant laws including the following: the Barangay Livelihood and Skills Training Act (RA 9509), the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (RA 9501),the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act (RA 9262),the Philippine Ear Research Institute Act( RA 9245),the Philippine Tropical Fabric Law (RA 9242),the Anti-Child Labor Law (RA 9231),the Anti Trafficking in Persons Act (RA 9208),the Eid'l Fitr Holiday Law (RA 9177), and the Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003), among many others.
In 1998, Loren founded Luntiang Pilipinas to promote public awareness on the environment and to enjoin multi-sectoral participation in addressing environmental problems. It has since established hundreds of forest parks with more than two million trees nationwide.
For her unfaltering crusade for the environment, Loren was given recognition in the year 2000 by the World Economic Forum, which named her one of the Global Leaders for Tomorrow. She was also awarded by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) in 2001 at a UNEP Laureate. Loren's name has been included in the Global 500 Roll of Honor for being in the frontline of global environmental action. In 2004, she became an Awardee for the Environment by the Priyadarshni Academy in Mumbai, India.
Aware of the declining state of the Philippine environment and its harmful effects to the health and security of Filipinos, Loren delivered privilege speeches in the Senate, entitled "CPR For Mother Earth" and "An Agenda for Climate Change Adaptation" as part of her information campaign on environmental protection. Her speeches, converted into lectures, are now being distributed to public schools nationwide to stir the youth into action and contribute in caring for the environment. She likewise moved for the creation of the Senate Oversight Committee on Climate Change to help monitor and consolidate the government's efforts towards mitigating the adverse effects of climate change. These initiatives and her firm resolve to bring the issue of climate change and disaster risk reduction to the forefront of policymaking led to her appointment as United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in the Asia Pacific.
Loren also established the Libro ni Loren Foundation, Inc. to help improve the literacy level in the country's poorest provinces.
She founded the Bessie Legarda Memorial Foundation, Inc. to provide medical assistance to indigent breast cancer victims and serve as support group to their families. She organized the Livelihood Opportunities to Raise Entrepreneurship Nationwide (LOREN) which provided capital for women entrepreneurs.
Loren also earned praise for her tireless effort in bringing warring factions to negotiate peace talks. She played a crucial role in the safe and expeditious release of military and police officers and men who were held captive by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and fellow journalists who were held captive in Sulu. For her outstanding work for the cause of Muslims, Loren was bestowed the title of Bai a labi (Honorary Muslim Princess) by the Marawi Sultanate league.
As a journalist, Loren earned prestigious awards such as the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) from the Philippine Jaycees (1992), The Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service (TOWNS) Award (1993), and the Benigno Aquino Award for Journalism (1995) for her sterling record as a journalist for more than two decades.
An achiever all her life, Loren completed her primary and secondary schooling at the Assumption Convent with honors. She obtained a degree in broadcast communications and graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines. While working as a broadcast journalist, Loren pursued her post-graduate studies at the National Defense College of the Philippines where she obtained a degree in National Security Administration and graduated at the top of her class. Loren is now a reserve officer in the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
She was born to a family of newsmen, educators, physicians and public servants. Her paternal great grandfather Potenciano Cabrera was the first Mayor of San Pablo City, Laguna while her maternal great granduncle Vicente Gella was a Governor of Antique. Kapitan Moy Guevara, her maternal great granduncle, was the founder of the shoe industry of Marikina. Her grandfather, Jose P. Bautista, was a pillar of Philippine journalism.
Today, Loren continues on her path of distinction and excellence. Now on her second term as senator, Loren chairs the Committee on Agriculture, the Congressional OversightCommittee on Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization, Committee on Health and Demography, and the Committee on Climate Change and the Oversight Committee on Climate Change.
Loren is the oldest and only girl in the family of three children of Antonio Cabrera Legarda and Bessie Gella Bautista. Loren is single with two sons.

