SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
Banking on his proven track record and strong commitment to public service, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco is seeking reelection for another three-year term as representative of the lone district of Marinduque province in Congress.
Velasco said he has more work to do in the House of Representatives where he has been serving two consecutive terms as congressman for over five years now and as Speaker since October 2020.
“I’m really grateful to the people of Marinduque for giving me many chances and I’m asking them for another one so I can continue to champion their interests and welfare in Congress,” Velasco said as he filed Tuesday, October 5, his certificate of candidacy (COC) for the May 2022 polls before the local office of the Commission on Elections in Boac town.
“There’s so much to do for Marinduqueños, and I would very much like to have the honor of representing them again,” he added.
Hailing from Torrijos town, Velasco was first elected Marinduque representative in 2010. He tried to get reelected in 2013 but lost to Regina Ongsiako Reyes, whose COC was later canceled by the Comelec after she was found to be naturalized American citizen.
After almost three years of battling it out at the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and the Supreme Court, Velasco took his oath of office as congressman in February 2016 or three months before that year’s general elections. He ran again for the same post in 2016 and 2019, winning both instances.
Last year, Velasco assumed the speakership in the middle of a raging global pandemic. Undaunted, he was able to lead the “bigger house of Congress” in producing desperately needed legislation aimed at mitigating the impacts of COVID-19.
To pull this off, Velasco prioritized the health and safety of House members and employees in order to keep the legislative mill running so that the chamber could continue to pass critical emergency pandemic response measures.
The House under Velasco’s leadership has put in place strict health and safety protocols, including regular COVID-19 testing and mass vaccination.
This resulted in the passage of urgently needed legislation, foremost of which is Republic Act 11525 or the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act. Despite initial supply challenges worldwide, Congress nevertheless supported the complete roll-out of the country’s inoculation program through this law, expediting the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and the establishment of a P500-million indemnity fund.
For two years in a row, Velasco oversaw the passage of the national budget that contained programs and projects designed to address the pandemic, making the spending plan the government’s “single most powerful tool” to fight the pandemic.
Even as he became Speaker, Velasco would always keep a close watch on Marinduque, ensuring that his constituents are provided with basic government services and that they benefit from the programs and projects he specifically made for them.
“Becoming Speaker of the House is a wonderful bonus in my career as a public servant, but becoming a worthy representative of Marinduque and being able to look after the welfare of its residents have always been my priority,” Velasco said.
In the past five years, several projects were realized in Marinduque with the help of Velasco. This includes the reopening of the Marinduque Airport, laying of the submarine cable that connects the islands of Polo and Maniwaya to the main province of Marinduque, construction of over 100 kilometers of road, building of almost 200 classrooms, and widening of Balanacan Port Road and Marinduque Circumferential Road.
Velasco spearheaded more than 130 infrastructure projects such as covered courts, evacuation centers, barangay halls, multi-purpose buildings, and flood control initiatives including that for the whole stretch of Boac River.
The Speaker is also regularly providing educational, medical and livelihood assistance to his constituents. So far, almost 26,000 students have availed of his scholarship program, while more than 50,000 Marinduqueños benefited from the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers Program or TUPAD and other programs under the Department of Labor and Employment. #