History reveals that since the establishment of party-list representation in Congress, this is the first time that a party-list representative was unanimously elected by the minority bloc to be their minority floor leader. He is Abang Lingkod Party-list rep. Stephen Caraps Paduano.
It is a manifestation that when a congressman performs his job well as mandated by his constituents he can climb up the ladder of leadership simply because he can be trusted by his colleagues that he can truly represent them effectively.
As a Negrense, it is our pride that a low-key congressman without fanfare but doing what is incumbent upon him to do is now respected by the House of Representatives and was given the new mandate to represent the minority.
Needless to say, Abang Lingkod Party-list is in the forefront of helping the less fortunate citizens of this country. The bills passed and laws authored can speak for it. It is for pro-development and pro-people.
Moving forward as the new minority floor leader, Paduano promised to lead the minority to new heights that includes the inventory of urgent bills to be passed, important resolutions pending that have a great importance and impact to the country, especially the marginalized sector of whom he represents.
One of the most urgent is the Rice Tariffication Law. He will see to it that the budget allocated will benefit directly the rice farmers of this country. He will ensure that what is stipulated in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the said law will be strictly implemented.
Paduano added that the money allocated to farmers is their responsibility to protect and to ensure that no money will be wasted to graft and corruption. He reiterated that he believes the agency of the government who will implement has the responsibility to spend the money wisely. The rice farmers must be protected by this law, he added./WDJ