the documented profile of Bayani Fernando


A professional Mechanical Engineer. He is the founder of the BF GROUP OF COMPANIES, dealing with construction, steel, manufacturing and real estate. He has built the country’s tallest building, shopping malls, industrial and residential subdivisions and facilities. He is a former Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
He was a three-term City Mayor of Marikina, who transformed the former municipality into one of the best-managed cities and a paradigm of responsive and effective governance. During his incumbency, Marikina City was accorded 55 citations and distinctions
As Chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Metropolitan Manila has been dramatically changing into a livable metropolis. With his exceptional administrative skills and leadership qualities that have now become the yardstick of performance, he continues to prove himself as an agent of positive change. This earned him the moniker “Mr. Governance”.
For his outstanding work, he was conferred the Doctor of Humanities, Honoris Causa, Ateneo de Cagayan, The Outstanding Filipino(TOFIL) Award for Government Service, the H.R Reyes Academic Medallion of Honor, Central Colleges of the Philippines and Doctor of the Public Administration, Honoris Causa by the polytechnic University of the Philippines.
Mr. Political Will. “ Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re” a Latin phrase which means “ Gentle in manner, Resolute in action”. He speaks and deals with people from all walks of life with amiable bearing of a real gentleman but decides and acts with a firm political will, uncompromising with his principles. From his passion of building structures, he now prides himself as a builder of character.
The Chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority
“Bilang isang namumuno hindi ako maaring makiiyak sa mahihirap sapagkat kung bulag din ang aking mata. Paano ko sila maakay upang makaahon sa kahirapan.”
“As a leader, I cannot cry with the poor for if my eyes are blinded with tears, how will I lead them out of poverty?”

the documented profile of Noli De Castro


Personal Background
Birthday : 6 July 1949
Birthplace :Po la, Oriental Mindoro
Civil Status : Married
Name of Wife : Arlene S. De Castro
No. of Children : Three (3)
Educational Background :College
Bachelor in Commerce Major in Banking and Finance University of the East
Highschool : Pola Catholic High School
Elementary : Pola Central School
Employment Background :

July 1999 to February 2001Vice-President

July 1986 to February 2001Anchorman, Kabayan

1982 to February 1986Announcer

Magandang Gabi...Bayan
August 1988 to PresentHost

TV Patrol
January 1999 to February 2001Over-all Head of Production

TV Patrol
January 1987 to February 2001Anchorman

Magandang Umaga
January 1987 to June 1988Host

Overseas Unlimited

Good Morning, Philippines
October 1986 to December 1986Segment Host of "At Your Service"
Awards Received
Plaque of Recognition
Gawad METRRO at Parangal sa mga Beteranong Broadcaster, "Gawad Broadcaster"
October 2000

The RCM Emilio Jacinto Journalism Award for Radio, Rotary International
June 2000

Catholic Mass Media Award DZMM Balita, "Best News Program"
October 2000

9th KBP Golden Dove Awards, 1999 "Best Public Affairs Program Host Award"

Crusade Against Violence
September 1998

Pulis, Pulis, Kung Umaksyon Mabilis

7th KBP Golden Dove Awards, 1997 Best Public Affairs Program, "KABAYAN"

Rotary International District 3810
June 1996

KBP Awards, 1996 Best News Program, A.M. Metro Manila "DZMM Balita"

Crusade Against Violence, "Recognition Award - MGB"
September 1994

Republic of the Philippines, Dangerous Drugs Board "Special Citation"
November 1993

Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas "Gawad CCP Para sa Telebisyon"
April 1990

Catholic Television Awards "Best Public Affairs Program - MGB"
April 1989

"A Filipino Economic Warrior"
November 1988

Plaque of Commendation
Boy Scout of the Philippines, Southern Tagalog Region
October 2000

Plaque of Appreciation
Best Public Service & Public Safety Philippine National Police
November 1998

Rotary Club of Manila South
August 1998

Individual Achievement
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp.
February 1996

