Mayor Vi’s BAYI Citation

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To honor the Women Suffragist Movement and celebrate women’s participation in politics and governance, the Barangay Bayan Governance Consortium and the Institute of Politics and Governance (IPG) are honoring 10 women with the 2007 Bayani Citation. The Bayani Citation is conferred to great women who have gone beyond the suffragist movement to bring forth transformative power. The awarding ceremonies held at the Club Filipino yesterday. Leading the list of awardees was Mayor Vilma Santos-Recto, for her admirable effort to redefine herself from being a star for all seasons to a mayor for all seasons, performing exceptionally well in public administration and meritoriously in delivering education and health services. Congrats to Ate Vi who has given her diehard Vilmanians another reason to crow about and be proud of her. She’s the only actress-turned-politician who was given this kind of honor and even her showbiz colleagues should be proud of her. – ABS-CBN, April 2007 (READ MORE)

ARTICLES - Bayi Citation 8

One of Most Trusted Filipino Politician

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Most Trusted “…In a Trust Poll conducted by Reader’s Digest Asia, Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte ranked 5th among all politicians and 47th in the list of Philippines ’ Most Trusted Individuals of 2010. Among the politicians, Senator Benigno Aquino III leads the most trusted leader followed by Lipa City Vilma Santos-Recto, No. 3 is Senator Mar Roxas, No. 4 Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Number 5 Mayor Rodrigo Duterte….” – (READ MORE)

Most Powerful “…Vilma Santos ranked 86th in BizNewsAsia Magazines’ 100 Most Powerful Filipinos – Education: Crash course on local governance, primary health care, human resource development and fiscal administration, UP. The Star for all season has proved cynics wrong that movie people have little between their ears, aside from a beautiful face or a handsome profile. As mayor of burgeoning Lipa, she has been chosen “most outstanding city mayor” in 2000 by the Civil Service Commission. Her popularity helped her husband Ralph Recto win a senate seat in 2001, and she can easily win a senate seat for herself if she gets tired of running Lipa city. The mayor with an ageless face received the Ten Young Achievers award in 1992…” – BizNewsAsia Magazine, June 2004 (READ MORE)

Most Influential “…Vilma “Ate Vi” Santos-Recto – The popular governor of Batangas province reportedly turned down invitations for her to run as vice-president in the 2010 election and she switched from Lakas party to P-Noy’s Liberal Party in late 2009. She is former three-term mayor of Lipa City and the street-smart political partner of husband Senator Ralph Recto. When asked if she plans to someday run for president of the Philippines, the multi-awarded film and TV actress said she never makes political plans and is “only concerned about doing a good job serving the people of Batangas as governor…” – Wilson Lee Flores (READ MORE)

Recent Survey – “…Senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda will emerge as the top two winners if senatorial elections were held today, a recent Pulse Asia survey showed. Escudero and Legarda ranked one and two with 65.1 percent of the respondents saying they will vote for Escudero and 63.6 percent for Legarda…Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon got 23.2 percent; Jose de Venecia III, 23.2 percent; Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto, 23 percent; Mark Lapid, 22.5 percent; and Rep. Imee Marcos, 22.4 percent…Censors board chief Grace Poe-Llamanzares got 20.7 percent; Bacoor Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla, 18.2 percent; former senator Ernesto Maceda, 18 percent; former Akbayan party-list representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, 15.7 percent; and Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, 14.4 percent…The survey also showed that Santos-Recto had a 96 percent awareness rating, same as that of Honasan…” – Christina Mendez (READ MORE)

Best Role Model “…A survey was conducted last July 15 among 455 students of Humanities under Dr. Ronnie Gan at the University of Mindanao in Davao City and, you guessed it, Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos emerged as the popular Students’ Choice as Best Role Model of the Youth. This piece of good news was relayed to Funfare by reader Willie Fernandez, who said that he’s “a solid Vilma Santos fan from General Santos City…A plaque of recognition will be given to Vilma. The other good news is that as part of the 60th founding anniversary UM, Vilma will be awarded the Gawad Suri Gintong Alamat ng Sining on Aug. 14 at the school’s main gym. She was chosen for “her phenomenal career which spans four decades…” – Ricardo F. Lo (READ MORE)

2012 Power 100: The most Powerful and Influential – “…No. 64. Vilma Santos/Ralph Recto…Vilma Santos, Governor (Batangas) – She continues to enjoy popularity because of her sincerity and charisma, helped by occasional appearances in movies. A recent awardee in local governance, she can easily win other elective posts, such as congressman or senator (except that her husband is already in the Senate), or even in vice presidency. Ralph Recto, Senator – Another ally of President PNoy in the Senate, he chair the powerful Ways & Means Committee and the Government Corporations and Public Enterprises panel. His legislative agenda and advocacy priorities are health, education, agriculture, roads, tourism and security. He watered down the sin tax bill…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Three Term Mayor of Lipa City (Batangas, Philippines)

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The current governor of Batangas is Vilma Santos-Recto, former Lipa City Mayor and movie/television actress who took oath on June 30th, 2007 as the first lady governor of the province. She is the first woman governor of the province. She was previously the first woman mayor of Lipa City. – Batangas Now (READ MORE)

I accept the challenge – “…Tinatanggap ko ang hamon ng mga taga Lipa (I accept the challenge of the people of Lipa) who have been asking me to run for mayor,” said a determined Vilma Santos after President Fidel Ramos endorsed her candidacy for mayor of Lipa City, during a meeting with Batangas officials led by Vilma’s husband, Batangas Rep Ralph Recto. The “Star for All Seasons” is expected to win buy a landslide. Vilma will be putting her present Showbiz commitments on hold until after her three-year term as mayor, if she wins. Her last movie is Star Cinema’s Bata, Bata Paano Ka Ginawa? based upon the Palanca Award-wining novel by Luwalhati Bautista, still unreleased. “I promise Lipenos a clean government,” she said. “If and when Ralph and I will form a good team, he on the national level and I on the local front, magko-coordinate kami,” she added…” – Sol Jose Vanzi, April 9, 1998 (READ MORE)

