Delivered at Ricarte Hall, PAOC, FBMM, Headquarters, Fort Bonifacio, April 17, 2023
Maraming salamat sa imbitasyong ipinaabot ninyo sa inyong abang lingkod upang makadaupang palad kayo ngayong araw na ito. Isang karangalan ang pagkakataong makaharap kayo.
At bilang sukli sa pagpapahalagang ibinigay ninyo, iniimbitahan ko po kayo na pagsaluhan natin ngayong tanghali ang ihihanda ko na boodle fight. Ang tradisyon na ito na nagmula mula sa inyong hanay ay parte na ng kulturang Pilipino, ng ating pagkakakilanlan. Maging sa ibang bansa, sa mga Filipino restaurants, ay tampok ito para ipamalas ang nakagawian nating kamayan sa pagkain.
Boodle fight is a symbol of brotherhood and equality among members of the filipino military, usually prepared in celebration after a successful event or for a special occasion. In this case, we’re here to partake of a meal as an inception of a working relationship that I look forward to being your chairperson of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security.
Having been the chairperson of the Labor Committee in the upper chamber in my first two terms, I’m more adept in dealing with matters relating to employment, human resource development, and the maintenance of industrial peace. But I am more than glad to take up the challenge of being at the forefront of legislation on issues concerning and affecting the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Isang karangalan na maging kaagapay at maging tagapangtanggol sa Senado ng hanay ng mga magigiting at bayaning sundalo.
Nauna na nating naisulong ang pag-amyenda sa RA 11709 upang mapaigting ang propesyonalismo at masiguro na maipagpapatuloy ang mga polisiya at Modernisasyon ng AFP. We’re just awaiting the transmittal of the measure to Malacañang for the final act of legislation, the signing of the president for it to have the force and effect of a law.
Next in line is the bill rationalizing the disability pension of veterans. we have just concluded the period of interpellation before we went on recess and i’m confident that amendments to RA 6948 which has taken nearly three decades, will finally be realized.
This bill is quite significant personally to me. Ang aking ama na si dating Pangulong Joseph “Erap” Estrada na naging bahagi ng kapulungan ng Senado noong ika-walong Kongreso ay isa sa may-akda at timon o sponsor ng RA 6948, a landmark law that standardized and upgraded the benefits provided to our military veterans and their dependents.
It’s an honor on my part to oversee this piece of legislation which is a simple gesture of gratitude and appreciation for the invaluable service, loyalty, and gallantry of our military veterans whom we owe the freedom, democracy, and peace we all enjoy today.
Also at the top of my list is a bill that seeks to provide a unified system for separation, retirement, and pension of the military and uniformed personnel services. This bill will be taken up by my Committee on National Defense when we resume our plenary work next month.
In my version of the measure, Senate Bill 284, I have laid down a proposal to provide a mechanism for our government to balance and sustain financial flexibility while also guaranteeing our men and women in uniform that the state can and will continue to provide suitable benefits and remuneration to them as there is a need to ensure and maintain a viable pension system.
Bilang tagapangulo ng Committee on National Defense, nais ko na maging katuwang kayo sa pagbabalangkas ng mga kinakailangang batas na may kinalaman sa mga usapin ng pambansang seguridad, ng sandatahang lakas at military research and development.
Hangad ko na mapagtagumpayan ang mga responsibilidad na iniatang sa akin sa Senado at kung mamarapatin ninyo ay pagtulungan natin ito para masiguro ang pagtataguyod ng mga kinakailangang reporma sa AFP.
As public servants, we are all duty-bound to protect our kababayans from harm and danger, no matter the cost. And I would like to assure you that you have my full support in advancing the interests of the Philippine Army, The entire military community and inspiring our soldiers to fulfill their roles with dedication and selflessness.
Again, let me express my gratitude for the opportunity to be with you today. I’m looking forward to working together with you to secure a peaceful and prosperous future that will span generations.
Mabuhay tayong lahat!