Best Male Newscaster
First Star Awards for TV Philippine Movie Press Club

From rugged barrioboy to most popular political figure.
This remarkable transition is a miracle of fortune, the working of divine providence no less. He is a modern political phenomenon in a country dominated by very few elite families.
During these times when almost everyone takes a beating from life, we need inspiration from someone who has triumphed over life's difficulties and has successfully hurdled many challenges. Take it from this man who simply refused to accept poverty as an obstacle to his dreams...Vice President Noli de Castro.
More popularly known as everyone’s “Kabayan”, Vice President De Castro was born during the post-war period in Pola, Oriental Mindoro.
Kabayan was not fortunate to be born in the company of privilege and conveniences. Quite the opposite, he and his five siblings were raised solely by their mother. But this young Mindoreño had grand dreams, and his hardships were the force that molded his future.
At a young age, he worked to support his education and supplement the family income. "I diligently took the rounds in our barrio, gathering pig's fodder from our neighbors for my pig pet, which I would raise, in order to be sold later for a hefty sum," exclaimed Kabayan.
In Pola, life was so simple. This loving son learned to be contented with the little provisions from his mother. Inay Nene taught him early on not to aspire for luxury and to always keep in mind that happiness comes from having bare essentials in life, a loving family, food on the table, roof over their heads, and the faculty to dream.
Multi-awarded TV broadcaster, seasoned radioman, farmer, environmentalist, philanthropist, nationalist, politician. Kabayan has spent a good 27 of his 54 years as a media practitioner.
But Kabayan was a self-taught broadcaster. As a young Mindoreno, he spent most of his leisure time, under his favorite mango tree, and with mother nature as his audience, he would imitate his favorite radioman Johnny de Leon -- the booming baritone, the adlibs and the snide remarks on various political issues.
Kabayan got the brains. He was an overachiever in school, always inquisitive and hungry for knowledge. He finished his elementary education from Pola Central School and his high school from Pola Catholic High School. His mother’s business acumen inspired Kabayan to earn for himself a university diploma in Commerce, major in Banking and Finance from the University of the East. In 1976, he accompanied his Kuya to an audition for a slot as field reporter in a radio station. Instead, it was Kabayan’s voice which prevailed over the long queue of applicants. Since then, his life revolved around media and current affairs.