Expected To Win By A Landslide – “…Right after Star for All Seasons, Vilma Santos announced her candidacy for mayor of Lipa City under the LAKAS party, it was reported that Senator Tito Sotto aversely reacted to it right away by bismirching Vilma’s decision saying the movie star does not have a hope to win against Ralph “King” Umali, the son of the incumbent mayor Ruben Umali who is from the LAMMP opposition party. The Vilmanians immediately reacted to it by planning a national convention to organize the “Boycott Tito Sotto” plan. Thousands of Vilmanians will just not vote for Tito Sotto who is currently not only hurting from crime-related scandal but had to abandon his vice-presidential aspirations and retreated for re-election as senator in the May elections. Tito Sotto was expected to deny the accusation. His wife came to her husband’s rescue. Former singer-actress Helen Gamboa said to the press, “I know my husband won’t say anything against anybody, not especially against Vilma who has been our friend from way, way back.” She added, “ang sinabi ng asawa ko nang tanungin ng reporter tungkol sa kandidatura ni Vilma ay, ‘ganoon ba? eh, di mapapalaban siya katulad ng ibang artistang kumakandidato.’ He never said na walang laban si Vilma (Vilma will not win against opponent Umali). I know Vilma did not believe the intrigues, she knows better.” Ironically, the parents of Vilma’s opponent Ralph Umali, is a close friend of her husband Ralph Recto. Umali’s parents are Vilma and Ralph Recto’s wedding sponsors. Meanwhile, Vilma is expected to win by a landslide. The Mayor For All Seasons of the future!…” – Sol Jose Vanzi, April 15, 1998 (READ MORE)

Thriller in Lipa “…She already has been crowned with the tiara of efficiency. The reality is anybody could have done what she did in Lipa City. Most growth-driven Philippine provinces and cities grow on their own, with little help from government. Or, despite government. She only has to do one third of what the Opus Dei-member former governor did and she will be hailed as the “best governor” of Batangas. Ms. Santos has this uncanny knack of being associated with the positive things in her life…This is very rare in politics, where the muck is what is always remembered. Even the grand old figure of Philippine politics, former Senate President Jovito Salonga, said there is something rare about Vilma Santos, an actress who went to politics and who later honed her craft in public administration. If the political handlers of the three known presidential aspirants managed to watch that thriller in Lipa, a redrawing of political plan is in order…” – Marlen V. Ronquillo, The Manila Times March 25, 2007 (READ MORE)

Premium Programs“…As Lipa’s local chief executive and first woman mayor, she put a premium on programs aimed at improving public health, education and protecting the environment. She likewise laid emphasis on basic infrastructure that made the city, which already boasts of a strategic location, even more attractive to investors. When she concluded her three-year term as its mayor, Lipa is among the most dynamic economic and industrial centers in Batangas and the Southern Tagalog region….” – (READ MORE)

Latest Movie to Raise Funds for Lipa – “…The “Star For All Seasons” and now Mayor of Lipa City says she may arrange a premiere of what could be her last movie to raise funds for any project to benefit her constituency. The movie “Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa” starring Mayor Vilma Santos could have its premiere in Lipa City, where the multi-awarded Movie-TV superstar was inducted into office in star- studded ceremonies June 30. “Bata, Bata” will open in Metro Manila theaters in late July. Because of Vilma’s decision to seriously tackle the job of Mayor of Lipa, she announced that the movie could be her last one for the duration of her term, which ends in the year 2001. Also because of her new job as the city’s chief executive, Vilma is building a new home in Lipa City to serve as her private enclave. The old home she shares with her husband, Batangas Rep. Ralph Recto, has become a public reception area for the citizens of Lipa City and Batangas province. The new home for the Rectos, to begin construction in August, will be in an exclusive subdivision described by Ronald Constantino of the Bulletin Online as “nestled among hills and valleys.” Mayor Vilma graduated from a University of the Philippines special course on Public Governance right after her victory in the May 11 elections, to prepare her for her new job…” – Sol Jose Vanzi, July 1, 1998 (READ MORE)

Family is First Priority – “…A prominent resident of Lipa has told Manila Standard columnist Isah Red that his city’s mayor, actress Vilma Santos, spends only three days of each week in Lipa, and the rest of the week in her Metro Manila residence. “For the past weeks, she’s been working only for three days a week: Monday to Wednesday,” Isah quotes his source. The writer adds that “the multi-awarded actress might have been overwhelmed by the scope of her duties as a local government official, plus the numerous problems in the city that need to be addressed.” Vilma had told everyone from the very beginning that she’s going to divide her time between her family and her duties and obligations to Lipa City as mayor. Her supporters claim that even when she’s not in Lipa, she is in constant touch with her Lipa-based staff, monitoring activities from wherever she happens to be. But Isah’s source says that is not enough. “She has to make herself visible to her constituents. Nothing is decided upon (at the City Mayor’s office) after Wednesday. People who want to do business in the city have to wait until the following Monday to get things done, especially those whose documents need the approval or signature of the mayor,” he complained. Vilma claims that “It’s already a sacrifice for me to be away from my kids for three days.” The actress tries to make up by staying in the mayor’s office beyond the regular office hours. “Now I also need to be with my children and my husband for the weekend,” Mayor Vilma Santos- Recto said. Her husband, Batangas Congressman Ralph Recto, holds office in Metro Manila because he reports for work at the Batasang Pambansa complex which houses the House of Representatives…” – Sol Jose Vanzi, Nov. 21, 1998 (READ MORE)

Abused children – “…The country’s most popular and talented movie stars and entertainment personalities will lead thousands of sympathizers of Baby Echegaray and other abused children at a rally this afternoon at the Makati business district. Expected to walk with the marchers are Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos, Rosanna Roces, Jolina Magdangal, Carmina Villaroel, Pops Fernandez and Congressman Ralph Recto, husband of Vilma. The rally, scheduled to begin at 3 from the statue of Ninoy Aquino along Ayala Avenue in front of the Makati Stock Exchange, will proceed to several streets and last no more than one hour. Atty. Katrina Legarda, organizer and spokesman of Baby Echegaray, said there will be no speeches, no shouting, no chanting. It will be a quiet, dignified show of support for all children who are victims of abuse. Baby Echegaray and other abused children who are currently in the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and the Bahay Bata Foundation will join the rally. All the participants will wear veils to cover their heads and faces, a look that’s the trademark of Baby Echegaray whenever she makes a public appearance…” – Sol Jose Vanzi, Jan. 11, 1999 (READ MORE)

