Press Release
January 18, 2013


BUGASONG, ANTIQUE -- Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, today emphasized the need for close cooperation between local leaders and the citizenry to bring about change in their communities.

In remarks before local officials of Bugasong town in the province of Antique, Pimentel said the Sanggunian Bayan of each town, barangay leaders and concerned citizens should contribute to making peaceful and progressive communities.

"Each one of us has a role to play, to contribute, no matter how little--whether we are a farmer, a housewife, a teacher, a teenager, a doctoral degree holder, a musician, a carpenter, a lawyer, a church leader, a market vendor, a laborer or a domestic helper," Pimentel said.

"If we practice more humility, generosity and plain honesty in everything we do for ourselves and for others, then we can make a big difference in our towns and create a significant impact in our community," he added.

The senator said that "if we will only go back to the basic rules and principles of sensible living, then everything will fall into place for the good of our communities and our country."

Pimentel said "if we have all this working-together mentality in our midst, there's no doubt, we will attain peace, progress, prosperity, productivity, stability and efficiency for our people and country and enjoy life to the fullest."

The senator told the audience that he has chosen five main areas of involvement, namely local governments, justice, youth, OFWs and electoral reforms.

Pimentel has authored a bill allowing the early voting of media practitioners and the designation of special ground floor voting precincts for persons with disabilities and senior citizens who already have difficulty climbing a flight of stairs.

The senator also wants the incorporation of the voters' biometrics into the voting machines. The Board of Election Inspectors, he said, should be the first line of defense against election cheating, while the machines will be the last line of defense against those who are able to penetrate the first line of defense. The machines, he pointed out, will not care or even know who the local warlord is.

"Since we are in a democracy, our electoral reform agenda will make sure that the true will of the people emerges victorious in all our elections," Pimentel said.

The lawmaker told the local leaders that with his "Bigger Pie, Bigger Slice" bill that seeks to give LGUs a bigger share in tax revenues collected by the national government, their difficulties as municipality may be solved as long as "imaginative leaders will ensure good governance."

"Good governance is within your control. Vote wisely and vote into office competent, imaginative, concerned, and above all, honest leaders, Pimentel said.

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