Batangas Governor Vilma Santos: Sharing HEARTS for Progress

In her heart of HEARTS, the heroine of the celluloid world who stands by the right and plight of the underprivileged, has lent her heart to make the HEARTS program available to her constituents in the province of Batangas. The charm and charisma that endeared this actress-turnedpolitician to her millions of fans when she started her career in Philippine filmdom at age 9 is still embodied in Gov. Vilma Santos as she meets people, as she faces the challenges of her office. “Monday is people’s day. That’s the time when I get to meet and find out the needs of my constituents from various sectors.They follow up their requests, ask for assistance. Others just want to see me for picture-taking,” she pauses, smiles and adds, “There were many cases when they still demanded to see me personally even if I had already assisted them in one way or another. They just wanted to see me and thank me. Well, it’s part of my job. It’s physically draining, but the Vilma is still there.” Health & Home staffers and others witnessing the interview nod their heads in agreement. With regard to the urgent need of her constituency, the governor stresses that it is still the basic needs and these are what her government needs to address and enhance. “There are many problems, left and right, up and down. But it’s still the basic needs that are important and they are contained in our HEARTS program.”

This program, she clarifies, was not invented. “It was given enough study time when I won the mayorship in Lipa in 2007, with the help of my husband, Senator Ralph Recto.” The HEARTS Program Health, Education and environment, Agriculture, Roads, Tourism and technology, and Social service and security. For her health program, the governor says her government has many projects. “I’ll give only one. We have 12 district hospitals. One perfect example is the Lipa District Hospital. All of them [hospitals] were rehabilitated and expanded, and we bought new equipment and facilities and distributed Philhealth cards.” She further explains that even though these are district hospitals, people should pay. “We can’t subsist if everything is free. How can you maintain a hospital if everything is free?” (Purchase this H&H Magazine to further read on the article, please feel free to contact the Marketing Department or call us at (632) 364-5205) Jose F. Sarsoza Jr. is editor in chief of Health & Home. – Jose F. Sarsoza Jr. (READ MORE)