Unrelenting Service“…Governor Vi, as she is now fondly called, was the first woman mayor of Lipa, Batangas. She served for three consecutive terms. She also became the first female governor of Batangas Province and was re-elected for her second term during the May 2010 elections. Many people know of her acting awards, but Gov. Vi has also been getting recognition for her unrelenting service to Batangas and the people. She has been recognized as Most Outstanding Mayor four times during her term by the Civil Service Commission and numerous organizations. She has also been part of the Ten Outstanding Young Leaders in the country and has brought many distinctions to the City of Lipa. Despite these, Gov. Vi has worked silently and has focused her time and energy in developing Batangas. Here accomplishment can be seen in the development of her territory. As Governor, she has launched her H.E.A.R.T.S. Program which aims to improve Health, Education, Agriculture, Roads and Tourism of Batangas…” – Joey Concepcion (READ MORE)

Assasination Plot – A confessed would-be assasin told authorities the other day that he was part of the eight-man liquidation squad out to kill Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos and her husband Sen. Ralph Recto. After confirming the identity of the hired guns from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Camp Crame, Quezon City, Philippine National Police officials yesterday said they have tripled the security cordon of the lady mayor and her husband. Supt. Antonio Atienza Jr., head of the Lipa City Police Office, said he learned from the alleged hit man that the former actress has a P15-million contract on her head. A bigger amount has been earmarked for her husband Senator Recto, Atienza added. The Lipa City Mayor’s office learned of the threat on the couple’s lives four weeks ago, but it was only reported to the police a week later by one one of the mayor’s aides, Atienza said. But members of a CIDG team tasked to track down the killers have reported to their superiors that they lost the suspects’ trail last week. Atienza said that CIDG was given two weeks to catch the hitmen. The Lipa police chief said they are eyeing two groups that might have a hand in the assassination plot: the Hong Kong Triad and a millionaire politician whom the Rectos defeated in the May 14 polls. On April 30, local police raided a drug laboratory supposedly run by the Hong Kong Triad in Barangay Sto Nino, Lipa City. Police seized a ton of shabu worth P3 billion. At least 10 Chinese were arrested in theraid, including a certain Ben Marcelo who claimed to be a friend of deposed President Joseph Estrada. Later, they were charged before the Lipa City Prosecutor’s Office. The Inquirer learned that weeks after their arrest, the suspect were transferred from the Lipa City Jair to a detention cell in Camp Crame for a still unknown reason. Custody of the shabu seized from the suspect was also transferred from the Batangas Provincial Police Office to the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Hong Kong Triad – Lipa City Hall sources revealed that an influential provincial official has been protecting the illegal drug syndicate. The politician blamed the Rectos for the raid on the shabu laboratory, which cut the Hong Kong Triad’s drug supply to the Southern Tagalog Region. Atienza also withheld the name of the confessed assassin-a member of a group of hire killers operating in Quezon, Laguna and Batangas for fear of reprisal from his comrades. Ironically, the would-be assassin himself told police he is an avid Vilmanian and may not bring himself to kill the lady mayor, Atienza claimed….On Monday, city administrator Fr. Levi Dimaunahan told Lipa residents that there is a threat to their Mayor’s life and that she could not report to the office yet. “But you cannot stop the likes of Mayor Vi from visiting the barangays and helping the Lipenor,” Atienza said. “That’s why we have to tighten the security around her.” – Mei Magsino, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Aug 16, 2003 (READ MORE)

Vilma Santos candidate for Mayor of Lipa City “…Edwin Ermita, only son of Batangas Kingmaker Rep. Eduardo Ermita, representative for Western Batangas and chairman of the Laka-NUCD party for the Southern Tagalog region, witnessed last Friday the filling of certigicate of candidacy of veteran and multi-awarded actress Vilma Santos-Recto for the mayorship of Lipa City. Santo-Recto’s running mate is incumbent provincial board member Boy Manguera. The young Ermita who is running for governor on a platform of a united and progressive Batangas, heads a formidable team that has already achieved a clean sweep of the 1995 elections for the Lakas-NUCD. The young Ermita intends to unite the fractions Batangas leadership into a much stronger and dynamic team. “Should I win, party affiliations or interes,” the young Ermita pledged. Santos-Recto is seen as a sure winner in vote-rich Lipa City. The young Ermit, vice president of Solid Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in the country today, on the other hand, is perceived as the epitome of the kind of youthful, professinal and energetic leadership that a newly emerging boom province like Batangas needs. Ricky Recto, who is running for vice governor, and Manguera, who is running for vice mayor of Lipa City, are also seen as fine examples of the ever growing crop of youthful professionals who have, of late, joined the political scene of Batangas….” – Manila Standard, Mar 30, 1998 (READ MORE)

miracle in her life – “…According to Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, D.D., true peace, which Christians believe is God’s gift to the world, can guarantee harmony and progress. Miracles are great occurrences, but people should learn how to do acts of kindness at the same time. Asked if she has experienced a miracle in her life, Vilma replies, “Although I’m not a Batangueño, Lipeños believed in me and made me their mayor. I didn’t expect this to happen. This, for me, is already a miracle.” She admits getting a different high in serving people. But she doesn’t know yet if she will run for another government position or not. And she might be do movies again. Mayor Vilma still has eight months to think things over. “Whether I run or not, I will continue working because it is my source of energy and adrenaline,” Vilma says. Now on her last term as Lipa mayor, Vilma is giving her all to serve and work for the betterment of the city so she could leave a good legacy to her constituents. She invites everyone to Lipa tomorrow. Lipa, the mayor adds, is blessed to be the center of this National Day of Prayer. And of course, she concludes, it doesn’t matter what religion or religious organizations people belong. What counts most is being united in praying for peace in the country…” – Bot Glorioso (READ MORE)

First Female Governor of Batangas (Philippines)