The Senate provides a forum for Kabayan to bring forth to national attention issues closest to his heart: environment, youth and family welfare, social justice, and education.
Kabayan believes in the richness and beauty of the Philippines’ natural resources He therefore advocates for the sustainable management and use of these resources so that this could be tapped by future generations for productive use.
Consistent with these values, he has authored many bills on the promotion of the environment, among these, SB 2264, or “An Act Providing for the Protection, Conservation and Management of Mangrove Forests”.
As a legislator he recognizes that mangroves are a valuable resource in maintaining economically important coastal ecosystems. These values include sustainable forestry, nursery areas for prawns, crabs and fish, protection of coasts, not to mention the livelihood and employment it provides to fishers and villagers. Controlled mangrove harvesting can therefore provide resources continuously and be a sustainable industry.
This bill aims to rehabilitate the state of our mangroves (bakawan) and prevent their further degradation through mangrove monitoring and establishment of good forestry practice with the institution of Mangrove Reservation Areas in all water areas within the country. Mangroves’ protection, conservation and management will be enforced within these areas along with the establishment of Councils, both at the national and local level for the proper implementation of policies, rules and regulations. Among these policies is the pre-requisite issuance of permit by the DENR in coordination with the DA and concerned LGUs, scientific community and the academe, with regard to the collection and removal of resources within these areas.
Kabayan also values the dignity of every Filipino and would ensure the protection of their rights. He abhors discrimination in all its forms. Consistent with this mindset, he filed Senate Bill 2453 (Reintegration of Released Prisoners Act) to give these rehabilitated offenders a REAL new lease on life.
This bill adopts a two-tier method of preparation and resocialization. The various Government agencies engaged in the promotion of livelihood programs and development of skills, abilities and vocational qualification shall conduct trainings and seminars on these subjects to prepare convicts to compete favorably for available business, productive and remunerative employment opportunities in the labor market when they are released from prison. This bill likewise mandates the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to conduct guidance and counseling programs to instill or further strengthen the basic norms and values of these convicts.
The second, and most important, ensures the reintegration of released prisoners in the mainstream of society. The bill mandates the Department of Labor and Employment to provide support for job placement of released prisoners and to encourage active participation of the private sector in promoting the welfare of these persons to ensure their gainful employment. Senator de Castro believes that the spirit of “Bayanihan” is alive in the hearts of Filipinos and this fact would ensure the success of their reintegration. To further bolster his vision, Senator de Castro provided in the bill that twenty-five percent (25%) of the total amount paid as salaries and wages to released prisoners as additional tax deduction as an incentive to private entities that employ them. This legislative measure prohibits denial of employment opportunity and discrimination to persons solely on account of the person’s previous conviction.
With the enactment of this proposed measure, Senator de Castro believes that the incidents of previous offenders coming in conflict with the law would be totally eliminated.
Thirdly, Kabayan believes that a strong republic has to have sturdy institutions. With this end in view, the Senator has set his sights on one of the most important government institutions, the judiciary. The Senator is aware that delays in the administration of justice have immensely contributed in the eroding of the people’s trust in the justice system. Considering further the expenses that court actions entail, as well as the amount of time devoted in seeing these actions through, the Senator realized the need for a more expeditious means of settling disputes without resorting to the lengthy and tedious process of litigation.
Through Senate Bill No. 2411, Senator De Castro seeks to institutionalize the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution system in the Philippines and to establish the Philippine Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution (PCADR). Under this system, disputes that are cognizable by the PCADR, such as civil cases where the amount of the claim does not exceed P50, 000.00, cases that are cognizable by the Lupong Tagapamayapa under the Katarungang Pambarangay, the civil aspect of B.P.22 cases, and the civil aspect of quasi-offenses under Title 14 of the Revised Penal Code, cannot be filed directly in the regular courts. Parties to the dispute would have to submit their differences before PCADR- accredited mediators or arbitrators, and work toward settling their dispute amicably. Since the mediators/arbitrators are chosen by both parties, their decision or any agreement reached through their mediation would be afforded more respect by the parties. Moreover, since the rules of procedure before the mediators/arbitrators are less formal, the proceedings are expected to be more relaxed, and therefore, more conducive to an early settlement of disputes between the parties.
Clearly, this bill will benefit a many of our people, especially the less privileged. If enacted into a law, this bill will provide a swifter, simpler, and less costly alternative to judicial recourse in conflict resolution.
Finally, Kabayan believes that the youth plays a vital role in nation-building. In this regard, he has filed three important youth-related legislations, namely:
Senate Bill No. 1852 – “ The Dropout Prevention Act of 2001” which aims to establish that a growing number of young people are not making successful transitions to productive adult lives. It also establishes that traditional education programs which does not meet certain student’s educational needs and interests may cause these students to become unmotivated, fail, be truant, be disruptive, or drop out of school due to crime, poverty, unwanted pregnancies, substance abuse or unemployment.
Therefore, it is the intent of this bill for the Department of Education to establish comprehensive dropout prevention programs , such as but not limited to, educational alternative programs, teenage parent programs, substance abuse programs, disciplinary programs and youth services programs
Senate Bill No.1946 - “ The Newborn Screening Test Act” which aims to establish a newborn screening test, integrating the same into the State’s health care delivery programs for free, in order to test infants for five (5) potentially devastating and fatal metabolic disorders namely, congenital hypothyroidism (CH), congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), galactosemia (GAL), phenylketonuria (PKU), and glucose-6-phospate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD). Failure to detect, at the soonest possible time, any of these five metabolic disorders would result into the infant’s retardation and in extreme cases, death.
Senate Bill No. 2537 – “The Safe Haven for Infants Act of 2003” which provides for criminal immunity for a parent who voluntarily surrenders custody of an unharmed infant aged 30 days old or younger to a hospital, open emergency medical facility, police station or the DSWD. It ensures that abandoned babies be saved and shall receive prompt medical attention and to establish child welfare pursuant to social justice policies of the government.
Senator De Castro is a firm believer of that popular Rizal saying, “ Ang kabataan ay pag-asa ng bayan”. It is for this reason that through these bills, he further promotes and protects the physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being of this important sector, preparing them to play a very important role in our society.

