Tingog party-list commits itself to taking on the mission of enabling and empowering families and communities who were devastated by the 2013 Super Typhoon Yolanda to get back on its feet.
The party-list which is based in Eastern Visayas is “inspired by the challenge of building back a better region,” said Tingog Second Nominee Jude Acidre.
Located at the at very heart of the Philippines, with the islands of Samar and Leyte serving as island bridges between the country’s northern island of Luzon and the southern region of Mindanao, Eastern Visayas is one of the most ecologically diverse regions of the country, the three islands of Samar, Leyte, and Biliran are blessed with land, mineral, energy, and marine resources, making it favorable for agricultural, fishery, and industrial potentials.
“Our geothermal resources have also been tapped, producing electricity for the national power grid. Our coconut, abaca, and other agricultural produce have contributed toward increasing the national economic supply,” Acidre said.
When Yolanda struck on November 8, 2013, the world’s strongest typhoon in recorded human history flattened parts of Eastern Visayas, leaving behind a trail of devastation that has tragically resulted in the loss of lives, livelihood, and property.
“But even as we rise from the typhoon, our region continues to be caught up in the vicious cycle of poverty. With the worsening economic conditions in the region, especially in the aftermath of the record-breaking disaster, Eastern Visayas has become the poorest in the country,” recalled Acidre.
Even before Yolanda struck, the incidence of poverty has already been on declining trend while the nation’s overall economic situation has been improving on the average, poverty in the region worsened from 2006 to 2012, he added.
“In 2014, poverty incidence was at 54.9 percent; more than half of the region’s population of 4.10 million live below the poverty line and unable to earn the minimum amount necessary to address their basic needs. The recent typhoon has aggravated this already deplorable situation, with the poor becoming desperately poorer,” said the Tingog nominee who also headed post-Yolanda humanitarian assistance in the region.
According to Acidre, the creation of Tingog as a regional political party, “seeks to articulate the principles, hopes, and aspirations of the people of Eastern Visayas in their common pursuit towards transformational politics, genuinely shared governance and the full development of the country’s social, geographic and economic peripheries.”
“Our core advocacies are rightly encapsulated in our party motto: change, hope, and progress,” he said.
“As the name of our party suggests, Tingog, a Visayan term for ‘voice’, amplify their often unheard aspirations of the people of Eastern Visayas for inclusive progress and sustainable change. Going beyond the task of rebuilding those communities damaged by typhoon Yolanda, Tingog is geared towards engaging and empowering the people themselves to work together rebuilding better communities,” added Acidre, former youth leader, community volunteer and political consultant from Barugo, Leyte.
In this greater vision of rebuilding a better Eastern Visayas, Acidre said that Tingog intends to focus on the social, economic, policy and governance development of the region: Social development, which focuses on improving the social condition of affected communities through the provision of basic social services particularly in education, healthcare and housing; Economic development which aims to increase productivity by providing livelihood programs and supporting economic recovery from the loss and damage caused by the disaster and other mitigating conditions.
Also, policy development which involves engaging with public policy stakeholders in order to push for policy interventions that would not only ensure the effective management of rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts, but also strengthen the capability and capacity of the government to mitigate the effects of such disasters in the future; and Governance development aims to mainstream good governance into disaster management and strengthen the capacity and capability of public sector stakeholders, especially local governments affected by the disaster in the implementation of rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts
To do this, Acidre said that Tingog is committed to “establish, promote, foster and preserve the political, legal, social and economic foundations of a truly just, free and democratic Filipino society through this three-point approach, namely transformational politics, shared governance, and development of the peripheries that embraces everyone and leaves no Filipino behind.”
Founded in October 2012 as Tingog Leytehon, a provincial political party based Leyte, Tingog was officially accredited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as a party-list organization through a Resolution promulgated in August 2015 and is qualified to run under the party-list elections beginning with the May 2016 national and local elections
Currently, Tingog is being led by young, dynamic, and competent community leaders from Eastern Visayas, figures who have already made significant individual and professional accomplishments and have now bonded together with a new vision of political leadership, seeking to contribute their collective skills for the development of the region.
Tingog is led by Leyte First District Representative Yedda Marie K. Romualdez, a registered nurse from Tacloban City, as first nominee; Jaime “Boy” Go, entrepreneur and community volunteer from Javier, Leyte, as third nominee; Alexis V. Yu, pharmacist and community leader from Basey, Samar, as fourth nominee; and Jennifer C. Padual, community leader and human resource management professional from Guiuan, Eastern Samar, as fifth nominee.