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The current governor of Batangas is Vilma Santos-Recto, former Lipa City Mayor and movie/television actress who took oath on June 30th, 2007 as the first lady governor of the province. She is the first woman governor of the province. She was previously the first woman mayor of Lipa City. – Batangas Now (READ MORE)

First Female Governor – “…Gov. Vi’s devotion to her role as mother of the province has resulted in numerous awards and citations. These, she shares with the men and women in her administration, who work tirelessly toward the accomplishment of projects being undertaken; and all Batangueños, who continuously support her administration and believe in her capabilities as an honest and dependable leader…” – (READ MORE)

“…Governor Vi, as she is now fondly called, was the first woman mayor of Lipa, Batangas. She served for three consecutive terms. She also became the first female governor of Batangas Province and was re-elected for her second term during the May 2010 elections. Many people know of her acting awards, but Gov. Vi has also been getting recognition for her unrelenting service to Batangas and the people. She has been recognized as Most Outstanding Mayor four times during her term by the Civil Service Commission and numerous organizations. She has also been part of the Ten Outstanding Young Leaders in the country and has brought many distinctions to the City of Lipa. Despite these, Gov. Vi has worked silently and has focused her time and energy in developing Batangas. Here accomplishment can be seen in the development of her territory. As Governor, she has launched her H.E.A.R.T.S. Program which aims to improve Health, Education, Agriculture, Roads and Tourism of Batangas…” – Joey Concepcion (READ MORE)

Barako Country – “…Pagkatapos ng termino niya bilang Batangas governor, ang pagiging senador o vice president ng bansa ba ang sunod na tatakbuhin niya?
“Hindi,” tanggi ni Governor Vi. “Wala. I swear. Wala talaga akong plano. Maniwala kayo. Kung saan ako dadalhin, okey. Kung hindi na rin, okey din. I don’t plan things… when it comes to politics lang naman. Pero inilagay Niya ako rito, so may purpose Siya. Kaya ang dasal ko lang lagi, ‘I-guide Mo lang ako. Kasi, hindi madali ang politics. Hindi madali. Naku, maniwala kayo! Although ang pinaka… lagi kong guide, para mapaganda ko ‘yong trabaho ko, ang guide ko lang dito—hindi lahat, pinagkakatiwalaan ng ganyan. Yon na lang ang bayad ko, e. Lalo na ang Batangas, barako country. First woman mayor, first woman governor. Para pagkatiwalaan ka ng ganyan, legacy mo na ‘yan, e. Iyon na lang ang pinanghahawakan ko, e, di ba? Kapag naramdaman niyang may calling para tumakbo siyang senador, tatanggapin niya? Hindi ko alam kung kakayanin ko ‘yong trabaho. Sana. Kasi, iba na ‘yan. Pag inilgay ako, okey. Pero hindi natin masabi, e. Pero ang point ko kasi, kung bakit hindi ako nagsasalita nang patapos, iba kasi ‘yong nagpaplano. Alam mo ‘yong ibig kong sabihin? Iba ‘yon, e. Na pagkatapos nito, ‘eto. Hindi, e. Ako, wala. You still want me? Vote for me. I’ll serve …” – Ruben Marasigan (READ MORE)

The Dawning of the New Day – “…At exactly eight in the morning, as the returning sun beats with a vengeance down on the crowd gathered at the lawn in front of the Capitol building for the first official flag ceremony, VILMA SANTOS RECTO takes her place among the leaders, old and new, of Batangas. The employees, most of them who have grown up watching the governor take on her many roles as an actress, are skittish and excitable. You get a sense that, for them, the petite, five-feet-flat actress is just portraying one of her award-winning roles. No, she isn’t really going to be the governor. Look, she’s beside the more imposing ex-governor Antonio Leviste and the suave, smooth-talking provincial administrator. It still feels surreal. Cameras from cellphones flash, and even during the somber flag-raising, all eyes are trained on her. She’s aware of this, even if at the moment, she doesn’t let on. “Every day is still a learning process for me,” the newly-appointed governor shares thoughtfully a few hours later, back at the cool confines of her office. “I’m apprehensive about the expectations. I just want to be magnanimous about the victory I got. People need to understand my priorities, support them, and do what they need to do. This is not even for me, you know?” Judging from the still star-struck faces of most, it’s a reality that may take a while to set in, but the tough politician who’s turned a city around is not one to easily give up. When she takes the stand to speak for the very first time as their governor, a quiet, expectant hush falls over the crowd. You could hear a pin drop. And then Vilma, who never disappoints, gravely said, “We’re all in this together. Kami dito sa stage walang payong, kaya ibaba ninyo ang mga payong ninyo. Kung kami maiinitan, lahat ay maiinitan (We don’t have umbrellas here, so fold yours. If we take the heat, so should you.)” There’s a moment of silence before giddy laughter erupts and then from somewhere, scattered burst of applause cracks the stillness until the whole plaza joins in, and as they have always been since she was nine, people unwittingly feel under Vilma Santos Recto’s magic spell. The first lady governor of Batangas smiles triumphantly, surveys her audience with a fond look, and steps up to the dais, bravely facing the dawning of the new day…” – Krizette Laureta (READ MORE)

“…Batangas is a first class province of the Philippines located on the southwestern part of Luzon, kilala bilang “Industrial Port City of Calabarzon”. Isa rin ito sa pinaka popular tourist destination near Metro Manila. Hindi lang beaches ang panghikayat sa mga turista. Kabilang dito ang mga diving spots ng Anilao, Matabungkay (madalas venue ng seminar ng FSC at PMPDA) Punta Fuego, Calatagan and Laiya. Kung pagkain naman ang pag-uusapan, there are lots of Batangas food you’ll love. Batangueños are skilled cooks and fiestas around the towns and barrios will show their expertise in cooking…Kung showbiz personalities naman ang pag-uusapan hindi rin papahuli ang Batangas dyan. Nagunguna sa listahan si Congressman Manhik-Manaog o Don Robert Dinero sa telebisyon. Ito’y wala ng iba kundi si Leo Martinez. Di nga bat nai-feature pa ang bagoong balayan sa kanyang music album….Vilma Santos—Recto, though she was born in Bamban, Tarlac, eh naging Mayor ng Lipa City where she won by landslide victories in three consecutive elections. Siya lang naman ang kauna-unahang babaeng Mayor at kasalukuyang Governor ng Batangas…” – Julie Ann Nunez (READ MORE)