Let's keep the people updated. There's more to know about him. What do you know? Email me

the documented profile of Mar Roxas

This is from his official website. What do you expect?

Mar Roxas was elected into the Senate in 2004 with approximately 20 million votes, the most obtained by a candidate in any Philippine election. Armed with this mandate, he forged on with advocacies championed since his days as a Congressman of the first district of Capiz and later on as Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry.
Well-known as “Mr. Palengke,” Mar has been at the forefront of issues extending beyond consumer protection and empowerment. Long before he became Senator, he worked quietly to push forward the people’s agenda on quality education, livelihood opportunities through small and medium enterprises, health care, and transparency and accountability in government.
Mar made his mark in the House of Representatives where, against pressure from different interests, particularly multinational drug companies, he fought for the right of every Filipino to quality affordable medicines, a personal advocacy adopted since the death of his brother from a lingering illness at the young age of 32.
This crusade was founded on the Presyong Tama, Gamot Pampamilya program, launched during his tenure as Trade and Industry Secretary, which benefited millions of Filipinos direly in need of effective, low-cost medicines. In the Senate, the crusade continued with Mar’s authorship of Republic Act No. 9502, or the Universally Accessible, Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008, signed into law in June 7, 2008.
Mar is now fighting for the proper implementation of the law, and considers the Senate’s approval of a P1-billion budget in 2009 for the parallel importation of cheap medicines in 2009 as an important step in that direction.
Mar chairs the Senate Committees on Trade and Industry, and Education, which sustain his passion to keep the economy and young people’s minds, both robust and competitive. He is also co-chair of the Congressional Oversight Committee on the Electronic Commerce Law.
His heart goes out to consumers who are shortchanged into buying substandard products. He led official probes aimed at strengthening the Consumer Code of the Philippines, the enforcement of proper labeling of goods containing genetically-modified organisms, and stronger safeguards against pyramiding and other similar scams.
When the pre-need industry succumbed to a mismanagement-spawned financial crisis that threatened to wipe out the hard-earned investments of hundreds of thousands of consumers, Mar filed the Pre-Need Act of 2005 to improve and strengthen industry regulation and safeguard consumer interest. His leadership continues to provide to provide a sense of security and hope to pre-need plan holders.
Mar has also been a staunch advocate of information and communications technology as a tool for national progress. Hailed as the “Father of the Call Center and Business Process Outsourcing Industries,” he recognized and cultivated the potential of the Philippines as a global e-services hub.
As trade and industry secretary, he launched the “Make IT Philippines” project and organized the first IT-enabled services (ITES) road show to the US, which drew the biggest global industry names to invest in the country, creating thousands of jobs for Filipino workers.
Mar also implemented the “PCs for Public Schools” project to provide wider IT access to students and educators. To date, the program has distributed over 30,000 computers to over 2,000 public schools nationwide, providing hands-on computer training to half a million students yearly.
Mar also authored the Omnibus Education Reform Bill, which seeks to strengthen the Philippine education system through interventions on the quality of teachers, the medium of instruction, and the evaluation of students’ aptitude, among others. Recognizing that the problem cannot be fixed overnight, he has called for a ten-year strategic educational reform agenda that would address the ills of the system and nurse it back to full health.
As the new Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Mar has vowed to pursue these wide-ranging reforms in the education system to address a steady decline in the quality of graduates and improve Filipinos’ ability to improve their lives.
In times of economic hardship, Mar has always acted with the interest of the people in mind. He has fought to “put the money back in people’s pockets,” as reflected in his stand on the suspension of the VAT on oil and the passage of his Law Exempting Minimum Wage Earners from Income Tax.
Following the global financial meltdown that has caused more than a million job losses in the United States alone, Mar has called for the realignment of the national budget in the face of the global financial crisis, believing that the 2009 budget drafted under “normalcy” assumptions times is not responsive to the socioeconomic challenges of the looming crisis situation.
Mar has consistently pushed a paradigm shift in policy-making by rejecting the practice of incrementalism, which has resulted in “doing a little bit of everything to please everyone.” This mentality, he says, has caused gridlock in our political system, thus putting the country in stasis.
“Political will,” he has always believed, “is the discipline to say no.”
For Mar, the exercise of public leadership demands accountability and transparency. These ideals anchored his stand against the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain between the Arroyo Administration and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional, and in battling corruption in government such as the NBN-ZTE broadband deal, the P728-million fertilizer fund scam and the Euro General issue.
With the competence, vision, and passion to renew the social contract; armed with the legacy of his forebears; and with his heart in its right place, Mar has carved his own path as a national leader, one with a sense of mission and the courage of conviction to act on the most pressing issues that keep the Filipino people imprisoned in poverty and uncertainty.

