Representative Paul R. Daza
1st District, Northern Samar
The legislative agenda of Rep. Daza, therefore, considers such complexities, contributing to a deeper analysis of socio-economic
challenges. For example, one of his most important advocacies is universal health care (UHC)—a core pillar of healthcare development and system. Through genuine UHC, Rep. Daza believes that people are given more health security, thereby, allowing them a better sense of their health requirements and expenditures. Among his most important plans in legislation for the health and social development are on:
• Universal health care
• Uplifting/improving the plight of senior citizens
• Child rights and welfare
• Anti-poverty interventions through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)
Rep. Daza believes that education has five important benefits:
Through legislation and engagement with the LGUs of Northern Samar, Rep. Daza would like to
It is important to Rep. Daza that he is able to inspire the youth to value their education but more importantly, their life-long learning.
Education is important for success but beyond that is authentic learning. Therefore, he encourages the youth to think of a life and career path where they could offer their talents, time, and services not only to themselves and their families but also to the society at large.
As a former governor of Northern Samar, Rep. Daza strongly believes in the important role of local government units (LGUs) in addressing poverty and attaining sustainable development. Beginning in Northern Samar, he is pushing for the sustainable and inclusive development of towns and cities, inspired by the eco-township framework being espoused by the national government. And co-town approach considers local development planning from the perspective of “municipalities or a group of municipalities located within and in the boundaries of critical key biodiversity areas, highly vulnerable to climate change risks due to its geography, geographic location, and poverty situation” (Climate Change Commission, 2012).
As a province lying in one of the most vulnerable areas in the Philippines, Northern Samar has suffered over the years from poverty and underdevelopment. This is aggravated by extreme climate-related events and natural disasters such as typhoons, landslides, and flooding. Rep Daza then believes that the development of the province should evolve from a deeper grasp of both its assets and vulnerabilities. For example, it has dynamic and well educated youth and young professionals who are ready to be employed. It also has beautiful and scenic natural and ecological treasures such as the Biri Rock Formation and Sila Island (also known as the “Pink Beach”). While it should continue to grow its agriculture and fisheries sectors—which are naturally prone to climate realities—it should also develop new industries. Rep. Daza believes that the province is ripe for it—with its skilled and motivated talent pool, business environment, infrastructure, and cost of living. Northern Samar is also emerging as a popular tourist destination, with estimated arrivals of 280,000 in 2018 (PSA). Annual tourism growth for the period 2009-2016 was estimated at 280%. Among his initiatives are described below:
At the heart of any development intervention is the people. Rep. Daza believes that development can only be achieved by allowing people equitable and meaningful access to employment and opportunities. This entails the creation of a society where every person can easily access jobs, continuing training, livelihood opportunities, and financing and credit (to allow startup of businesses/enterprises). To achieve this goal, Rep. Daza will push for legislation that will:
• further improve the implementation of labor-related programs such as Public Employment Service Office (PESO), Youth Education-Youth Employability (YE-YE), and Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES);
• protect project-based and freelance employees and professionals from potential abuses in contracting, discrimination, and laborrelated violations in bidding/procurement of government- and ODA-funded projects; and
• develop/enhance unemployment protection system through insurance and financial products
Having one’s own HOME is a dream for every person. Representative Daza believes that legislators have an important role in helping ensure that this dream will become a reality to our people.
In a healthy economy, the housing sector should roughly be 20% of GDP. In the Philippines, the contribution is roughly only about 11% in 2018 (Department of Trade and Industry, 2019). This basic data alone tells us that we need a lot of catching up to do.
Particularly through Congress’ role in the annual budgeting, it can help push the agenda in housing and urban development further.
Based on government estimates, we need to build about 22 million housing units by 2040. Our problem on informal settlers alone aggravates the impacts of geo-hazards and climate risks, which are significant determinants of our success as a nation. However, all these challenges are stepping stones for concerted action and innovation. In fact, Paul has sponsored the 2020 and 2021 budget allocation for the newly-created Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD). He believes that through DHSUD, the Philippines can give more focus, direction, and clarity as to our housing and urban development agenda.
Representative Daza takes this chance to challenge the leaders of the Department to learn from best practices—similar to how countries like Singapore responded to their housing requirements by building “in-city” and affordable mass housing, enabling families to spend more time for work and recreation because their homes are within close proximity of work and schools.
Through stronger policymaking and budgeting process, Paul believes that Congress, with the support of the people, can meaningfully contribute to not just affordable housing and poverty
alleviation but more importantly, total human development.
Governments cannot run on material resources alone. Its institutions, systems, and transactions should be anchored on the principles of good governance, transparency and integrity. Representative Daza believes that the practice and embodiment of such principles can be ensured through strong legislation and a shared commitment to implement what the laws mandate. His initiatives are briefly discussed below.
• reduce red tape in government transactions. The government is already reaping benefits from the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act (RA 11032), which aims to improve and streamline systems and procedures of government services.1 Congress should continue supporting the Anti Red Tape Authority (ARTA) in fulfilling its mandate via budget support and additional policy initiatives, if necessary.
In fact, the country has improved its ranking in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2019, placing 46th in terms of competitiveness from last year’s 50th spot (Institute for Management Development, 2019).
• On December 2020, Rep. Daza filed filed HB 8169 (9 Dec 2020), titled, An Act Providing for the Protection, Security, and Benefits of Whistleblowers, Appropriating Funds Therefor, And For Other Purposes. In his Explanatory Note, he said, “Transparency, accountability, and integrity can only be guaranteed if there is a system where the people are empowered to hold public and private entities accountable…this proposed law will hopefully start a new regime of courage and truth, a society of integrity and a better Philippines, where the fight against corruption is not mere lip service but is an important value shared and protected by ALL.”
It is clear that the government needs the support of the public in promoting good governance by eradicating corruption. However, the absence of protective mechanisms for whistleblowers is a deterrent in exposing illegal and unethical practices. Over the years, both houses of Congress have filed proposed laws so Rep. Daza is hoping that this proposed landmark legislation will finally be enacted through the 18th Congress. Good governance and transparency will certainly lead to more economic activities, leading to increase in employment and consequently inclusive growth. Ultimately, benefits shall redound to the people. Representative Daza highlights the importance of citizens’ participation in nation-building through legislation and meaningful implementation. If you want to reach us or wish to propose specific legislation that fall under Rep. Daza’s agenda, you may reach us through the contact details below.
© 2021 Paul R. Daza. All Rights Reserved.