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100 days ni Ate Vi As Governor (Repost)

Wow! Naka 100 days na pala bilang gobernador ng lalawigan ng Batangas si Governor Vi ngayong araw na ito, Oktubre 8, 2007, kaya naman sa pamamagitan nina Jean Dolor at Manny Nava (salamat sa inyong dalawa!) ay ise-share ko ang mga nasaksihan nila kaninang umaga sa Batangas City. Hindi nakadalo ang inyong lingkod, pati na rin si El Presidente Jojo Lim, Bise-Presidente Eric Nadurata o maging sina Secretary Clarisse Pilande at Kristine Lomeda, Treasurer Obet Sapin at Asst. Treasurer Nar Santander at ang iba pang opisyales at miyembro ng VSSI, Inc. dahil sa sobrang kabisihan sa kanilang mga trabaho.

Bago ang State of Provincial Address (SOPA) ni Governor Vi ay nagkaroon muna sila ng flag ceremony. Sa Auditorium ginanap ang SOPA na nagsimula ng alas nueve ng umaga. Mga 3,500 ang mga pumuntang panauhin kabilang na ang 31 mayors, vice mayors at mga konsehales ng mga bayan at lungsod ng lalawigan ng Batangas, mga provincial board members at vice-governor. Andun din si Deborah Sun na may kasamang isang artista. Mayroon ding representative ang dalawang higanteng network, ang ABS-CBN 2 at GMA 7. Nakapormal ang mga nagsidalong mga bisita, naka-gown ang mga babae. Sina Jing Seguismundo at Jun Dijan ang naging emcee ng palatuntunan. Umawit yung nanalo sa Lipa’s Voices, Songs and Rhytms noong nakaraang taon. Suot ng isang barong at pantalong itim si Governor Vi. Eto ang nilalaman ng kanyang 45-minute speech.

Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat! Because public office is a public trust; and because my accountability is to our people; it is only right that I be made to account for how I conducted myself in the first 100 days as the governor of Batangas. Mga kababayan ko, I am here today to make an accounting of my first 100 days in office to report to you what I intend to do and to accomplish beyond this period.

Because what matters most to us lies beyond this period; what we do in the next 905 days to accomplish our goals of reducing poverty so that we can uplift the quality of life of our provincemates; and of improving the investment landscape in the entire province, so that we can bring right in the door step of every family the jobs and income opportunities that it generates.

Our population now stands at 1,905,348 and it grows 3.02%. This means that 57,160 babies will be added to our present population by next year. 25% of our population lives below the poverty line. And the poverty incidence in our province is 3 times higher than in Laguna and Cavite. Our province has been left behind. How will our provincial government respond to his situation? Ano ba ang maaasahan ng ating mga kababayan sa ating pamahalaan?

The challenge now is how do we reduce poverty significantly and in a sustained matter; how do we make our province prosperous. And I believe that I am up to this task. Dahil magkakasama at magtutulungan tayo dito, dahil tayong mga Batangueño ay may malasakit sa kapakanan ng ating lalawigan. Dahil taos puso sa atin and maglingkod sa ating kapwa at sa ating lalawigan.

We will provide our provincemates with a stronge response to be hopeful about their future and their children’s future. And to accomplish this, we will govern with deep compassion, clear direction, workable and doable plan and achievable results.

Totoong napakabilis ng paglipas ng panahon. Di ko namamalayan, ako pala ay tatlong buwan at sampung araw ng nakaupo bilang gobernador ng ating lalawigan. At sa loob ng napakaikling panahong ito, sa aking palagay, naging makabuluhan at mabunga ang mga ginawa nating pagsusumikap, pagtutulungan at pagkakaisa. When we first arrived here on July 2, 2007, we were facing a blank wall. Why? Because, there was no transition team; there was no smooth turnover of power. We had to put a lot of thing in order. We really had to do a lot of housekeeping to get a better view of the internal condition of our provincial government; the finances, human resource, operation and structure. And we have to take a look also at the external situation; what’s the state of health of our provincemates, the quality of facilities services that our hospitals offer…..the state of public education and infrastructure services? During the first 100 days, we looked into these things. And because of the cooperation that our department heads fully extended to us, our job became easier. We were able to get a working knowledge of the functions, operations and priority programs of the 18 major offices including our 12 district hospitals. Kaya gusto ko muling pasalamatan ang ating mga department heads. Narito sila ngayon. Palakpakan po natin sila. Habang pinag-aaralan namin ang katayuan ng ating pamahalaan, I had to turn down a lot of speaking engagements, invitations and photo sessions. Sa mga hindi ko napagbigyan- –marahil ang iba sa inyo ay naririto ngayon—ako’ y humihingi sa inyo ng paumanhin. Pwede na po tayong mag-picturan.

To continue, we were able to get a clear and accurate picture of the financial condition of the provincial government. And I would like to thank our budget officer, provincial accountant, provincial assessor, provincial treasurer, and pro bono senior adviser Senator Recto, who guided them patiently and expertly to obtain this picture. Matapos naming mapag-aralan ang katatayuan ng ating pamahalaan, nakita namin na mayroon pa tayong sapat na pondo para mabigyan ng kaukulang pansin ang mga bagay na napakahalaga sa akin. Una, ang mapagbuti ang kalagayan ng ating mga empleyado. Binisita ko ang bawa’t opisina nila. Nakita ko mismo ang kanilang kalagayan. Pinakinggan ko rin ang kanilang mga hinaing at kahilingan. Hindi ko sila pwedeng pabayaan sa kalagayang nadatnan ko dito. Kailangang maging maayos ang kanilang kalagayan sapagka’t sila ang makakasama at makakatulong ko sa pagpapatupad ng mga pangunahing programa ng ating pamahalaan. Kaya ako’y nagpapasalamat ng malaki sa ating Sangguniang Panglalawigan sa pamumuno ni Vice-Governor Mark Leviste, Board Members sa pamamagitan ng inyong suporta.

