Bohol First District Representative Rene L. Relampagos said the year 2017 has been an emotional year with all the challenges the country has faced.
Relampagos reflects, “If you would ask me, my take on the year 2017 is that of an uphill climb.”
“It was a very emotional year for the country. Month after month, we have been faced with challenges of every kind. Every branch of government was stretched to the limit and our patience, resilience and unity as a people has constantly been tested,” he said.
As expected, the war on drugs has remained at the top of the agenda of the current administration. The war against insurgency and terrorism in Marawi City which started last May has remained in the headlines for the rest of year. So did the tragedies of the resorts world attack and avian influenza outbreak as well as the problems on corruption, traffic, vehicular accidents and diseases. Not to mention the regular typhoons and earthquakes bringing with it flooding and landslides. Scandals, impeachment, drugs, extrajudicial killings, violence, fake news. Not letting up, the end of the year is marked with fire, bombing, typhoons, floods and more accidents.
“Is there a reason to celebrate? Oh yes, in fact, there are many,” the lawmaker said. “Though not in the headlines as much as the tragedies, there are many efforts done by hardworking public servants, agencies of government, civil societies, and private persons to make sure that gains are achieved.” “In Congress for instance, and I could only speak for Congress of course, there were landmarks laws passed”.
Among the laws passed are for the extension of the validity of Philippine passports and drivers licenses; free tertiary education in public schools; free internet access program in public places; anti-hospital deposit law; amendments to the Revised Penal Code adjusting the value of property and amount of damage; and the expansion of the anti-money laundering law to include casinos among the ‘covered persons’ in the law. And most recently, the TRAIN or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion was signed into law.
“At the local scene, the opening of direct flights to Korea is one of our highlights. With our booming tourism and the way the planned attack of insurgency in the province was curtailed back in May, there are really many things to be thankful for, if we will only look hard,” Relampagos said.
He continued, “I believe that the year is teaching us to have hope, patience and strength. I said that 2017 is mainly an uphill climb for the country but, brought in the proper perspective, it teaches us to hope that the best is yet to come and come sooner. I am confident that we are going to see the gains of the challenges we are facing now.”
“We are a tried people. Despite being hard pressed on every side, Filipinos continue to press on. We are undeniably one of the most strong and positive people in the world. If we enter the coming year with these thoughts, we could never go wrong. There’s much to do and we can do it! My hopes are up!” he cheerily ended.