Olongapo City, Philippines
DHREFFf: This meeting with Congresswoman Hon. Ma. Milagros “Mitos” Habana Magsaysay is a cordial response to her Facebook invitation for ZTN Staff to visit her on March 07, 2011 at her office in the Congress of the Philippines. It must not be construed as a leaning of a provincial media like Zambales Today’s News to a political figure like her but, it must be viewed as a way for knowing the truth from the Congresswoman herself about the present condition in the First District of Zambales.
CONGRESSWOMAN MITOS MAGSAYSAY: Yes, I invited and expected you to see me here so, I made it a point am her before you came. I just arrived from an engagement in Calasiao, Pangasinan. I am going around but, I am not neglecting the affairs of my district. So, how are you? And you came from Olongapo City, from my district? Kumusta ngayon doon? Manong Sonny, kumusta kana? WELCOME TO MY OFFICE!
DHREFF: Thank you Madam! We are fine and so, with the rest in the First District of Zambales. As of me (Sonny Almazan) Madam I am also, fine as you see. Madam, may I follow up your words, “I am going around but, I am not neglecting the affairs my district”.
CONGRESSWOMAN MITOS MAGSAYSAY: Well, it is nice to travel around and be able to learn something new from other places, from other people. Something new that we may need in the district, for our people in Zambales. Well, what do you want to talk about? About situation in my district, about my legislative focus and stand on certain issues, I love to talk about politics.
DHREFF: Madam, please tell something about your pet programs that you have already done and those you are currently undertaking in the First District of Zambales.
CONGRESSWOMAN MITOS MAGSAYSAY: Let me tell you about Health & Education. I am undertaking programs on health and education to augment whatever LGUs are unable to provide. I started and continue providing health services to our people in the district. For education, I continue providing scholarships to poor but deserving sons and daughters of the people in the district. The scholarship I provide is a “paying scholarship”. Funds are allocated from the onset till graduation of the scholar and we pay in full. Unlike those who undertake same program who do not pay.
Well, being a Congresswoman is not just a Congresswoman per se. In my experience now, I feel I am the fifth mayor of the district. Nobody can force a mayor to give anything whenever he doesn’t want it. I continue to do more infrastructures and that, I experienced “the court of last resort” when it comes to providing assistance to our countrymen in the district. Nobody can force a mayor to give anything whenever he doesn’t want it. I continue to do more infrastructures and that; I experienced “the Court of last resort “when it comes to providing assistance to countrymen in District. Also, I provide the needs of practically all the barangays in consonance with the “ Principle of equitable distribution of available resources”. For all of assistance. Manong you know, “I am on the ground with the people in the district”. Doing the work in the district is “ an all term campaign “. Keep connected with the people so, I will know what they need. Doing this makes the job cost effective. Di ba Manong? Never go into the dirty business of “vote buying”.
DHREFF: Madam Congresswoman, in the context of all the things you just said, you seemed to have introduce values of politics, changing attitudes of someone in the political system like yourself.
CONGRESSWOMAN MITOS MAGSAYASAY: Yes definitely, there is a need to change the political system. Learn to fall in line or wait for your turn. Treat everyone fairly. Make the people feel you are a “Public servant”. Win more stripes as a “public servant”. Release the “human in you not the money you”. Be a model for the people.
DHREFF: Madam Congresswoman, can we shift to another concern? I want to you know directly from you about the status of forest lands which are now residential areas particularly in Barangay Barretto and other parts of Olongapo City?
CONGRESSWOMAN MITOS MAGSAYSAY: Yes, there is already a legislative initiative to that effect whiich will cover throughout the first district not only Olongapo City. That will come in due time.
DHREFF: Thank you Madam and I feel relieved about it. Madam, Mr. Sonny B. Almazan would like to ask you a question.
CONGRESSWOMAN MITOS MAGSAYSAY: Ok Manong Sonny, what is your question?ahead Manong Sonny, ano ang tanong mo?
ZTN SONNY B. ALMAZAN: Madam Congresswoman, my concern is about the Filipino-American veterans affairs. I just want to know what congress can do for the Fil-Am Veterans?
CONGRESSWOMAN MITOS MAGSAYSAY: Manong Sonny, I want to tell that, there is an office taking care of matters affecting Fil-Am Veterans. Anymore question you would like to ask me?
DHREFF: Madam Congresswoman, can we shift to certain issues like Phil Health Bill, death penalty and graft and corruption. What is your stand on each of these issues?
CONGRESSWOMAN MITOS MAGSAYSAY: Let me begin with Reproductive Health Bill. I do not particularly support the Reproductive Heatlh Bill, am not in favor of it. You know why? Because it will only duplicate existing programs on family planning. The greatest consideration is the P 3 Billion pesos for condoms. Ang gagawin na lang sa maipapaloob sa Reproductive Health Bill ay ibibigay na lang sa mga Health Centers. Ganun lang ka simple.
Death Penalty is not a deterrent against crime because the police system is not well trained in investigation, not trained in the science and technology of criminal investigation, in forensics. Before we can re impose death penalty, the justice system must be improved likewise. Judges must be “amply paid”. The justice system must be credible and it cannot be bought. Justice must be served promptly and speedily. Hindi just tiis na lang. ha…ha…ha…
Graft & corruption, simply punish whoever commits graft, fraud. Laws on graft and corruption must apply to any erring government official. Mayroon ka na bang narinig na si Mitos Magsaysay ay nasangkot sa anomaly? Wala pa at talagang wala kailanman.
DHREFF: Madam thank very you much for your comprehensive articulation on such issues. Madam, let me rewind to what you said earlier, “am going around” and you said, “your term in Congress is coming to an end”. After Congress, what will be your choice out of the three: Mayor of Olongapo City, Governor of Zambales or Senator of the Philippines?
CONGRESSWOMAN MITOS MAGSAYSAY: Well Manong, I am more inclined towards the position close to what I am doing now. Why? Because being a Senator, your concern is throughout the Philippines, not just a district but nationwide, the national interest.
DHREFF: Madam Congresswoman, I think I have taken much of your time and thank you for having this interview with you.
CONGRESSWOMAN MITOS MAGSAYSAY: Oo nga, maguumpisa ang session namin ngayon alas sinco 5:00 ‘clock. Any more information you wish to know, just call the First District office, contact Weng Quejada.