1. I attended the two-day National Convention of the Vice Mayor’s League of the Philippines at the Sofitel Plaza. During the meeting, I was able to talk the VMLP National President Dean Anthony Domalanta of San Mariano, Isabela.
Vice Mayor Domalanta and I agreed that the national government through the Philippine Congress should revisit the definition, limitation, and scope of the “power of the purse” that is constitutionally granted to the different legislative bodies in our system of governance.
Not only is the legislative power of the purse lacking in teeth, the vague definition of its scope and limitation lends it open to even vaguer interpretation causing in-fighting and unnecessary debate over its implementation.
2. I met with TESDA Director General Danilo Cruz. We discussed how we can expand TESDA’s programs and the impact of those programs in our city.
One of the main points of our discussions is how do we make sure that our TESDA scholars can maximize the opportunities given to them by getting employed or given opportunities to earn after graduating or finishing their scholarships.
Director General Cruz and I also discussed how we can expand further the scholarship programs in the city by helping our TESDA Centers or private partners like our schools and accredited training centers.
3. I also met with Director Mario Bermudez of the Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development of the Department of Education (DepEd).
I was able to pick his brain and cull from his vast experience in DepEd, different ideas on how to implement our reading readiness and competency program that my office is trying to implement.
4. I also met with the office of Congressman Jude Acidre of TINGOG Party list, one of our partners in Congress.
Congressman Acidre and I were also able to discuss additional support for social services for the people of General Santos City. TINGOG Partylist promised support in expanding our Vice Mayor Satellite Offices as well as additional programs for our less fortunate residents.
5. I was able to talk to House Speaker Martin Romualdez, I ask him to help me fulfill my dream of expanding and improving our City Library.
6. I met with Kath Pimentel, the president of PDP Cares and the beautiful wife of Senator Koko Pimentel.
I met with her to thank her for the support that the office of Sen. Pimentel showed in our plan to put up a HEROs Center or a Health Emergency Response Operations Center for our City Health Office. Sen. Pimentel allotted P50 million for our HERO Center.
I also asked for their help in supporting my plan to put up a Science and Mathematics Museum which will be named in honor of Sen. Koko’s father, my friend and political comrade, the late great former Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel.
7. I also took the time to meet with the staff of Sen. Bong Go during my senate visit to revisit some of our earlier plans for the people of General Santos City. I will reveal the details of this at a future date.
8. On the same trip, I met with the newly appointed DSWD Secretary and former congressman and mayor of Valenzuela Rex Gatchalian to discussed how to augment social assistance and services for the people of General Santos City. During their meeting, Nanay Lita emphasized the need for social services that will be accessible to many. The Vice Mayor also committed all the necessary and appropriate legislative support that the Social Welfare office will need.