    • Nataas nating ng 10% ang sweldo ng lahat ng kawani ng ating pamahalaan na may kabuuang Php16M.
    • Nakapaglaan din tayo ng pondo para sa mga casuals na nagiging katulong nila sa pagsisilbi sa ating kababayan
    • Mabibigyan natin ng office equipment, furniture and fixtures ang ating mga tanggapan

On the issue of governance, we made it our policy to involve our department heads in local government management. We welcome their recommendation in the formulation, adoption and implementation of our government programs. Mahalaga din sa amin ang kalusugan ng ating mga empleyado kaya nagbigay ang ating pamahalaan ng libreng check up sa humigit kumulang na 2,000 empleyado natin. Pinag-ukulan din natin ng pansin ng mga inmates sa provincial jail. Pinagbuti natin ang pagpapakain sa kanila para maging maayos din naman ang kanilang kalusugan. After transforming our provincial government into a cohesive, unified and responsive unit, we started looking at the external situation. External condition – And the poverty diagnosis based on 13 core indicators conducted by PSWDO in partnership with the mayors in 14 municipalities became very useful. And let me share with you some of the unflattering findings of this diagnosis. Batay sa isang health indicator, 244 ang bilang ng mga bata na 0-5 years old ang namatay ng hindi nabibigyan ng sapat na attention. We can’t allow this. Batay rin sa isa pang health indicator, 27 women died due to pregnancy-related causes. We even cross-checked their data with the National Statistical and Coordination Board, specifically its poverty statistics and Human Development Index (HDI) because we are serious about our work. And we need to get an accurate and ample picture of the situation in Batangas Province. And what is clear is that big portion of our population has no access to basic health services. It appears that our province has lagged behind in terms of proportion of households with no access to health services. This could mean that they didn’t trust our public health care system. And when I saw our hospitals, I was not surprised by these findings. Kaya naisip ko, our provincial government should intervene heavily to make health services accessible to our impoverished sector. At mayroon na kaming kasalukuyang ginagawang action dito.

First, our provincial government is now improving the delivery health service in 5 district hospitals – Lipa, Tanauan, Rosario, San Juan and San Jose. The rest of the hospitals will follow. We will upgrade the laboratory, medical and room facilities here. We will make them at par with private hospitals, compete with them and thereby bring down the cost of health care.

Second, on the prevention side, we will intervene by subjecting our infants to NBS test so they would not suffer from any harmful or potentially fatal disorder which it could easily detect. We have placed this concern on top of our health’s expenditure program next year.

Third, we will provide health insurance to more than 40,000 indigents or the poorest of the poor so that they will have access to quality health care.

Fourth, we will focus our health care program on the top ten most illnesses in our province.

Fifth, we will transform one district hospital into a center of excellence. Excellence in service, facility and accomodation. And if our revenue will permit us more, we will replicate in other districts and thereby ensure that our constituents will have access to high quality hospital service.

With all these initiatives and innovations, I am hoping our province will be among the top ten leading health service providers nationwide. Three days ago, nasa television news ang Batangas dahil sa dami ng morality dahil sa Dengue. Iisa lamang ang matibay na solusyon sa problemang ito: panatilihin nating malinis ang ating kapaligiran sa bawa’t tahanan sa bawa’t barangay. Kaya sa ating mga mayor, hinihiling ko na magsagawa tayo ng isang massive household-based clean-up campaign. This is our best response to dengue. Sa larangan naman ng edukasyon, batay sa poverty diagnosis, 18,750 bata na nagkakaedad na 6-12 ang hindi napasok sa elementary school; at 24,821 namang bata na nagkakaedad na 13-16 and hindi napasok sa high school. Batay sa NSCB, 76% lang ng ating mga mag-aaral sa mababang paaralan ang nakakatapos ng elementarya. Samantalang 65% lang ng ating mga mag-aaral sa high school ang nakakatapos sa ganitong antas. Anong naghihintay na kinabukasan sa mga ito? Tiyak na mapapabilang ito sa mga taong daranas ng paghihirap pagdating ng araw kung wala tayong gagawing lunas dito. We don’t want any child to be left behid just because he failed to get elementary and secondary education. If our children are deprived of the opportunity to study, it will be our family’s and our community’s loss as well. Isang solusyon sa problemang ito ay ang pagdadagdag ng bilang ng mobile teachers para mapuntahan ang mga batang ito at matulungan silang maipagpatuloy ang kanilang pag-aaral. We will hire more mobile teachers to give these out-of-school children an opportunity to study and thereby save them from a life of misery. We will implement, too, a feeding program to meet the nutritional requirement of our school children so that we can improve their health and, in the process, help them raise their academic accomplishment. We want best public shools to be known for their excellent facilities so that they can produce the best and the brightest students who can compete not only regionally but nationally as well. We will transform initially one school for every district as center of excellence. And if our revenue will allow it in the next three years, we will set up one center of excellence for every municipality. We will employ the benefits and advantages that information and communication technology brings in improving the quality of teaching and learning environment in public schools. Study shows that 98% of our young students who attend pre-schools finish college. We will therefore raise the standards of teaching in our day care center. To do this, we will adopt the program that we implemented successfully in the city of Lipa. We will train our day care teachers to handle their classes the Montessori way. We already know the pervasive effects of poverty. And we have the tools on how to identify and measure them, and locate who suffer from this social disease.

Kaya kami ay bumuo ng isang task force na itutuon and pondo at panahon sa pagtugon sa mga bagay na nagpapahirap sa ating mga kababayan. And this is the Inter-agency Poverty Reduction Team. We will equip this action team with resources to enable our provincial government to augment the efforts and resources our municipal mayors need in reducing poverty in their locality. But first things first, I want an updated data on poverty situation in 31 municipalities based on the 14 indicators of health, nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation, basic education, income employment, peace and order. Every program of action that our government implements must be based on updated, verifiable and accurate data so that we will know what appropriate, effective and responsive program of action we will formulate and carry out to address the poverty situation. I will therefore require our PSWDO to conduct a poverty diagnosis in partnership with our municipal mayors based on these indicators. We can train and tap the services of our students on this undertaking. Sa ating mga mahal na mayor na narito ngayon, kung may malalim na problemang lumabas dito sa poverty diagnosis na gagawin natin, magtulungan tayong sugpuin ito. Do your share and I will do my share, too, to alleviate poverty. Let this be a shared responsibility. Through these, we will be doing our part in uplifting well-being of our nation. And at the same time, we will be honoring our international commitment to meet Millenium Development Goals. If we can accomplish these earlier, we could become a model among our Local Government Units. I would like to appeal to our mayors to attend regularly the Provincial Development Council meeting. Ito’y magandang pagkakataon para magkaroon tayo ng direktang ugnayan o koordinasyon sa pagpapatupad ng mga pangunahing programs ng ating pamahalaan.

