“We need to ensure that there is vibrant competition between our industries,
and this means a discussion of the anti-trust legislation. This is in line with
the commitment of our government to pursue a level playing field, and sustain
economic growth for inclusive development,” said Batanes Rep.
Dina Abad at a forum entitled Liberal Challenges for 2013-2016
on 13 June 2013 in Greenhills, San Juan.
Abad shared that the anti-trust bill had reached to the second reading in the
last congress. She encouraged her fellow members in the House of Representatives
who were present at the forum to revive it in the 16th Congress. Abad also lauded
the passage of the sin tax law. “We showed that we are serious about reforming
the tax structure, that we can create a more competitive environment especially
in an industry that has been monopolized for many years.”
There were several pending bills in the last congress that Abad hopes to be
completed, among which are the Forest Management Act and the
National Land Use Policy. Abad urged the review of the controversial
mining act, and to look at the privatization of public utilities. She mentioned
that social protection programs should be continuously monitored and assessed.
Former House Deputy Speaker and now Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco
stressed that government has to be relevant to the people. “We are starting
to see a paradigm shift because campaigns like Kung walang corrupt walang
mahirap (‘If there is no corruption there is no poverty’) have
not merely become slogans, but people feel their true meaning,” said Climaco.
Climaco successfully fought the entry of the Jaloslos political clan in the
The forum highlighted how the reforms in the liberal government have brought
back pride to Filipinos. “Let us involve our local communities in governance.
Give them a sense of ownership and in turn, a sense of pride,” remarked
Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog. Similarly, non-governmental
organizations should be given space to contribute to politics. “Members
of the civil society should continue their political activism so that more open
discourse on politics and development will take root,” said
Liberal Party Vice President for Women Vicky Garchitorena.
LP set up
Mamamayang Liberal (‘Liberal Citizens’) composed of citizens
from different sectors of society (labor, farmers, urban poor, women, youth).
“Mamamayang Liberal is a good innovation to harness support for the party
and its program. Its changing the face of politics and transforming LP into
a people’s party,” commented Garchitorena.
The event was also a farewell to LP Director-General Gladys Sta. Rita.
“Gladys’ excellent managerial skills will be missed,” expressed
Jules Maaten, Country Director of the Friedrich
Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) who organized the activity. “Isn’t
this a great time to be a liberal in the Philippines. The results of the mid-term
elections were remarkable and LP can use the next three years to strengthen
the party. Then in 2016, LP can offer the electorate the choice of a freer life
full of opportunity,” said Maaten.