Friday, May 15, 2009

the documented profile of Manny Villar


Do not be overwhelmed by this. There's a lot more to know about him.

The public life of Manny Villar straddles both the worlds of business and politics. He is one of the few who managed to excel in both.
Working Student
He was born to a simple family on December 13, 1949 in Moriones, Tondo, Manila. His father, Manuel Montalban Villar, Sr., a government employee, hailed from Cabatuan, Iloilo and his mother Curita Bamba, a seafood dealer, came from Pampanga and Bataan. Manny is the second child in a brood of nine. At a very young age, he was already helping his mother sell shrimp and fish in the Divisoria Market. With the burning desire for a better future and a strong determination to improve his family’s living conditions, Manny worked hard in selling shrimps and fish to be able to send himself to school.
“I learned from my mother what it takes to be an entrepreneur,” he revealed. “And it means working really hard to achieve your dreams.” In Divisoria, he marveled at the volume of sales that Chinese merchants were making, thus he vowed early on to become an entrepreneur.
Hard work, persistence, and perseverance became his guiding principles in life. This earned him the title “Mr. Sipag at Tiyaga.”
He continues to inspire Filipinos with his life story and encourages each and every kababayan to improve their quality of life and fulfill their dreams through the very values he believes in -- “sipag at tiyaga.”
Manny Villar was a working student at the University of the Philippines, the premier institution of higher learning in the country, where he obtained his undergraduate and master’s degree in business administration and accountancy. By then, he was also putting in long hours as a fish and shrimp trader, where the action starts at the ungodly hours of the morning when the catch lands in the market.
After graduation, he tried his hand as an accountant at the country’s biggest accounting firm, Sycip Gorres Velayo & Co. (SGV & Co). He resigned shortly though to venture on his own seafood delivery business.
When a restaurant he was delivering stocks to did not pay him, he printed out “meal tickets” which he persuaded the restaurant owners to honor. He then sold these tickets at a discounted price to office workers. It took him one year to liquidate his receivables.
He worked briefly as a financial analyst at the Private Development Corporation of the Philippines. His job was to sell World Bank loans, despite the attractive rates of which there were no takers. Convinced that he could make it on his own again, he quit his job and promptly availed of one of the loans.
So with an initial capital of P10,000 in 1975, Villar purchased two reconditioned trucks and started his sand-and-gravel business in Las Piñas.
Housing Innovator
It is here while delivering construction materials to big developers that Manny Villar came up with the idea of selling house and lot packages when the convention then was for homeowners to buy lots and build on them.
Manny Villar became the housing industry leader, and the biggest homebuilder in Southeast Asia, having built more than 100,000 houses for the poor and middle class Filipino families.
He then initiated mass housing projects to achieve economies of scale. His various innovations practically created the country’s mass housing industry. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism calls him “the dean of the (Philippine) real estate industry.”
Awards and Distinctions
For his business achievements, he was made cover story in the Far Eastern Economic Review. And his life story was also featured in Asiaweek, Forbes, AsiaMoney and Asian Business Review.
He garnered various awards such as the Ten Outstanding Young Men Award (1986) by the Philippine Jaycees, Agora Award for Outstanding Achievement in Marketing Management (1989), Most Outstanding CPA by the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (1990) and Most Outstanding UP Alumnus (1991).
Through the years, universities and colleges all over the country have conferred upon Villar honorary degrees in various fields in recognition of his exemplary performance in public service, his pioneering initiatives and innovations that revolutionalized the country’s mass housing and real estate industry, and his distinct role in the enactment of economic and social reform laws that are vital in sustaining the country’s economic momentum and improvement of the lives of Filipinos, particularly the cause of small and medium enterprises.
