Senator Kiko Pangilinan

Biography | Resume | Agenda

Work for accountable and responsive government

A respected American politician once said that all politics is local. I believe that all government is local. This is because government must not be some faceless, nameless bureaucracy alien from its constituents. It must be a living, breathing presence in the lives of people. It must be responsive to the people’s needs and sensitive to their plight. Thus, government must be as near to the people as possible. This, I believe is the essence of good governance. My experience as councilor of Quezon City has convinced me that this is the best way government can make a positive impact on the lives of ordinary citizens. For this reason, I shall commit myself to strengthening local government units (LGU’s) during my term. To bring government closer to the people, specially in the provinces, I shall explore the possibility of adopting a federal system of government. As the basic unit of our government, barangays should be empowered to, among others, improving the barangay justice system. I shall also push for amendments in the local government code that shall bring about these objectives.

Revitalize the judicial system and promote human rights

A lawyer is taught that he is a high priest in the temple of justice. Lawyers are officers of the court, tasked with the solemn duty of aiding the courts in the administration of justice. Sadly, our courts system is not the last bastion of justice that it was meant to be. It is common knowledge the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow, as litigants bewail the tedious proceedings and the snails pace for resolving court cases. On top of this, our courts have developed the reputation as being graft-ridden and many of our judges as hoodlums in robes, thus resulting in an erosion of our people’s confidence in the judiciary. Judges and court employees complain of being overworked and underpaid.

Aware of these threats, and realizing the paramount importance of the judiciary in our system of government, I shall push for measures to improve the compensation and working conditions for all members of the judicial branch. In line with this, I shall work for a greater budget for the judiciary.

Respect for human rights is a bedrock principle in our Constitution. Our national experience under martial law has taught us of the painful lessons and dire consequences of suppressing and trampling upon fundamental human rights. As a lawyer and Senator, I am firmly committed to strengthening our democracy through vigilance in the protection and promotion of human rights. In this regard, I shall work toward strengthening the Commission on Human Rights and promoting human rights education among our police and law enforcers, among other measures.

Strengthen the Filipino family. Empower the Filipino youth.

We Filipinos are family oriented, and with good reason. For it is through our families that we first taught good values that we carry through life. It is in our homes that we receive guidance, support, love and protection. I should know. I grew up in a large and close knit family that thrived on love and caring. It was in our home that my ideals of service were nurtured.

Now that I have a family of my own, I would like my child to be brought up in the same way that I was reared. This is also my dream for all Filipino children and their families. Therefore, I am committed to strengthen the family as the basic unit in our society and to work so that it can retain its role as the place where our children are molded and trained in to the values we Filipinos cherish.

In line with this thrust, I intend to introduce legislation that shall support and enhance family welfare. Closely connected with this, I shall introduce measures on a variety of important issues that have significant impact on the family, such as employment generation, job security, overseas Filipino workers, responsible parenthood and family planning.

The great Filipino patriot Jose Rizal pointed to the youth as the hope of the fatherland. Ours is a nation of young people who form the overwhelming majority of the population. As a student leader, I have worked for affordable, quality and relevant education. I have pushed for student’s rights and welfare. I intend to pursue these goals as a Senator. Toward this end, I shall advocate for the improvement of the public school system, upgrade the condition of teachers and provide equal educational opportunities for all our youth, especially those in the countryside.

Push for livable communities. Advocate urban renewal and transformation.

It is estimated that in the future majority of our population shall be city dwellers. In fact, Metro Manila alone is home to 10 million of our people. Despite this, Metro Manila and other key cities suffer from congestion, pollution, traffic jams, severe lack of social services and high crime rates.

Development, to be truly meaningful, must manifest itself at the grassroots in the form of vibrant, clean, peaceful and progressive communities. It is my vision to transform our urban centers into livable and “walkable” communities, where people are safe and social services are accessible.

To realize this, I shall endeavor to reduce travel time from homes to workplaces by rationalizing urban transport systems. I shall strive to provide quality and affordable housing for the typical employee through an invigorated housing policy that will mobilize private investors to close the housing gap. I shall push for legislation to develop “walkable” urban communities where basic social services are a walk away from home. I shall work to decongest our urban centers by addressing rural poverty in order to stem the tide of migration into our cities. In line with this, I shall propose legislation to build rural capacities for sustainable economic progress.

This is my agenda in the Senate. This is what I hope to achieve. I am aware that this agenda is not a comprehensive solution to the complex issues that confront our nation. I believe this is just the first step to address the many concerns that confront us. It is merely the start of completing the historic task of building a nation that we can be proud of.

I do not have any illusions that I can realize this dream alone. I have always believed that the task of nation building will not be realized by a single leader posing as a messiah, but by the collective effort of Filipinos, possessed of a single vision, united by a common goal and giving the best of themselves in this grand undertaking.

I am sure that my dream for our country is shared by all Filipinos, for it is the deepest desire of our people to have a secure life for themselves and for their children, to see their nation rise up from the morass of poverty and despair. It is the same dream that animated Rizal and his colleagues, the same vision that obsessed the great leaders of our land. It is the same dream that we still pursue today.
Our finest hours have been those times when Filipinos came together to reach for a better future. Our history is replete with instances when ordinary people came together, putting aside their differences for the sake of the common good. In our lifetime, we had EDSA 1 and 2, shining examples of what our united people can accomplish. They are our testimonies to the greatness of the Filipino spirit.

But this task is far from over. To be sure, we have already won many battles, but the war against the ills of our society still rages. And so we are called to come together and, like our forefathers, dedicate our lives to this mission. It is now our generation’s turn to complete the task begun by our heroes and our forbears: to build a nation we can be proud of.

The times call for the formation of a political organization that shall embody our vision and ideals. In a country where politics is reviled as dirty and corrupt, it shall become a center for alternative political leadership and fresh political insights. This leadership shall be grounded on morality, transparency, and professionalism and the desire to promote for the common good. As opposed to a politics founded on personality and entertainment, it shall offer concrete and viable programs of action. It shall draw its members from among the ranks of the finest and most dedicated sectors of society, the middle class, businessmen, professionals, teachers, government personnel, students and all those sincerely striving for a better Philippines. It shall be a popular movement spread out in across the country. It shall be the vehicle that shall realize our vision.

Our country is on the threshold of change. The people are fed up with the way things are at present. They are crying for change.

We shall make this change happen. This will be our life’s work. This will be our legacy to history.

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15th Congress Senators