Press Release
September 26, 2023

Pia honors the late Senator Angara, commends UP fellowship awardees
By Senator Pia S. Cayetano
Co-sponsorship speech on the resolution congratulating and commending the University of the Philippines Pres. Edgardo Angara Fellowship Awardees

Thank you, Mr. President. I just like to greet in the audience [Gloria Manalang-Angara] Tita Baby, it's so nice to see you, and of course, from the UP family, President [Angelo] Jijil Jimenez, our UP Chancellor and National Scientist, recently awarded, I have a resolution for you, which I hope we will be able to sponsor soon as well, Carmencita Padilla; former President [Emerlinda] Roman, and the rest of the UP family.

I'd like to start my short sponsorship speech with a background of why we are here today and why we actually have this fellowship award. In the law profession, the late Sen. Angara, he's obviously known as a very good lawyer. In the academe, and in UP, he's obviously remembered as the UP President, he is actually my ka-batch. He became UP President when I became a freshman, batch '81. And, of course, as I said in the academe, he's also known as the Chairman of the Committee on Education, and later, the sponsor of many landmark education laws.

I am not aware that the late Sen. Angara was particularly athletic, but he was a major... natatawa si [Sen Sonny Angara], I don't know if it's for a different answer... But the son is, okay, to be clear, the son is. Mythical 5. But you break my train of thought, Majority Floor Leader. I am not aware that the late Sen. Angara was particularly athletic, but he was a, kumbaga sa mga NFL at NBA, kulang na lang is he owned a professional team. And if he was still alive, I am sure the Senate team would ask him to sponsor them, but that would be way beneath him. He was instrumental, and this is all from memory lang, dear colleagues,l in bringing Real Madrid to the Philippines to train our football players. They went as far as Baler, and then he invited me to bring football players to bring them as well. He worked very closely with the Tan family to push for football in the country. And we can see the results now.

In August, we commended the Philippine Women's Football Team that won their historic game against the home country New Zealand and I wanted to be sure that people remember, how do we get to where we are? Well, that happened decades ago with the likes of the late Sen. Angara with that vision to bring sports, football in particular, to the Philippines and to support it.

I am going to mention a few other things that many of you may feel unrelated. But bear with me because I am the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation, and Futures Thinking, and it's my job to thread things together. So, as I said about athletes, I, during my sophomore year, we became the champion of the UP Volleyball varsity in the UAAP. Hindi pa po nauulit yun. So kailangan pa ata ng another SEJA. Excuse me, Sen. Angara, Jr. hindi pa ho naulit yun, and how many years has it been? 30 plus years, we have not had a UP Volleyball champion. We were the last batch, and I fondly messaged it in our group during the birthday of the late Sen. Angara a few days ago. We had a photo op with the UP President, which is a big deal for a student-athlete. We had a photo op. As athletes, naka-shorts and jogging pants lang kami, nagdamit po ako noon and then, we were awarded with a free tuition of P400 for one sem. So ang layo na ng narating natin, kasi ngayon, free tuition na lahat. Pero for the athletes, that's a big deal to be recognized and have free tuition for one sem.

So SEJA was also not a scientist and correct me if I am wrong, did he invent anything, Sen. Angara? Hindi naman ano? Was your father a scientist? Not that I know of, di ba? He was not a scientist, but he chaired the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology, and Engineering, and he also pushed for so many measures that would support scientists.

For the record, he was a lawyer like my dad. And then my last point is, he obviously was not a woman. But, he authored the Rooming-In Act, which is a law now that we take for granted because when you gave birth before, your baby was not united with you. Your baby, well if you could afford to be in the hospital, the baby was in the nursery and the mom was in recovery in another room for three days. But the Rooming-In Law follows the science that a baby and a mom should have skin-to-skin contact. So here's a man, not a scientist, not a doctor, he was a lawyer, but he sponsored this bill. This means a lot to me because at that time, there were less women in the Senate, in fact, there may have been one, I am not even sure. But was there a time when there was no woman in the Senate during his time? Maybe. But he sponsored this bill that helps women and mothers like me. And then, years later, one of my first bills was a bill that further promoted breastfeeding and he kindly educated me in the nuances of bill making, improving my law, but still ensuring that the foundation of that law, which was the Rooming-In Law, was incorporated. So we now have the Expanded Breastfeeding Law, which allows women to continue to breastfeed or to express their milk during office hours, they will be given time, they will not be discriminated against if they do this in the workplace. And there's still much to be done there whether in government or private offices. We have a breastfeeding room here, by the way. And sa Secretariat natin, I wanted that there is a sign, so that if a breastfeeding woman comes as a resource person, alam nila na meron. Parang wala na ata sa baba.

Anyway, so I mentioned all of this and marami pa sigurong iba to highlight why this fellowship award is very important. Because we need thinkers who can piece together the different problems of society and ideally hand it to the EDCOM 2 in a silver platter, in easily digestible pieces, so that we can make sense of the problem and really dig deep and understand what are the issues, the low-hanging fruits, what can we address immediately, what requires more funding, what requires Sen. Angara or Sen. Gatchalian to just call up somebody and get it done?

And so, we need these scientists, educators, researchers, to use their own lessons in like, their own experiences, and their skills to find these solutions. We don't have time to wait. Countries around us are moving at the speed of lightning in their educational sector, and we are still dealing with problems we were dealing with 20 years ago. So I am a huge supporter of this fellowship grants that we have. We want to see more of them. I think what's also crucial is what I said, deliver it to us on a silver platter and help us digest this in amounts that we are capable of consuming as policymakers, but that the public is also capable of consuming. Kasi minsan, napapagod ang mga tao sa research. Research na naman. We want them to be able to say, 'no, this transforms into this...ito ang outcome ng research na yan.' So on that note, Mr President, hindi ko na po iisa-isahin but a lot of these are luminaries in their fields. I look forward to seeing the outcome of these research and I look forward to honoring them again when they present more outcomes for us to be able to use. Thank you, Mr President.

News Latest News Feed