LP to rally behind VP Leni’s empowerment agenda

MANILA — The Liberal Party will rally behind Vice President Leni Robredo’s People Empowerment Agenda in Congress and in local government units where LP members won seats in the last elections.

In its National Executive Council (NECO) meeting on Thursday, LP adopted six resolutions, including Resolution No. NECO-2019-04, enjoining all LP elected members to push for people empowerment in their localities and adopting VP’s legislative agenda as the party’s legislative agenda.

The resolution listed the Vice President’s agenda to include nine bills on food security, freedom of information, people empowerment, national land use, on-site/in-city/near-city relocation, professionalizing barangay health workers, sexual orientation/gender identity equality, and the Code of Conduct for Evictions.

Coco levy trust fund bill was added to the list after NECO member Gerry Bulatao, chairman of the Center for Liberalism and Democracy, raised it on the floor and the NECO adopted the amendment.

“Through the empowerment agenda, the Filipino people shall be allowed to effectively participate in the business of governance in the Philippines and in their localities through the creation of local people’s councils and adoption of other measures,” according to the resolution.

Relatedly, Resolution No. NECO-2019-05 directed LP members holding electoral offices to convene caucuses.

Upholding liberal values

In Resolution No. NECO-2019-06, the party also commended Liberal members of Congress in the 17th Congress for “upholding liberal values and defending democratic institutions” when they voted along the party position.

The 24 LP congressmen and four LP senators at the time “bravely [made] their stand on these key issues” of re-imposing the death penalty, the proposed P1,000 budget for the Commission on Human Rights, lowering the minimum age of criminal liability, and Charter change/federalism.

This “is no small feat, considering the current political climate,” the resolution reads. They “[defended] Congress’ role as institutional check and balance to the other branches of government, and despite the odds, chose to stand by their principles.”

LP legislators of the previous Congress were also lauded for their contribution to nation-building when they authored and sponsored bills such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (RA 11310); Magna Carta of the Poor (RA 11291); National Feeding Act (RA 11037); Sagip Saka Act (RA 11321); Free College Tuition Act (RA 10931); 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law (RA 11210); Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act (RA 11148); Mental Health Act (RA 11036); Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines (RA 11232); Ease of Doing Business Act (RA 11032); Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act (RA 11038) and Philippine Space Agency Act (RA 11363), among others.

“These LP legislators should be commended for putting the country first and for prioritizing the people’s interests and their needs over the tempting stance of obstructionism,” the resolution reads, citing also the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (RA 11054), which, even if it was part of the Administration legislative agenda, they supported.

The LP NECO meeting, attended by about 200 elected and non-politician members, also affirmed the mandate and ratified the tenure of the party’s national officers who include:

·      VP Robredo, as chairperson

·      Sen. Kiko Pangilinan as president

·      Sen. Frank Drilon as vice chairperson

·      Teddy Baguilat Jr. as vice chairperson

·      Rep. Kit Belmonte (6th District, Quezon City) as secretary-general

·      Rep. Nene Ramirez-Sato (Lone District, Occidental Mindoro) as treasurer

·      Erin Tañada III, as vice president for external affairs

·      Bolet Banal, as vice chairperson for the National Standing Commission for Political and Electoral Affairs; and

·      Provincial Board Member Jason Gonzales of Iloilo, as director general.

In the two other resolutions, LP also adopted its Government Program of Action (GPOA) as a guiding framework for a public service agenda centered on inclusiveness, dignity, and empowerment; as well as ratified the adoption of the Liberal Party Values Charter and Declaration of 2018.