Angara makes strong showing

January 01, 2019
Sonny Angara

Angara ranks 3rd in latest SWS senatorial survey.

REELECTIONIST Sen. Sonny Angara has ranked third in the latest non-commissioned senatorial survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Angara obtained a voter preference of 40 percent or an estimated 24.2 million votes based on the SWS poll conducted on December 16-19, 2018.

He is following his fellow incumbent Sens. Cynthia Villar and Grace Poe who are in the first and second spots after obtaining 62% or 37.6 million votes and 60% or 36.4 million votes, respectively.

Like his late father, former Senate President Edgardo Angara, the incumbent senator has been working very hard to uplift the quality of education, create decent jobs, provide affordable health care access for the poor, protect overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and persons with disabilities (PWDs), expand the senior citizens’ benefits and ensure a reliable fair justice system for everyone.

Angara is one of the main authors of the Free College Law to make free education in state universities and colleges (SUCs) a reality; free kindergarten through the Free Kindergarten Law, and the Unified Student Financial Assistance System Act (UNIFAST) or a unified system of government-funded scholarships, grants-in-aid, student loans and other forms of financial assistance for students of technical/vocational and higher education institutions.

Like the senior citizens have been enjoying, Angara has also been pushing for the passage of the Student Discount bill, which the Senate approved on third and final reading to institutionalize the grant of 20 percent fare discount currently being enforced by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) even during weekends and holidays and which covers all means of transportation all-year round.

Angara also worked to expand the senior citizens’ benefits through amendments to the Senior Citizens Law, principally sponsored by his  father, to exempt them from paying the value added tax (VAT) on  certain goods and services.

After his father succeeded in passing the law that created the  Philippine Health Insurance Corp., (PhilHealth), Angara was among  those who pushed for the approval of the Universal Health Care Act to  ensure that all Filipinos, especially the poor will benefit from  PhilHealth.

Angara has been advocating for the expansion of PhilHealth’s primary care benefit package, which includes free check-ups, laboratory tests and medicines for all Filipinos, adding this would also help improve the financial status of PhilHealth in the long run.

Angara was also the main author of Public Employment Service Offices (PESO), JobStart Law and the Special Program for the Employment of  Students (SPES), stressing decent income of poor families is very  important.

“Malaki po ang ating paniniwala na kung matutulungan natin ang ating  mahihirap na mga kababayan na magkaroon ng trabaho at kumita ng sapat,  maiaangat ng mga ito mula sa kahirapan ang kanilang pamilya,” said  Angara.

He is also advocating for tax exemption Balikbayan boxes of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and warned the Bureau of Customs (BoC) against tampering with balikbayan boxes and reminded the bureau officials to enforce the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act that mandates a less intrusive examination of such boxes brought into the country.

Angara is now in his fourteenth year as legislator after serving three terms in the House of Representatives as Aurora congressman from 2004 to 2013 and currently five years in the Senate since he won in the 2013 senatorial election.

Like Angara, Taguig City Rep. Pia Cayetano and re-electionist Sen.  Nancy Binay got 40% voter preference in the same survey.

Coming in at sixth is former Sen. Lito Lapid with 38% voting  preference, followed by ex-Sen. Bong Revilla Jr. at seventh spot with  35%.

Tied at eight and ninth places are reelectionist Sen. Koko Pimentel  (34%) and former Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada with 34% voter preference  each.

Former Sen. Mar Roxas ranked 10 with 28% followed by Ilocos Norte Gov.  Imee Marcos at 11th spot with 27% and incumbent Sen. Joseph “JV” Ejercito obtained 26% for the 12th position.