Former MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino opened his speech last week during the media appreciation night event at Annabel’s in Quezon City by affirming his candidacy to the senate race in 2016 as an independent and stressing the fact that the only political affiliation any public servant should accord to is to his country – PILIPINAS!
Tolentino elaborates that the word “political party” or “political affiliation” can never be found in any kind of legal certification that will prove our existence in the world, thus, saying indirectly that running for office outside the endorsement of any political ticket is not really a big deal!
People were saying as early as last year that Tolentino would indeed be running for the Senate in 2016 and will be endorsed as part of the Koalisyon Ng Daang Matuwid with Mar Roxas as President and Leni Robredo as Vice President, but somewhere along the way the plans may have changed.
Although this has not in any way affected his own resolve to vie for a senatorial slot.
But the question is, why is he running for the senate?
Tolentino who have been the Mayor of Tagaytay City from 1995 to 2004 and was instrumental for the city’s incremental growth, making it an alternative summer vacation spot to the north’s Baguio City. And to this achievement, the former MMDA chair is anchoring his qualifications to push for necessary reforms “to make the country even more competitive with the Asean nations” by way of legislation through the senate.
Another thing that Tolentino was extremely proud of is that in all his years of service, both in Tagaytay and as MMDA Chairman, he didn’t have any ‘Sandigan Bayan’ case filed against him.
Among his key point agenda when elected as senator are the following:
- To further our interest on the West Philippine Sea, since almost all 2016 candidates remained mum on this issue, Tolentino proposes a debate on the issue so as to give a more clear direction on how the country is going to go about this claims. Former Senator Arturo Tolentino, the author of the International Law of the Sea is a distant relative of Francis Tolentino’s father.
- Tolentino wants a separate education and health insurance for children.
- Tolentino also wants to continue his advocacy of reviving the Philippine film industry by giving more incentives to encourage film makers and producers to continue making quality films that are worthy of international competition and global distribution.
During his term as MMDA Chairman, Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entries experienced an impressive growth in revenues. Tolentino is now pushing for the Film Development Act of 2016 that will provide:
- Subsidies to local filmmakers who will compete in international film festivals.
- Rewards for international filmfests winners.
- Tax Incentives to films produced during the summer months.
- Medical and Educational support to film industry workers and their immediate family members.
- Funding, Technological Assistance and Promotional Support to films that promote Filipino values, culture and history.
- Strengthen anti-film piracy law.
With regards to the worsening Metro Manila traffic situation, Tolentino said that there have been a lot of studies done and proposals submitted during his time with MMDA, but sadly people (or people in authority) didn’t listen and they all laughed at his suggestions.
Tolentino said that the traffic that we are all experiencing right now is brought about by POOR PLANNING. The former MMDA Chair stressed that he had predicted that Metro Manila traffic will get worst particularly due to road works (skyway and various road rehabilitation projects) while vehicles will exceed volume capacity in EDSA.
So to this Tolentino have proposed the following during his time as MMDA head:
- Decongest Metro Manila by developing the south to as far as Tanay, Rizal
- Central Bus Terminals
- Subway Systems
- Pasig River Ferry Systems
- Mabuhay Lanes
- Four Day Work-Week
- Four Day School-Week
- Staggered Working Hours
- Extended Mall Hours
- Ferry System from MOA to Terminal 1
And many others, he noted. But the response to most of the proposals have not been that favorable and people even laughed at some of the suggestions, he said. They didn’t listen.
In closing, Francis Tolentino said.
“We failed to have a realistic urbanization program in Metro Manila because we FAIL to plan, everything that’s happening now is because of lack of planning,” Tolentino explained. “There are no new solutions to old problems, the only problem is we fail to execute the solutions because we fail to realize that we all belong to only one poilitical party, and that is PILIPINAS.”
MORE OF HIS SPEECH HERE:
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