House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. will be the principal guest of honor and speaker during the 2012 Midyear Media Conference and Award Presentation of the Publishers Association of the Philippines Inc. (PAPI) today, July 20, at 7 p.m. at the Makati Sports Club in Makati City. The awards conferment to the most outstanding congressmen of the Philippines will highlight the media event. The honorees are: Reps. Teodoro Casiño, Ma. Georgina de Venecia, Rodolfo Fariñas, Roilo Golez, Edcel Lagman, Hermilando Mandanas, Emil Ong, Angelo Palmones, Rufus Rodriguez, Lorenzo Tañada III and Rodolfo Valencia. Juan Dayang, PAPI president, said as the media sector covering all congressional districts all over the country, the Publishers Association of the Philippines, the largest and oldest association of publishers and mediamen in the provinces and urban communities, has kept a close watch of the performance of the members of the House of Representatives. The community press, he said, has been documenting the accomplishments of the members of congress. PAPI, in recognition of the excellent performance of some of the Representatives, will honor the House members chosen as most outstanding congressmen. Dayang pointed out that media has the inherent function to inform the people, especially those residing in the countryside, about the performance of their legislators in the House of Representatives.
SPEECH OF REP. GINA DE VENECIA AT THE MIDYEAR MEDIA CONFERENCE & AWARD PRESENTATIONI am honored and deeply grateful to have been selected as one of the top Ten Congressmen of the Philippines. As the only woman honoree, I am doubly appreciative of this award, because it is truly heartwarming to be in the company of such a distinguished group of illustrious congressmen, who make us proud to be Filipinos. My entry in politics was quite daunting, because the congressman that I replaced in Pangasinan’s fourth district is a political maverick and a great statesman ---- the five- time Speaker himself, my husband Joe de Venecia. Nevertheless, I overcome the challenges, by following his counsel and the dictum of one of the most beloved presidents of our country, the late Tita Cory, who stated: “I didn’t have any formula for building democracy. All I can suggest is to forget about yourself and just think of your people." After all, leadership is really about serving the public. Twenty years ago, I was placed in a position where I could serve our fellow Filipinos. As President of the Congressional Spouses Foundation, Incorporated, I was able to put up, three national welfare institutions: The Haven for Women and its 15 regional centers that help thousands of victims of rape and abuse; The Haven for Children with four regional centers that help drug-dependent streetchildren; and The Haven for the Elderly that shelters senior citizens abandoned by their families. The tragic death of my dearest daughter KC also moved me to reach-out to other orphaned mothers. And together, we put up INA Healing Center in Batasan Hills that helps parents who also lost their child. Now that I’m a lawmaker, I bring with me, to the august halls of Congress, the same spirit of compassion that has defined my many years in public service, in crafting house measures that directly address the needs of the marginalized, and in sponsoring bills that promote the best interest of women and children. As the President of the 65-strong Association of Women Legislators in the House of Representatives, I also rally my colleagues to unite and work for the advancement of pro-women & children agenda. Because I believe that in a world where many voices are heard, it is imperative to hear the strong voice of women. It is my privilege to be in a position to serve. Given the opportunity, I can do no less. I sincerely thank the Publishers Association of the Philippines for this recognition. And I accept this, with an abiding devotion to our country and unwavering faith in the future of our people. Thank you very much!