LEGAZPI CITY – Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda has pledged to push his higher level “Albay 2.0” development that seeks “an expanded, well educated middle class, poverty reduction, and elimination of involuntary hunger and malnutrition.”
Running unopposed in reelection bid, Salceda said his programs involve “promotion of catalytic institutions, and higher investments in human capital and infrastructure development that would increase private investments in a more competitive business sector and a more sustainable environment.”
Addressing his provincemates here, he explained: “The real candidate here is the “Albay 2.0” plan for a strong economy and broad benefits for all, specially those who are always left behind. I only represent the plan. The goal is greater prosperity for the greater majority through expansion of a well educated middle class, reduction of poverty, elimination of involuntary hunger, and lower malnutrition and stunting rates.”
Salceda said he is pursuing at least ten major programs which will benefit his district, the entire Albay and the Bicol Region. Among them are the further upgrade of the Bicol Training and Teaching Hospital, that has already received its P592 million release for 2018, to complete its 600-bed capacity; and for another P1.9 billion budget, it will open the Bicol Cancer Institute, with Liner Accelerator and Magnetic Resonance Imaging facilities.
The other projects include the Bicol University’s build up of its innovation, research and technology equipment; completion of the Bicol International Airport passenger terminal building in 2020; completion of the P151-billion Philippine National Railways Southline, with nine major stations along its 581-km stretch from Manila to Matnog, Sorsogon; and various infrastructures like the Guicadale Economic Township, Batan Island Circumferential Road, and Albay-Sorsogon Spatial Economic Integration.
Salceda is a well known public figure, having served 12 years as congressman and nine years as governor. As a lawmaker, he has crafted game changinglegislations for the country, most currently RA 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act or the Free College Law; RA 11035 or the Balik Scientist Act, and; RA 10963, the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law.
Salceda also principally authored House Bill 8165 seeking the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience Bill, that responds to President Duterte’s call for a strong disaster agency, and HB 5828, which seeks to redefine public utility and amend the Public Service Act, to address the monopoly issue of big businesses; and co-authored RA10928 which extends the validity of Philippine passports to ten years.
He likewise authored HB 5551 and 5552 declaring Sept. 2 as Simeon Ola Day and April 3 as Albay Day, respectively, both passed by the lower house and the Senate and awaiting Presidential imprimatur. He has seven other important bills approved on committee level – the Valuation Reform Bill, Collective Investments bill, PPP Modernization Bill, Independent NEDA bill, Carmageddon bill, and the Philippine National Performing Arts Companies bill.
A respected economist, Salceda steered and successfully defended the P3.757-trillion 2019 General Appropriations Act. Presently, he is Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s focal person on inflation counter-measures, Climate Change Committee chair, Appropriation Committee vice chair, and senior vice chair of the committees on Economic Affairs, Local Government, and Ways and Means. He also heads five technical working groups in the House.