Among these universities and colleges that have bestowed Honoris Causa to Villar are: Adamson University, Doctor of Science; Bataan Polytechnic State College, Doctor of Humanities; Bulacan State University, Doctor of Humanities; Cagayan State University, Doctor of Humanities; Central Luzon State University, Doctor of Humanities; Foundation University (Dumaguete), Doctor of Humanities; Laguna State Polytechnic College, Doctor of Humanities and Entrepreneurship; Pangasinan State University, Doctor of Development Management; Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology, Doctor of Business Administration; Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, Doctor of Entrepreneurial Management; Romblon State College, Doctor of Humanities; Tarlac State University, Doctor of Public Administration; Wesleyan University-Philippines, Doctor of Humanities; and Western Visayas College of Science and Technology, Doctor of Technology in Entrepreneurial Management.
Political Career
In a stunning political debut in 1992, Villar won with the most overwhelming mandate among congressmen in Metro Manila. He promptly applied his economic and managerial expertise as a key member of the House’s economic team, marshalling in economic reform measures of the Ramos Administration such as the New Foreign Investments Act and the restructuring of the Central Bank of the Philippines. He was the House representative in the government’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C. in 1992.
He also oversaw various infrastructure projects in his districts like the construction of concrete roads and the Alabang-Zapote Flyover. He introduced the “Friendship Route” to ease the traffic problems in southern Manila by persuading subdivision homeowners to open up their roads to the general public.
He succeeded in passing Republic Act 8003 “Declaring Certain Areas in Las Piñas as Tourist Spots.” The law formalized his program of rehabilitating historical and cultural landmarks in Las Piñas starting with the world-famous Bamboo Organ Church. The ongoing project dubbed as “Las Piñas Historical Corridor” covers the stretch of the Old District and may even rival the Intramuros and Vigan restoration projects.
A staunch environmentalist, he initiated a privately funded tree planting drive in his district. He developed a P10-million tree nursery beside his home. He also quietly led a dedicated tree-planting drive complete with maintenance and watering of tree seedlings planted in the open spaces of the community.
When he realized that many poor students could not go to school because they do not even have fare money, he organized the “Manpower on Wheels” Program, a livelihood training school housed in a van that makes the rounds in depressed areas. The program has since produced more than 5,000 graduates and has been awarded by various government and civic organizations for its innovative scheme.
During his first term, he steered Las Piñas and Muntinlupa to cityhood. He pointed out: “As a developer, I have always envisioned these two communities as the ‘Twin Cities of the South’ of Manila. In fact, Las Piñas and Muntinlupa are the two fastest growing communities in the country today.”
For his constituency work and personal vow, he extended grants of home sites to some 10,000 poor families in Barangay CAA, Las Piñas City. Two major roads were also opened in his district: the Sucat-Pulanglupa Link Road to Parañaque and the Zapote-Molino (Daang Hari) Link Road to Cavite, thus alleviating the traffic congestion in the area.
During his second term, he was able to upgrade the Las Piñas District Hospital with a new building and better facilities. He also launched the “Sagip-Bukas” Drug Prevention Program on all the private and public schools of Las Piñas to educate the youth about the dangers of drug abuse. He also nationalized the Las Piñas High School to upgrade its facilities.
By the end of his second term of office, Villar had already proven beyond doubt his capacity for excellence as a true Filipino entrepreneur and a brilliant public servant who can get things done.
Champion for Entrepreneurs
In 1995, Manny Villar ran for re-election and won an unprecedented 142,000 votes, the highest number of votes for a congressman in the entire country. Winning media acclaim as an outstanding congressman as well as the respect and recognition of his peers, he was elected to chair the Committee on Entrepreneurship.
