Lawmaker runs unopposed for a third term-A A +A
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
FOR a politician who was just thinking of running for yet another term, suddenly being yanked out and made to battle against a congressman who carries the name of a highly-respected local leader, Davao City’s Rep. Isidro T. Ungab is not doing bad.
Ungab chairs the ways and means committee of the House of Representatives, and those who know how the legislative body works will say he’s indeed not doing bad at all; and that is an understatement.
The ways and means committee is coveted by all, second only to the speakership of the House.
Aside from this, he is also a member of the majority of the committees on appropriations, cooperatives development, energy, games and amusements, good governance and public accountability, higher and technical education, housing and urban development, justice, legislative franchises, Mindanao affairs, and natural resources.
“I really did my best to make a difference because that is my commitment to Mayor Rody. I was his personal choice, he asked me to run for congressman in the third district. Actually, it is true that I was just planning to run as a councilor in 2007. He asked me to run for congressman, it was trust and confidence, I want to repay it with goodness, hard work and determination in bringing more projects in the third district as well as being a good legislator,” he said.
Checking on the website of the Congress, Ungab has sponsored and authored 14 house measures.
The house bills approved by the committee are: the establishment of the Sto. Nino National High School in Tugbok District, Saloy National High School in Calinan District, Bantol National High School in Marilog District, Camansi National High School in Toril District, Alambre National Agricultural High School in Toril District, Emilio J. Estipona National High School in Barangay Manuel Guianga, Tugbok District, and a national high school in Barangay Baracatan.
The Congress has approved the funds to be appropriated for these secondary schools.
Ungab also authored the House Bill 05684, or an act declaring the City of Davao as a mining-free zone, which was already approved by the House on June 4, 2012 and transmitted to and received by the Senate on June 6, 2012.
The other bills sponsored by Ungab are:
a) HB03709 (An Act upgrading the Department of Public Works and Highways-Davao City Sub-District Engineering office into a regular city District Engineering office and Appropriating funds thereof) which is still pending with the Committee on Public Works and Highways since November 30, 2010;
b) HB05311 (An Act Creating a regional state University System in Davao region to be known as the Davao Regional State University System by integrating the University of Southeastern Philippines, the Davao del Norte State College, the Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology and the Southern Philippines State College of Science and technology and the Southern Philippines Agribusiness and Marine and Aquatic School of technology and appropriating funds thereof) which is pending with the Committee on Higher and Technical since September 26, 2011;
c) HB06035 (An act prescribing measures for the attainment of sustainable food security and self-sufficiency in the Philippines, creating for this purpose the national food security council and appropriating funds thereof) which is pending with the Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization since March 7, 2012;
d) HR00676 (Resolution supporting the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10) in 2011 and recognizing the significant role and contributions of volunteers in nation-building) which is substituted by HR01774;
e) HR01774 (Resolution expressing the appreciation of the house of Representatives for the significant role of volunteers in nation-building and enjoining the public to organize to organize and support the meaningful celebration this year of the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10)) which was adopted as
Resolution No. HR00183 on October 11, 2011;
f) PS00336 (The need to address the challenges in volunteerism by the government) which is pending since January 17, 2012.
In an interview, Ungab said while work in Congress demands much time, he makes sure that he often visits his district. He goes home every weekend to check on his people, he said. He also has two offices, one in Toril and one in Calinan, considering the distance of the two areas despite belonging to only one legislative district.
“Para naay maadtuan ang mga tao, didto nako giagi ang mga projects like medical assistance, funeral assistance ug uban pa (I course through my projects like medical and funeral assistance through those offices so that the people can easily ask help from there),” he said.
Every congressman can just drool at the appropriations he was able to his district.
“In 2007, P90 million lang ang budget. Every year nagataas (it increases), so by 2012 P500 million na. I think that’s the difference of big performance every year,” he said. “Since I am now the chairman of the ways and means, I have more voice than before so by next year, I hope we’ll get P800 million in funding.”
There’s just a difficulty he encounters with regards improving the road networks in his district, despite his having the budget for this.
“There is usually a provision that the national budget of the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highwasy), which is a national division, is only for national roads. Diyan ako nahihirapan. Sa national roads, I can easily get funds pero sa barangay roads diyan ako nahihirapan,” Ungab said.
While the third district is more than two-thirds of the total land area of the city, it is a predominantly rural area with more barangay roads than national roads.
He does manage to get some for the barangay roads by seeking the help of the DPWH itself.
For next year, Ungab can just lounge around and vote for himself come election day. He is running unopposed for his third term.
“More projects, more schools, to close the gap between teachers and teachers as against students. More infrastructures to connect from one economy to another,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 25, 2012.