House Independent Bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Tuesday vowed to champion the cause of the country’s millions of persons with disabilities if he wins a Senate seat in next year’s elections.
In filing his certificate of candidacy on Tuesday at the Commission on Elections head office, Romualdez expressed his readiness to campaign hard nationwide to win the hearts of the Filipino people to continue what he said as “the Romualdez legacy of dedicated public service.”
“Today, I was joined by my family, friends and supporters as I filed my certificate of candidacy for the position of senator in the upcoming May 2016 elections,” Romualdez, president of the Lakas Christian Muslim Democrats, said.
Romualdez was accompanied by his mother, Juliette Gomez Romualdez; brother, Benjamin Philip and her aunt, former First Lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos and his supporters.
Romualdez, president of the Philippine Constitution Association, is also the first cousin of Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. of the Nacionalista Party who is running for vice president. Marcos, also filed his COC on the same day in the afternoon.
“With this official declaration of my commitment to continue in public service, I am firm in my resolve to reach out to the rest of the nation and bring my message to every home. To every Filipino,” Romualdez said.
“And my message is simple, “Malasakit,” he said.
Romualdez was at the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Manila as early as 9 a.m. where he formally submitted his COC to the Comelec’s Legal Department.
“I am here today as part of my commitment to honor the Romualdez legacy of dedicated public service. Panahon na upang suklian natin ang malasakit na ibinabahagi ng ating mga kababayan ng mas ibayo pang pagmamahal. Gagawin ko itong personal kong misyon, hindi lamang sa amin sa Leyte kundi sa buong bansa,” Romualdez said.
A three-term congressman of Leyte, Romualdez’s legislative agenda in the Senate includes the empowerment of the youth and persons with disabilities as well as resolving issues on climate change, urban disaster and ethnicity.
Among Romualdez’s authored bills are those concerning micro-business enterprises and rebuilding efforts for the province of Leyte following the devastation of Typhoon ‘‘Yolanda’’ almost two years ago.
Romualdez is also pushing for the exemption of disabled persons from the value-added tax or VAT through his House Bill 1039 also known as “An Act Exempting Persons with Disability from the Value-Added Tax on Certain Goods and Services.”
The Leyte lawmaker is also supportive of measures aiming for lower personal income and corporate tax rates despite the vehement opposition of President Aquino on the proposal.
A number of Romualdez’s bills are still pending at the House of Representatives. Among these are HB 1225 also known as “An Act Establishing a National Cancer Center to be known as the Philippine National Cancer Center” to help in the diagnosis, treatment, care, rehabilitation and relief of cancer patients; and HB 3486 that seeks to create Department of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management or DDPEM whose sole duty is to help victims of disasters and calamities and will focus on natural disasters “without the ugly red tape that has caused many delays in the delivery of immediate assistance needed by the victims.”
Mindful of the significant role of infrastructure in progress, Romualdez tirelessly lobbied for the infusion of budget to the construction and rehabilitation of roads, bridges, school buildings, and facilities for the delivery of basic services to his constituents in far-flung areas. Romualdez is a respected lawyer-constitutionalist. He is the president of the Philippine Constitution Association, an organization which aims to defend, preserve, and protect—not to mention propagate and promote—the Philippine Constitution.
“My father always said we owe everything to Leyte in the sense that it is part of our heritage. Right now, it is a matter of giving back, and that’s what we’re prepared and eager to do. We who have been spared by Yolanda have an even greater role to play towards recovery,” Romualdez said.
Martin comes from a long line of public servants. His father, Benjamin Trinidad Romualdez, once served as Governor of Leyte and was later appointed as Ambassador to the United States, China, and Saudi Arabia.
His great-grand-uncle, Miguel Lopez Romualdez, meanwhile, served as the first Mayor of the City of Manila.