THE Tingog party-list group led by Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez got a big boost after popular television host and actress Karla Estrada joined fellow celebrity star Boy Abunda in endorsing the group to further push the development of Eastern Visayas.
Romualdez, who chairs the House committee on accounts, is the first nominee of Tingog followed by Jude Acidre, political consultant and former youth leader, second nominee; Jaime “Boy” Go, community volunteer and entrepreneur, third nominee; Alexis Yu, pharmacist and community leader, fourth nominee; and Jenifer Padual, community leader and human resource management professional, fifth nominee.
Estrada, known as “Mother Queen” on TV and starred in the latest movie “Familia Blondina,” explained she supports Tingog party-list because she believes its “leaders have the true love for our region and for our country.”
“Tingog has the advantage. It is our voice, and once we have a voice, they will listen,” said Estrada who is native of Tacloban City.
Estrada who left Tacloban at 12 years old to pursue an acting and singing career in Manila, said she is endorsing Tingog because the party-list “carries everyone’s dreams and aspirations of seeing Eastern Visayas into a progressive region, particularly in realizing its economic reforms.”
“I am endorsing Tingog so we can reach out to many people and help the region,” said Estrada during her formal endorsement of the party-list in Tacloban.
The actress joined Abunda, a native of Borongan City, because “Eastern Visayas deserves a fair share of the national government’s budget.”
“Eastern Visayas comprises 4% of the country’s population. But in the last ten years, we have been receiving a little than 1% share of the national budget. This funding could have made more schools and hospitals, or build the needed infrastructure, or start-up sustainable livelihood,” the two Tingog celebrity endorsers said in a video campaign.
Estrada and Abunda said Tingog could make it happen in the 18th Congress.
“With Tingog, we will now have a louder and clear voice for the needed development of Samar, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Biliran,” said Estrada.
If elected in the May 13 elections, Tingog will push for the following legislative agenda that focus on regional development to uplift Eastern Visayas from poverty: intensify investments in infrastructure support especially in rural communities, strictly within standards and adhering to disaster-resilient designs. Strengthen disaster governance and the capacity of the government to prepare, manage, and respond to natural disasters through the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience, push for the institutionalization of disaster management policies and methods anchored on community participation; propose relevant amendments to the government procurement system and the creation of national disaster evacuation plan; boost rural-based education through the creation of an alternative farm and trade school system in the countryside, with the goal of improving the quality, as well as expanding access to basic education; institutionalize universal access to free healthcare through the service delivery network of healthcare facilities and rationalization of PhilHealth benefits; increase agricultural productivity and sustainability through the creation of agricultural growth centers in identified regions in the country, farm-to-market facilitation, adoption of good agricultural practices, and provide incentives to clusters of small and marginal producers.