Press Release
August 1, 2022

Sen. Raffy Tulfo remembers FVR through his red ballpen & bibingka work ethics

Senator Idol Raffy Tulfo has paid tribute to former President Fidel V. Ramos by recognizing the latter's generous contributions in protecting the rights of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and reviving the country's economy during his tenure.

In his co-sponsorship speech for Senate Resolution (SR) No. 72 expressing deep sympathies and sincere condolences on the family of Ramos, Tulfo also shared his fond memories of the late president.

"Yesterday, the nation lost a great leader who dedicated his entire professional life serving Filipinos both here and abroad," he said.

"FVR was known for reviving the country's economy during his tenure. He stabilized the economy, he expanded access to quality basic services and facilities such as health, education and the creation of jobs.

"In line with his socio-economic plans was his pioneering of the protection of the rights of Overseas Filipino Workers through the enactment of Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995," he added.

Tulfo, along with 23 other senators, unanimously adopted SR No. 72 authored by Sen. Migz Zubiri today (Aug. 1).

A known defender of migrants workers' rights with a career in public service, Tulfo said his career as a broadcaster doing public service work spanning over 20 years was driven by the said Republic Act 8042.

"It became my number one tool in assisting thousands of our countrymen to avail of these protections from illegal recruitment and abuses from employers abroad. Hindi ko matutulungan ang libo-libo nating kapwa Pilipino kung wala ang batas na ito ni Pangulong Ramos," said Sen. Idol.

Tulfo noted that the most substantial evidence of Ramos' love for OFWs was the latter's effort to broker the safe return of Sara Balabagan, an OFW sentenced to death for murder in the United Arab Emirates.

"After ascertaining that she only acted in self-defense, President Ramos made sure that she is safely returned back home so true justice is served. Walang maiiwang Pilipino kahit saang sulok ng mundo," he said.

On a personal note, Tulfo shared that he was a rookie reporter for PTV4 during Ramos' presidency and that the latter was endearingly called "tabako" for his signature cigar that gave him "a distinguished and wise, yet relatable image." "True to the image he exuded, many aspiring leaders sought his audience for advice even after his term as president," Tulfo said.

The Senator further shared how people would often associate Ramos with the words "red ballpen" and "bibingka."

"Whenever he noticed any complaint in the newspapers from the people, his special "red ball pen" is always ready to write instructions to the cabinet member concerned to help and resolve the issue," he shared.

"It was natural for him to attend to the problems of the common "tao." Marahil pareho kami ng motto sa serbisyo, kailangan aksyon agad! Lahat ng kaya niyang tulungan ay tutulungan niya ng walang pagaalinlangan," he added.

On people's association of Ramos to "bibingka," Tulfo shared: "Lagi niyang inihahambing ang serbisyo sa bayan sa cooking process ng bibingka. May apoy sa ilalim, dahil kailangan ng partisipasyon ng Local Government Unit. Mayroon ding apoy sa ibabaw, dahil kailangan ng tulong ng national government."

He added: "Hindi aandar ang pamahalaan kung hindi magtutulungan ang LGUs at national government. Hindi maisusulong ng tama ang isang polisiya mula sa national government kung walang tulong at konsultasyon sa local government na siyang nakakasalamuha ang ordinaryong mamamayan."

Ramos died on Sunday, July 31, at the age of 94.

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