Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t normally get myself involved with politics. It’s just not my thing though I do like to keep myself updated with what is happening. I just don’t share my thoughts and opinions as much because I don’t like dealing with the negativity and toxicity that comes with entangling yourself in politics.
However, there are certain exceptions that I allow myself and one of them is Astra Pimentel (#51) who is currently running for Senator. I had the chance to meet and interview her over lunch and she won my support, hence, this article on my blog.
Though Astra comes from the Pimentel political family, she is a different kind of politician. For one, her advocacy is for the indigenous people or what is simply called IP. She would like to advocate and raise awareness about their plight, all 18M of them.
Yes, there are 18M IPs and they need all the help that they can get so if we can have a Senator who will advocate for them, then I am all for it.
Aside from the 18M IPs, Astra also has an 11 Point Agenda for Continuity.
1. Fight against Corruption.
2. Eradication of Poverty
3. Strengthening Peace and Order
4. Ending the Pandemic
5. Defeating Communist Terrorism
6. Economic Recovery
7. Defense and Foreign Affairs
10. Decentralization and Local Government
11. Charter-Change and Federalism
I love that she has specific plans, especially for the IP community. When asked, these are her plans which I hope will be made into a reality.
- Improvement of transportation because SKYLAB is still being used which is a form of Habal-Habal
- Scholarship programs for IPs that show promise. It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone super smart but it has to be someone who wants to learn and has a dream. This should also include dormitories, uniform fees, and meal allowance. If there is a set grade that they need to maintain, put it at an average level to have more inclusion.
- Awareness about the IP community, beyond being a cultural heritage.
- Better infrastructure because without transportation, the products that they have won’t be converted to cash since they live far away from the city.
- Include the IP community in the development process of the Philippines and provide special access for them when it comes to schools, employment, and the like.