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Goodbye, ex-senator Angara

Cesar Gorillo .

FORMER senator Ed Angara had bid goodbye to this temporary world, but the legacy he had left can be felt by millions of Filipinos due to the many legislations he has conceptualized, authored and passed through Congress.

The most significant of these is the Senior Citizens Law which has allowed senior citizens (me included) to enjoy a 20-percent discount when taking the bus, buying medicines and eating at restaurants of our choice. This has enabled senior citizens, at the time when their income is much lessened to enjoy the perks of eating in nice restaurants, riding air conditioned buses and taking their maintenance medicines at the time when high sugar, high-blood pressure and arthritis become their daily visitor.

Angara had made education his focus, having been president of the University of the Philippines.  He worked for the creation of Tesda so this can focus on purely vocational education, then separated the management of higher education by establishing the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) thereby allowing the Department of Education (Deped) to focus on the education program from kindergarten to high school. These are landmark legislations that only a bar topnotcher like him could steer in an very difficult area known as Congress.

Because of his work on Tesda, we were able to produce hundreds of thousands of Filipinos equipped with technical education which allowed them to work abroad, support their families and send precious dollars to the country to support our economy in bad need of foreign exchange.

Then he worked for the passage of the Philhealth Law which allowed even the poorest of the poor to avail of this sickness insurance because the old Medicare Law which was replaced, only catered to those who were working and excluded the rest for coverage.

He allowed Filipinos to be proud of our past by establishing the National Museum and our culture and arts by the establishment of the Commission on Culture and Arts, all landmark legislations again to give all of us a sense of our history, culture and arts.

He decided to try his luck to the highest post of the land but because he believed he could not win against the very popular Joseph Estrada, he decided to become his vice presidential candidate. Unfortunately, he lost against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Then President Estrada appointed him to head the Department of Agriculture and there he demonstrated his proven executive ability by creating financing in the millions of pesos to increase our production in agriculture and fisheries. It was during his time in the agriculture department that our production in this field grew by leaps and bounds.

And the best legacy he left us is his son who is also a senator and whose integrity and service is at par with the best we had.

Paalam, Senator Angara, thank you for my 20-percent discount every time I take the bus, eat and have my maintenance medicines!


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