As one of the leading entrepreneurs in the country, he championed the cause of small and medium-sized enterprises. He authored and passed into law the landmark New Magna Carta for Small and Medium Enterprises (RA 8289). He initiated creative legislation such as the establishment of the Small and Medium Enterprises Stock Exchange and Business One-Stop-Shop centers, the latter he immediately implemented in Las Piñas City with the help of local officials.
Speaker of the House
It was no surprise then to those in the know when he gained the remarkable acclaim of 171 of 220 congressmen as the Speaker of the 11th Congress of the House of Representatives.
In a time when the country is slowly recovering from a host of economic and political crises, the election of the ‘brown taipan’ at the helm of Congress signaled a watershed event in the Philippine political history. The rise of Manny Villar ushered in a new consensus of leadership based on managerial skills and not simply on oratory and rhetoric.
By his first year in office, Villar undertook three pathbreaking reforms. He succeeded in marshalling consensus in the House to reform the ‘pork barrel’ system by limiting congressional discretion projects to the set parameters of the Executive’s development policies. Secondly, he launched a revamp of leadership by appointing at least seven neophyte congressmen to head powerful committees like ecology and banks. Finally, he set a strong and principled stance on environment protection legislation with the passage of the “Clean Air Act,” a measure that for more than ten years and three previous congresses were not able to pass.
On his second year in office, Manny Villar steered the 11th Congress into a record-breaking achievement in legislation and economic reforms. Among the pioneering measures he shepherded into law were the Retail Trade Liberization Act, the New Central Bank Act, the New Securities Code, and the New Banking Act.
Senator of the Republic
In the national elections held last May 14, 2001, despite being a relative newcomer in national politics, Manny Villar posted one of the most impressive showings in the national polls. On his first day in office, he filed 204 bills covering a comprehensive legislative program of action— the first among neophyte senators and the third highest filer among the senators of the 12th Congress of the Philippines.
After being elected by his colleagues, he assumed the position of Senate President Pro-Tempore, the second to the highest post in the higher Chamber of Congress. He is presently the Chairman of the Committee on Finance that is in charge of all deliberations and discussions on the national budget of the country and the Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations and Committee on Agriculture. He authored 44 laws during the 12th Congress, among them are: RA 9178 Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Act, RA 9189 Overseas Absentee Voting Act, RA 9208 Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act, RA 9257 An Act Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Senior Citizens, and RA 9262 Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act. He has filed Bills aimed at providing business opportunities for the people and improving the Filipinos’ quality of life through basic health care, decent shelters, responsive social services, and high quality education.
Outside the Senate’s halls, Villar actively sponsors the Sipag at Tiyaga Caravan Kaalaman, a livelihood training program that provides skills and inspiration to people that will allow them to venture into their own businesses. The caravan travels all over the country conducting livelihood seminars that are consistently widely attended and appreciated.
He has also spearheaded the building of schools, sending out medical missions and setting up relief operations whenever or wherever needed. He led the inauguration of the Las Piñas-Muntinlupa-Laguna-Cavite (LPMLC) link road, more popularly known as Daang Hari, as part of his road improvement program aimed at easing traffic in the south of Metro Manila. According to him, an efficient and rationalized road network is one of the fundamental requirements in improving commerce and spurring economic progress.
In February 2004, he was elected as President of the Nacionalista Party—the country’s oldest and grandest political party. He was also named the Most Distinguished UP Alumnus—the highest recognition given by the UP Alumni Association—for his exemplary public service and achievements.
Senator Manny Villar, despite his numerous accomplishments and heroism, has remained simple and unaffected. A true family man, he is a devoted husband to Congresswoman Cynthia A. Villar (Lone District of Las Piñas), and a loving father to sons Paolo and Mark anddaughter Camille.