(UPDATE) Valenzuela City Congressman Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian has championed education, Metro Manila development, and economic justice, authoring and supporting 54 measures by the end of his first year in the House of Representatives.
Gatchalian, formerly the mayor of Valenzuela City for three consecutive terms, principally authored 20 house bills – the most recent of which is the “Servando Act” that seeks to fully ban hazing in fraternities, sororities, and organizations.
“In order to stop hazing, it must be recognized by the law for what it is – a barbaric criminal act that compromises the integrity of any organization that employs it as a means of initiation. [Our existing law] merely seeks to regulate hazing when it should ban it outright,” he said.
“Anything less than the express prohibition and criminalization of hazing is not enough,” Gatchalian added about the bill that was named after Guillo Servando, the De La Salle University-College of St. Benilde student who died in a hazing incident last month.
He also co-authored a bill aiming to raise the salary of public school teachers to 25,000 and non-teaching personnel to P15,000, as well as a measure that will expand the financial assistance system for students in the tertiary level, if passed.
Gatchalian, who first served as Valenzuela City congressman from 2001 to 2004, also pressed on high school institutions to include voter’s education in their curriculum in “House Bill No. 260″ or “Voter’s Education Act of 2013”.
Gatchalian pushed for responsible use of technology as he filed “House Bill No. 2624”, which will require mobile phone users to register their subscriber identity module or SIM cards before the National Communications Commission to prevent text scams.
“Flood of SIM card supply in our market is alarming because nowadays we hear countless victims of text scams, ransom demands through untraceable mobile numbers and mobile-triggered bombs,” Gatchalian explained.
“To prevent such events, I want to compel mobile users to register their SIM card,” he added.
The senior vice chair on the House committee on Metro Manila development also filed “House Bill No. 4284”, which will require public and private establishments to install closed circuit televisions or CCTVs for crime prevention.
Aside from the “Cameras for Crime Prevention Act of 2014,” Gatchalian also filed a related bill providing guidelines on CCTV installation to preserve people’s privacy.
To protect public commuters and penalize abusive and discourteous taxi drivers, Gatchalian filed the “Bill of Rights of Taxi Passengers”.
“There is a public dismay over cab drivers who were negligent and charge extra amount on top of the meter bill. There were also drivers who trick their passengers on circuitous routes to extra money,” Gatchalian said.
“A bill of rights for taxi passengers is needed to stop these abusive practices,” he noted.
The lawmaker also filed a resolution seeking to ease the daily train travel of commuters and improve the transportation system by investigating the inefficiencies of the Metro Rail Transit or MRT and Light Rail Transit or LRT operations and its administrations.
In another resolution, he urged transportation authorities to probe the operations of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA and implement changes to improve its image.
Gatchalian co-authored :House Bill No. 25″, to be known as the “Magna Carta for the Poor”, which will reduce the country’s poverty rate by making jobs and social services more accessible.
Gatchalian also co-authored “House Bill No. 1133” or “Philippine Fair Competition Act of 2013” which will ban monopolies and level the playing field among businesses.
The legislator also supports the suspension of loans and payments to public financial institutions of areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda as embodied by “House Resolution No. 542”. (Tim Alcantara)