My job is not just a service provider. It’s also my job to be economic manager. We have to create an environment that is conducive to economic growth and development so that business and industry in our province can flourish. In this way, we can help create jobs and income opportunities for our constituents, and generate revenue for our municipalities. Malalaki man o malilit na mamumuhunan ay kailangan nating tanggapin ng pantay. Likas na magaling sa negosyo ang mga Batangueño at ipakita natin na maayos ang pagnenegosyo sa Batangas. Our provincial government will take this job seriously. Sisimulan namin ito sa pamamagitan ng pagpapabuti ng katatayuan ng ating mga kalsada. We will build, improve and maintain our provincial roads in support of the invetment potentials of the Province, in support of our enterpreneurs who need to market their products and services and to help lower the cost of doing business. But we will prioritize those roads which could make our agricultural, tourism and other sector more productive, increase the area’s investment potential, help facilitate business and trading activities. Our resources are limited, they must therefore be put to productive use. We will ask the support of our congressmen in the four congressional districts of Batangas in improving the condition of our national roads. Our province is blessed with natural beauty which make it one of the best tourist destinations in our country today. And this explains why tourism industry thrives and continues to thrive here. Our provincial government will provide infrastructure support to this industry so that it can continue to generate jobs and income opportunities to our localities. Ito ang isa sa mga pamamaraang gagawin ng ating pamahalaan upang malunasan ang pangunahing dahilan kung bakit dumadanas ng kahirapan ang ating mga kababayan: ang kawalan ng trabaho. And we will augment these efforts by allocating substantial fund for livelihood activities from our budget next year. Pangangalagaan din natin ang ating likas na yaman katulad ng ating mga karagatan para mapanatili ang kagandahan, kalinisan at kaligtasan nito at ng sa ganoon maipagpatuloy ang paghahanap buhay ng mga taong umaasa dito. We will support investment activities here but we will make sure that the sanctity of our seawater, safety and source of income of our people will not be compromised. I have created a task force and provided it with logistical and legal support so that it can accomplish this job.

Tayong mga Batangueño ay kilalang masisipag at matiyaga sa paghahanapbuhay sapagka’t tayo’y naniniwala na sa ganitong paraan gaganda ang ating buhay at kinabukasan. This explains why I am against all forms of illegal gambling including jueteng. Because they promote wrong values. For as long as I’m the governor of Batangas, I will never sanction jueteng. And I would like to remid our PNP Director and all the police chiefs of my earlier directive… ..Enforce our anti-gambling law; stop the operation of jueteng in the entire province. Uulitin ko po, habang ako ang gobernador ng Batangas, hindi ko papayagan ang jueteng. Pero di ko kayang sugpuing mag-isa ito. Kailangan ko ang tulong ng private sector, non-Government Organizations at ng simbahan sa pangunguna ni Archbishop Arguelles. At ako’y natutuwa naman sa mga kabataan natin sapagka’t naririnig ko sila pag sila’y nag-uusap. Sabi nila “Bakit ako tataya dyan? Magtratrabaho na lang ako.” Ang ibig sabihin, nag-iisip at natututo na ang ating mga kabataan dito sa Batangas. And I predict, jueteng here will die a natural death dahil hindi interesado dyan ang ating mga kabataan. And this augurs well on the future of our youth. And our provincial government will offer an alternative job to hose who have been displaced by the termination of jueteng operation. Since we are talking about law enforcement here, there is one more thing that I would like to address. The crime volume in our province has unfortunately pictured Batangas as a murder capital. I want to erase this image. I will therefore strengthen the law enforcement and crime prevention capability of our PNP by providing them with logistical support, communication and crime fighting equipment. This will allow them to perform effectively their mission of safeguarding the lives of our civilian population. All we are talking about here needs fund. And if we will not be able to improve our revenue collection efficiency and tax administration; and rely only on national subsidy, then we will not be able to finance more our development programs.

Kaya, ako’y nagtayo ng revenue enhancement team. They will study and recommend on how we can raise more revenue for the province so that we can finance more the improvement of the delivery of services to our constituents. And I believe that this team can accomplish this task. The programs, policies and strategies I have discussed here are embodied in our proposed budget for 2008. I will be therefore counting again on the vital support of our Sangguniang Panlalawigan on this expenditure plan. Tayong mga Batangueño ay kilala dahil sa ating talino at tapang, pagmamahal sa ating bayan, pagiging masipag at matibay na pananampalataya sa Panginoon. At ang mga dakilang katangian nating ito ay nakaukit na sa kasaysayan ng ating bansa… pakikipaglaban natin upang magkaroon ng kasarinlan, sa pagkakaroon ng isang bansang mapayapa, maunlad, may kakayahang makapamuno at makatayo sa sariling paa ng may dignidad. Samakatuwid tayong mga Batangueño ay may pagmamalasakit sa ating kapwa. At ito ang dahilan kung bakit tayong lahat ay nagsusumikap na mapagbuti ang katatayuan at kinabukasan ng ating lalawigan. Mga kababayan ko, sa loob ng aking termino, wala akong hinahangad kung hindi maibigay sa inyo ang isang napakahalagang bagay: PAG-ASA…..pag-asang matutupad ang ating mga pangarap na maging marangal, maunlad at matatag ang pamumuhay ng ating mga anak at ng mga susunod pang salinlahi. Sa pamamagitan ng ating pagtutulungan at patnubay ng Panginoong Diyos, ako’y naniniwala na ating mararating ang ating hinahangad at pinapangarap para sa ating mahal na lalawigan. My dream is to see a just, fair, compassionate and prosperous society where each family member can realize his full potential as a human being; and succeed in what he does because he is honest, responsible, hardworking, courageous and God-fearing; and does his share in building a better community for all. Building this kind of society is not the work of tomorrow. We build it today – we build it now. Sama-sama nating inumpisahan ito, sama-sama nating ipagpatuloy ito ngayon! Marami pong salamat, at muli, isang magandang umaga sa inyong lahat! Nagmamahal, Vilma Santos-Recto.

