It’s good to know that there are senatorial candidates who are very open to the public. No matter questions be given to them by the people, they are very willing to answer with self-affirmation. And I believe that being truth to yourself will somehow show the way you answer a question.
One of the senators that I know who is very brave to answer any kind of question is UNA Senatorial candidate JV ESTRADA. He already did some special TV guest appearances and radio interviews. And guest what… from naughty questions to some political concerns… he has the answers. He was very sincere and honest for every word that came out from his mouth. He makes also sure that people would know who is really JV ESTRADA and what he can do for the country.
From naughty [What age did you lose your virginity?, The Bottomline with Boy Abunda, Feb 9, 2013] to nice [What is your biggest accomplishment as San Juan Mayor and how would you translate this into legislation?], Estrada has shown to one and all that he not only has the track record to back up his Senate bid, but also the gift of gab that will liven up the august Senate halls.
To the “nice” question posed during Harapan 2013 last April 10, the UNA Senatorial bet focused on his record as San Juan mayor. “San Juan now is considered as top performing city in terms of delivery of basic services to the people. We were able to raise our income from P300-M when I started as Mayor and during the last day of my office, it rose to P1.1-B, almost quadruple, even if I was in the opposition,” he said.
“And because of this, we were able to already implement all our dream projects, we have a new city hall, we were able to established state university which is funded by the local government. But for me, the biggest accomplishment is being able to uplift the lives of our people, the living conditions of our people. San Juan has the lowest poverty incidence among the LGUs all over the country. Because of our vibrant economy, we were able to give jobs and opportunities to a lot of our people,” Estrada added.
Working for the Answers
Many who have heard him are beginning to understand why he has done well in surveys since he filed his candidacy in October 2012. The younger Estrada has consistently been in the top choices for the senatorial polls, reaching as high as #3 in the March 2013 Social Weather Stations survey. In the latest Pulse Asia survey, conducted April 20-22, 2013, Estrada was in the 5-11 ranking.
In the realm of delivering on his commitments, the credentials are solid: A neophyte legislator who made a mark as the ninth most prolific lawmaker in Congress. Of the 149 House Bills and 18 House Resolutions he authored, 5 bills were approved on third reading and made it to the Senate.
As a three-term mayor, he led the reforms and strengthening of San Juan’s fundamentals to increase the municipal revenue from 300 million to 1 billion pesos in just 9 years. Because of the significant growth, San Juan was converted into a highly urbanized city in June 2007. The year before, in 2006, San Juan was recognized as the Most Progressive Municipality.
If one looks at his record, in business, as a leader, as a public servant, Rep JV Estrada seems to have the answers when needed. And while this may seem like he has a lucky streak, the milestones of his public service reveal a hard-working, determined man.
One good example is how he fought for higher budgets for State Universities and Colleges when it became evident that national allocations were not enough to sustain public education needs. Rep JV Ejercito Estrada consistently fought for additional budget allocations for SUCs in 2011 and 2012. The determination has paid off with the allocation of an additional PhP 16 Billion for the 2013 SUC Budget. He saw that the question about the future of public education was threatened by the inadequacy of funding, and made the push to find the answers that would make a difference.
Answers that Matter
His strong sense of purpose is further enhanced by his spontaneity and his solid set of values. This combination is evident in his responses to the questions posed during this electoral campaign.
In a town hall forum at the Ateneo de Manila campus in Quezon City, he put forward his position on the Freedom of Information Act when queried about his vote.
“I support the Freedom of Information Act [FOI], I think that this will be a good instrument of the administration in the fight against corruption, and thrust for good governance. I’m also an author of the FOI and I believe that all transactions of government contracts, everything should be made public,… as long as it does not impinge on national security. I believe that public office is a public trust, hence there is no need for us to hide anything, any transaction or any contract should be made available to the public anytime.”
Among the many questions he has fielded in live public appearances, the one that went viral was about medical marijuana, asked during “The Rundown 2013,” at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. To the question “Would you legalize marjuana?, JV Estrada quickly answered “If it will heal the body, why not?” This candid perspective drew reactions from the crowd and the online community, enough for rappler.com to write about it. http://www.rappler.com/nation/politics/elections-2013/21336-jv-ejercito-for-legalizing-marijuana,-netizens-react
And the answer to the naughty question? “… I think I was 17 or 18 years old.”
Indeed, JV Estrada has the answers, and is more than willing to find more answers as a public servant and as a future Senator.