Friday, 20 May 2022

Sarangani Province

Congressman Rogelio Pacquiao, or “Cong. Ruel” as he is fondly called by his beloved constituents, has always had the heart for the poor. Bereft of a comfortable life during his tender years, he is determined to create a better future for the next generation of Filipinos.

Despite having been raised in abject poverty, he never felt incapable. Instead, he took it as a challenge to alter his situation, which progressed later on into a bigger aspiration: to change the lives of his fellowmen living in similar situation.

Born in Barangay Tango, Glan in the province of Sarangani on the 17th day of June, 1982, Cong. Ruel is the youngest of the four children of Rosalio Laraga Pacquiao and Dionesia Mejia Dapridran. He spent most of his childhood in General Santos City where he finished his primary and secondary education. He graduated from Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges with a Bachelor’s Degree in Customs Administration, and had taken a number of Masteral units in Public Administration from Southwestern University in Cebu City. Theirs was a simple yet hardworking family, until everything changed when his brother, boxing champ and now Senator Manny Pacquiao, rose to glory.

Having witnessed the plight of his townspeople, he entered local politics with the agenda of reform. He served as the Punong Barangay of Apopong, General Santos City from 2007 to 2015, concurrently representing the Liga ng mga Barangay in the Sangguniang Panlunsod from 2013 to 2015. He pushed for a myriad of projects addressing health and sanitation problems in their barangay, and also gave emphasis on youth empowerment through sports development programs.

He is also a staunch advocate of environment protection and consciousness. He pushed for an ordinance regulating the use of plastic bags and polystyrene food service containers, and helped in the creation of the General Santos City Sustainable Management Board. Moreover, he strived for a more inclusive development by sponsoring programs directly benefiting the poor, such as improvements to the local education system and free social services.

He went back to his home province, Sarangani, and ran for Congress in the May 2016 elections, wherein he received an overwhelming mandate of more than 86% of votes cast. While it is evident that he has already earned the trust of the people, he continuously attends various trainings and seminars to further his skills and keep him abreast with current issues, so he can serve his fellow Sarangans better.

During the First Regular Session of the House of Representatives, Cong. Ruel delivered his first privilege speech as the duly-elected representative of Sarangani. He boldly expressed his intention to tackle and help resolve issues not only in his home province but also the whole country. He laid down his vision for the nation and declared his full commitment to the responsibilities attached to his office. He is bent on ending the vicious cycle of poverty especially in Mindanao by crafting effective and responsive programs and policies. He intends to focus on education, sports and youth development, as well as enact a law providing just and appropriate benefits to all government employees, including barangay officials.

Though a novice in national legislation, Cong. Ruel intends to make full use of his office to fight for the marginalized and achieve genuine change. He pledges to be a hardworking congressman for the province and the entire nation.

He is a loving husband to Jobelle Reyes and a great father to their five beautiful children.