Pagkatapos ng kanyang speech ay nagkaroon ng photo session. Lumabas si Governor Vi ng auditorium at pumunta sa capitol ground kasama ang mga empleyado at umawit ng BUILDING THE FUTURE TOGETHER-ALL FOR ONE. At habang umaawit ay nagpalipad ng 100 white baloons. Matapos ang pag-awit ay pumunta na sila sa Governor’s office para sa isang pananghalian. At dito nagtatapos ang isa na namang kaganapan sa Lungsod ng Batangas sa ika-100 araw na pagiging gobernador ni Governor Vi. Mabuhay ka Governor Vi! – Alfonso Valencia

Vilma Santos prioritizes public service over Cory Aquino movie (Repost)

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Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto was the guest of honor at the induction ceremony of the officers of the Movie Writers and Press Photographers Association of the Philippines (MOWPPAP). The event was held last Friday, March 19, at Dulcinea on Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

As the Batangas governor shook hands with the members of the organization, she explained that her husband Ralph Recto would be unable to join them as he was still in Bicol.

After leading the induction, the Star for All Seasons sat down with MOWPPAP President Nap Alip to discuss her future plans for Batangas.

CORY MOVIE. When asked if she has plans of running for a national position, Vilma has consistently said that she wants to focus on Batangas, where she has been serving for the past 12 years. The multi-awarded actress entered politics by first serving as mayor of Lipa City for three consecutive terms. This is her second term as governor of Batangas.

“Ang dami ko ngang naka-lineup–hindi ko magawa! Yung in-offer ni Malou [Santos, managing director of Star Cinema] yung kay Cory [Aquino]. Meron rin akong movie with Chito Roño pero I cannot commit kasi priority ang public service, eh.”

“Ang initial offer kasi sa akin, ihahabol this August para sa death anniversary ni Cory. Pero sabi ko, eleksyon ngayon, hindi ko magagawa. Hindi naman puwedeng after ng eleksyon, shooting na ako,” explained Vilma.

She added, “Sinabi ko naman sa kanila, bali-baliktarin n’yo man, nasa dugo ko na ‘yan, e. Siyam na taon pa lang ako, nasa industriya na ako. But when it comes to public service, sa pagkakaalam ko, I have served Batangas with dignity.”

PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked Ms. Vilma if she and Kris Aquino have already discussed this upcoming tribute movie to the late president.

“Initially, napag-usapan namin pero sinasabi ko naman sa kanya, textmates naman kami, so sinasabi ko sa kanya na [baka hindi ko magawa] kasi kampanya. Pero sinabi lang niya na, ‘Ikaw ang gusto ng pamilya namin.’ Malaking bagay yun that it came from her.”

Vilma also clarified that she is very grateful to Star Cinema for considering her for this project. “Malinaw naman ang usapan namin ng Star Cinema. In fact, yung In My Life, three years silang naghintay, sa totoo lang. I’m very thankful to Star Cinema, naghintay talaga sila. Pero hangga’t hindi ako available, nandiyan lang ang proyekto.

“It depends if they can wait kung kelan ako available–thank you. Kung hindi naman, I will understand kasi priority pa rin ang pagiging public servant. Yun pa rin ang second priority ko after my immediate family,” she said.

On Ralph Recto’s senatorial bid, Vilma is very happy to point out that her husband, Ralph Recto, has landed 6th place in the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations. The former senator is seeking reelection this May.

It will be recalled that in 2004, Sen. Recto authored the law imposing expanded value added tax (E-VAT) on goods and services. Many believe that Ralph lost his reelection bid in 2007 because of this unpopular measure.

Vilma declared, “I’m very positive and I will always stay behind my husband. He is my mentor. Kung sinasabi nilang I am doing good, well-guided ako ng asawa ko. Kaya lang nabibigyan siya ng negative [image] o pagtingin sa kanya kasi maybe because sa mga bills na ginagawa niya.

“That’s why I respect Ralph. Hindi niya binawi ‘yan, e. Kahit na pinag-initan siya, hindi niya binawi hanggang sa huling sandali. Kasi alam niya kaya niya ginawa yun, it’s for the good of the country.

“And in the first place, hindi papasa ang bill na ‘yan, ang e-VAT na ‘yan kung hindi pinirmahan ng majority ng Senate. Pero nung nagkaipitan, parang siya na lang mag-isa. At hindi na tinayuan ng iba. For that, hindi binawi ng asawa ko at lalong lumaki ang respeto ko sa kanya.

“Kaya napasa ‘yan [E-VAT law], maraming pumabor. Kung naging mali ang paggamit ng VAT na ‘yan, hindi na problema ng asawa ko. Dahil that VAT is intended para sa basic needs na pangangailangan natin. With the recession that we are experiencing, nakaramdam ang mga bansa sa Asia ng recession pero ang bumuhay sa atin ang E-VAT,” explained the Batangas governor.

“Sabi nga nila, walang masama sa buwis,” Vilma continued. “Gamitin lang nang tama ang buwis. Kaya nahihirapan rin ang tao kasi yung dapat na buwis na maramdaman ng mga tao, hindi nila nararamdaman. That’s why maiintindihan mo rin kung bakit ganyan ang pakiramdam nila pag pinag-usapan na ang buwis.

“Pero ang buwis ay responsibilidad ng lahat ng tao, hindi tayo mabubuhay kung wala ring buwis. Ang issue na lang dito ngayon ay ang tiwala. [Ang tanong ng mamamayan] ‘Magbabayad kami ng buwis, magagamit at mababalik ba namin ‘yan?’ Yun ang issue.”

Source: Written by Jocelyn Dimaculangan