Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr.
He followed his father’s footsteps but made a name for himself.
He is Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr., son of former Senator and Philippine Reclamation Authority Chairman Ramon Revilla, Sr. and the late Azucena Mortel Bautista. An icon of a man of action and defender of the poor and the oppressed, this true-blooded Caviteño has brought these silver screen attributes into real life since he officially entered the field of public service in 1995 as vice governor where supported and implemented anti-drug programs as Chairman of the Cavite Multi-Agency Anti- Drug Council (CMAC) which led to the biggest drug haul and apprehension in the Philippines at that time. His anti-drug efforts earned him a Medal of Valor and an International Award of Honor from the International Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association, Inc. He likewise supported environmental protection projects as chairman of Task Force Bantay Likas Yaman.
In 1998, he became the provincial governor and during his term the image of Cavite was transformed from being a notorious murder capital to one of the most peaceful provinces in the country. He paid attention to the improvement of facilities, equipment and manpower of the Philippine National Police and other public order agencies.
During the M/V Princess of the Orient tragedy in September 1998, he joined fisherfolks in the abrupt search and rescue operation, pulling bloated bodies from the sea. This exemplary performance of Governor Bong Revilla was given due recognition by the Department of Transportation and Communications.
He also improved social services in the entire province through various programs and projects with long term benefits such as establishment of the Cavite Rescue 161, Cavite Computer Center, Cavite-Korea Friendship Hospital, Cavite Sports Complex and the Cavite Convention Center. The Proposed Conceptual Provincial Development Plan of Cavite or Vision 2020 was also prepared and presented during this administration.
Appointed chairman of Videogram Regulatory Board (now Optical Media Board) in 2002, he furiously fought video and music piracy, leaving no stones unturned in running after syndicates and individuals involved in this illegal trade. Under his leadership, the VRB was able to conduct 3480 major operations including routine inspections throughout the country which delivered over 5 Billion pesos worth of goods seized, convicted 21 optical disc pirates, 2 videotape pirates and 5 large-scale distributors and retailers. This accorded him an international recognition by the Motion Picture Association based in Hollywood, USA.
From executive posts, he made his way into the legislature by almost garnering the most number of senatorial votes in the 2004 elections. Though then just a neophyte lawmaker, Senator Bong Revilla headed two important committees during the 13th Congress, namely the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media and the Senate Committee on Public Works. Through his chairmanship of the latter, he fought corruption in the government. He exposed over-delayed completion of infrastructure projects and recommended the sacking of irresponsible DPWH officials. Also during the said Congress when he pushed for the lowering of amusement taxes slapped on movies which paved the way for revival of the then struggling local film industry. In his first three years in the Upper House, he was the senator who has the most number of bills passed into law.
Being a legislator did not stop his being a man of action. Rather than confining himself to legislative duties inside the walls of the Senate, he continued to reach out further to the needy especially those in the far-flung barangays nationwide through his Kalusugan Ating Pangalagaan medical assistance program and Karunungan Ating Palaguin educational assistance program. Aside from these undertaking, he also conducts on-site inspections on damaged government infrastructure and relief operations, under his Kaagapay sa Araw ng Pangangailangan program, even during the darkest height of calamities and away from the spotlight. For him, services and benefits must surely be felt by the people.
During the 14th Congress, Senator Bong Revilla pushed his travel safety advocacies both as chairman of the Senate Committees on Public Works and on Public Services. Among his remarkable accomplishments then is his exposé on sex video scandal and the passage of his pet bill, the Mandatory Helmet Act, which obliged all motorcycle riders, including the backriders, to wear standard protective helmet to reduce the alarming motorcycle-related accidents in the country. Because of the said road safety measure, he was named Safety Ambassador both by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Suzuki Philippines Inc.
In 2010, the reelectionist senator became the candidate who gathered the most number of votes in Philippine electoral history. With 19,513,521 votes based on the official count of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), he even surpassed the votes garnered by the elected president. At the present 15th Congress, he continues to pursue social justice, travel safety, lower tax, community empowerment and infrastructure development. He is also pushing for the passage of his separate bills that would grant P125 daily across- the- board increase in the salary of workers in the private sector and P6, 000 wage increase for government employees.
With his outstanding accomplishments and proven track record in public administration and legislation, Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. devotedly broke the notion that showbiz personalities cannot become good government leaders. Because of his performance as public servant, he was conferred doctorate degrees (Honoris Causa) in Public Administration by the Cavite State University and in Humanities by the Nueva Vizcaya University.