MANNY Pacquiao is preparing for his upcoming stint in the Philippine Senate as hard as he prepares for a world boxing title match.
Pacquiao has just put together a 10-day workshop at his RoadHaus Hotel in General Santos City, where top politicians, well-known economists, and deans from different schools of governance, among others, lectured participants on advanced public administration.
Dubbed as the 'Executive Coaching Porgram,' the workshop enlisted resource speakers from the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), Asian Institute of Management, Ateneo and the Philippine Public Safety Colleges as well as popular political personalities.
Different major bills and other pertinent laws up for congressional approval will be discussed in the symposium, which is also being attended by local politicians from Mindanao and other provinces.
Former Quezon fourth district representative Lorenzo Tañada III will talk about the Freedom of Information Bill, Department of Health assistant secretary Dr. Enrique Tayag will discuss health policies, issues and concerns, Susan Ople will discuss labor policies while President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign spokesperson Peter Lavina will talk about Duterte’s missions as well as federalism.
Pacquiao’s senatorial chief of staff Kit Mercado bared the conference will not only raise the legislative knowledge of the eight-time boxing champion, but it will also provide a wider enlightenment to his role as a senator.
“(This) is to provide the Senator-elect with a perspective of his role as a senator and as a major proponent of development in the national level,” said Mercado, who is also Pacquiao’s chief of staff during his term at the House of Representatives.
“This will also equip him with technical knowledge that are essential in carrying out (our) task, acquaint him on the processes and procedures in the parliament and in the committees of the Senate, and provide facts and information from national to local level that may be vital to his legislative agenda,” she added.
Although criticized for his habitual absences in two terms as congressman representing the lone district of Sarangani, Pacquiao’s hands-on approach in uplifting the welfare of his poor constituents highlighted his tenure in congress.
In six years as congressman, Pacquiao was able to provide free housing with land titles to more than 500 families. Sarangani has also benefitted from the boxer’s more than P4-billion infrastructure projects.
Pacquiao did not have a hard time convincing provincemates to vote for his brother Roel as his successor in Congress.
Watch video from the symposium: