Mark Villar leads senatorial survey

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 8, 2021   •   563

MANILA, Philippines—Former Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) secretary Mark Villar is the top pick among senatorial bets in the 2022 elections, according to a survey by the RP-Mission and Development Foundation Inc. (RPMD).

Villar stepped down as the department secretary to vie for a senatorial seat under the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban’s (PDP-Laban) senatorial slate led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

The survey, conducted from October 17 to 27, 2021, showed Villar as the top candidate for senator followed by radio and television personality Raffy Tulfo with voters’ preference of  53.5 percent and 53.1 percent rating, respectively. Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero followed the top 2 with 48.9 percent.

Making it to the top 7 to 12 are Taguig Representative Alan Peter Cayetano with 48.5 percent voter’s preference, Antique Representative Loren Legarda with 48.2 percent and former vice president Jejomar Binay with 37.4 percent. Also making it to the top 12 are Former senator Jinggoy Estrada (35.1 percent), senator Sherwin Gatchalian (34.6 percent), Juan Miguel Zubiri (33.5 percent), senator Risa Hontiveros (30.2 percent), former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista (29.1 percent) and Sen. Joel Villanueva (28.7 percent).

Meanwhile, placing in the top 13 to 16 are senator Richard Gordon (28.3 percent), former senator Joseph Victor Estrada Ejercito (27.5 percent), former representative Gilbert Teodoro (26.2 percent) and former senator Gringo Honasan (25.8 percent).

The non-commissioned survey is part of the presidential and vice-presidential survey series “RPMD- Halalan 2022” and used face-to-face interviews nationwide with 10,000 registered voters as respondents. AAC

Mark Villar formalizes 2022 Senate bid

Robie de Guzman   •   October 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Former Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar on Wednesday formalized his bid to join the senatorial race in the 2022 elections.

Villar filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) on Wednesday morning. He was accompanied by his wife, Emmeline Aglipay-Villar.

He will be running as a guest candidate under a faction of the ruling party, PDP-Laban, led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, backed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Villar is among the four members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet  named by Cusi’s group for its senatorial slate. Other Cabinet officials are Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, and anti-corruption commission head Greco Belgica.

Villar was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to the DPWH in 2016.

Prior to his appointment, he served as a district representative of Las Piñas from 2010 to 2016. He won a third term in the last elections but left the House of Representatives to join the Duterte Cabinet as DPWH secretary.

 Villar is among the government officials who led the administration’s big-ticket ‘Build, Build, Build’ projects.

DPWH Sec. Mark Villar formally steps down from post

Robie de Guzman   •   October 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Mark Villar has resigned from his post as secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) effective October 6.

His resignation comes a few days before the period of filing candidacies for 2022 closes on October 8.

Villar posted on his Facebook on Tuesday that it was his last day in office but did not cite his reason for quitting.

Villar made a similar announcement during his agency’s flag-raising ceremony on Monday, the same day the PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi disclosed that Villar is running in next year’s polls.

Villar is among the four members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet to be named by Cusi’s group as part of their senatorial slate.

The other Cabinet officials are Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, and anti-corruption commission head Greco Belgica.

Villar was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to the DPWH in 2016.

Prior to his appointment, he served as a district representative of Las Piñas from 2010 to 2016. He won a third term in the last elections but left the House of Representatives to join the Duterte Cabinet as DPWH secretary.

Villar is among the government officials who led the administration’s big-ticket ‘Build, Build, Build’ projects.

Recto wants ‘Buy Filipino’ rule restored in national budget

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ralph Recto underscores the need to restore the “Buy Filipino” provision in the national budget.

This is amid the controversy regarding the procurement of expensive personal protective equipment (PPE) from China.

Recto said there is a better quality locally produced PPE available at a far lower price.

The senator said that, before it was scrapped in 2014, the Buy Filipino provision mandated the government to prioritize the procurement of Philippine-made products.

“In the wake of the calamitous domination by a fly-by-night, undercapitalized, zero track record foreign-owned company in a big PS-DBM-DOH contract, a united Senate should reinstate the Buy Philippine-made provision in the 2022 national budget,” he said.

Recto said the Buy Filipino provision should be put back in the national budget to help struggling domestic manufacturers keep operating and meet payroll during the pandemic.

Wala pang COVID, mayroon nang ganoong batas noon. Hindi ba mas lalo na ngayon na kailangan ng mga naghihingalong lokal na kumpanya ng benta upang manatili silang bukas at hindi magsisante ng mga manggagawa (There was no COVID-19 yet at that time but there was already an existing provision. Isn’t it necessary now more than ever for the local companies in need of profit to remain open and not to lay off workers)?” he stressed.

He also added that there is a “vibrant domestic manufacturing industry” that can supply the government’s annual shopping list of supplies and equipment.

When the Buy Filipino provision was last seen in the 2013 General Appropriations Act, it stated that “priority shall be given to the purchase of locally-produced and manufactured materials to be undertaken either by administration or by contract.” AAC

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