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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Annabelle: I can do showbiz, Congress

TEAM Rama north district congressional candidate Annabelle Rama yesterday said she will not quit showbiz even if she is elected.

Rama, a talent manager, told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday that she can juggle congressional work, show business and still allot time for her family.

“Gapanawag ra man ko sa akong mga talents, day. Way problema na (I just talk to my talents on the phone. It’s not going to be a problem),” she said.

Rama, accompanied by celebrity daughter Ruffa Gutierrez, visited Sun.Star Cebu to answer questions about her platform of government and campaign style, among others.

Rama said the House of Representatives holds sessions in the afternoon from Monday to Thursday, so she still has time for her other tasks, and even be in Cebu City for two days to talk to constituents.

Projects

She said other celebrities who became politicians—like Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez of the fourth district of Leyte and Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla of the second district of Cavite—have been able to do it.

She said that if she is elected, other members of her family will be in Cebu often to help her carry out projects.

“Daghan kaayo mig plano na mga programa (We have many plans),” she said.

She said her husband Eddie Gutierrez will help her in her programs for senior citizens. Her son Richard will work on programs for the youth while Ruffa will help disadvantaged kids through her Roof-A-Child Foundation.

Aside from these, Rama said she plans to increase the medical assistance that former congressman Raul del Mar and daughter Rep. Rachel del Mar extended to north district constituents to P35,000 from P25,000.

Food

Rama is also planning to give food cards to senior citizens.

Her other programs, if elected, are: address drainage and flood control problems in the barangays; establish mini-learning center for kids; improve equipment and services of barangay health centers; and provide jobs.

She said five lawyers—including her cousin Enrique Rama, a former vice governor of Cebu—have vowed to help her craft laws.

Rama appealed to north district voters to give her a chance. “Tagai ko og tulo ka tuig. Kun di mo kauyon, ilisi ko igkahuman (Give me three years. If you don’t like my performance, pick another after my term),” she said.

Pork

While other candidates for Cebu City’s two congressional seats are in favor of abolishing the pork barrel, Rama thinks it is foolish to let go of funds that can be used to help constituents in the north district.

“Kalokohan man na, day. Unsaon pagtabang kung walay pork barrel (That's crazy. How can you help without pork barrel)?” she asked.

Besides, she said, she did not think the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) would be abolished anyway.

Lawyer Aristotle Batuhan, candidate for congressman in the south district, said he supports the abolition of the PDAF but if it remains, he will not begrudge his
constituents the services that will be funded by pork barrel.

Former judge Donato Navarro, who is running for the north district congressional district, has the same sentiment. “But I will not be a hypocrite not to accept it ... it will be used for the sewage system of Cebu City,” Navarro.

Another aspirant to the north congressional seat, Junex Doronio, is also against the PDAF. Doronio also said he will push for higher wages if elected.

Rama said the PDAF can help many, as long as it does not line the pockets of congressmen.
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