Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Celebrity legislators adjust to new roles

MANILA, Philippines - Less than a month after the opening of the 15th Congress, new celebrity legislators are still settling into their new roles.

Cavite 2nd district Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla admitted she can't wait for the committee meetings to start so that they can buckle down to work.

Being part of the minority, she explained that it is important that she attends all the meetings and hearings to represent the minority.

"I would like to comply with my obligations as part of the minority to attend most of these hearings, kasi minority nga eh -- iilan-ilan lang kami, tapos kami pa ang mawawala," she said.

She has also filed 5 bills, including an open high school program, similar to the home study program.

She admitted she was already content to be a senator's wife but duty called when additional districts were added in Cavite, and her brother-in-law needed an ally in Congress.

She admitted she works in tandem with her husband, Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, and thinks of complimentary bills to sponsor. Her husband also advises her from time to time.

Leyte 4th district Rep. Lucy Torres Gomez is still busy fixing up her office. Her office is talked about as one of the nicest in Congress. Its design is modern, but, she said, most of her things are just excess furniture from the House.

Gomez explained it is important for her to have a pleasant environment so she can think well. She will put inspirational writings on the wall to motivate her. She uses floral paper clips and folders to amuse herself despite her new political life.

Gomez admitted politics wasn’t part of her plan, but now that she’s here she’s just determined to perform to benefit her constituents.

She explained that Ormoc is very poor, and she wants to get as much benefits for the people as possible even if she has to beg for them.

"I have no ego when it comes to begging for my district. I also will not pretend to know what I do not know. So I know there's a real learning curve ahead, but I'm accepting that fully," she said.

Her husband, actor Richard Gomez, works as her chief of staff, which, she says, isn’t a problem because they really work well as a team.

"We've always worked well together and I think what really works for us is that the respect is there, and we have each other's back," she said.

Congress, she said, feels like a big classroom where they learn from each other.

She said her style would be to take an educated stand without having to fight people.

Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquaio said he is enjoying his work, and like in boxing, makes it a point to enjoy and be passionate about his job.

His time is occupied a full schedule of appointments, drafting of bills, and people still going to his office from as far as Mindanao just for his autograph and picture.

"Para sa akin, nag-eenjoy pa rin ako. Mas lalo akong nag-e-enjoy. Sabi ng iba, mahirap, ako iba, nag-eenjoy ako sa trabaho ko," he said.

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