Edgardo Angara : biography
Edgardo Javier Angara (born September 24, 1934) is a Filipino politician who served as President of the Senate of the Philippines from 1993 to 1995. He was a Senator from 1987 to 1998 and then served as Secretary of Agriculture from 1999 to 2001. He has served in the Senate again since 2001.
Senator of the Philippines (1987-1998)
Angara's achievements brought him into politics. He first served as senator from 1987 until 1992. By this time, he had established a reputation as a resolute reformer and firm leader, winning praise for his non-confrontational stance on contentious domestic and international issues, while building consensus at the same time.
Senate Presidency (1993-1995)
He was senate president from 1993 to 1995. As a Senate Chief, Angara, with his aggressive and consensus-building approach, rallied the chamber to pass bills and resolutions for an Executive-Legislative cooperation in economic reforms, which resulted in the Economic Summit of August 1993. It was likewise during his term that the Senate adopted a policy to reimpose the death penalty for heinous crimes and saw the ratification of the " Earth Summit " treaty, along with five pro-environment treaties, many of which have already been enacted into law. He made a difference in the lives of millions of Filipinos by pushing for the passage of laws on arts and culture, agriculture, education, good governance, health and social welfare.
Educational and economic initiatives
As chairman of the Congressional Commission on Education, Angara sponsored laws that resulted in the creation of the Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skill Development Authority, both of which enabled the Department of Education to focus on its main concern - basic education.
He authored the Free High School Act that ensured secondary education even for the poorest; the Senior Citizens Act (or The Angara Law) that allowed the elderly to avail of substantial discounts when buying medicine or riding public transport; the National Health Insurance Act, or PHILHEALTH, that provided insurance to every citizen; and the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE), the biggest scholarship program.
Under his Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA), farmers and fisher folk benefited from improved seeds and plant materials, better irrigation, better financing and market access.
He authored the Magna Carta for Public Health Workers and was the principal author of the laws that created the new National Museum and the National Commission on Culture and the Arts.
1998 Vice-Presidential bid
Angara prepared to run for president in the 1998 Philippine election, but decided against it when it became clear that he could not win over the popular vice president Joseph Estrada. He accepted a deal offered by Estrada to run as his vice presidential candidate. Although Estrada overwhelmingly won the presidential race, Angara placed second in a field of 9 candidates, losing to Senator Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino. Macapagal-Arroyo won 12.6 million votes compared to Angara's 5.6 million.
Estrada Administration (1998-2001)
Agriculture Secretary (1999-2001)
In 1999, Angara was appointed Secretary of the Department of Agriculture by Estrada. During his term as Secretary of Agriculture (1999–2001), he had the opportunity to implement his own creation, AFMA. He oversaw an improvement of food production programs and support services that led to a bigger harvest of rice, a development that underscored the drive to attain food security. Overall, the agricultural sector saw a growth rate of 3.6 percent a year since 2000, compared with a 1.2 percent growth over the past two decades.
Executive Secretary (2001)
On January 6, 2001, as Estrada's presidency was crippled by an impeachment trial and widespread allegations of corruption, Angara was appointed Executive Secretary following the resignation of Ronaldo Zamora, who was running for Congress. He only served for 14 days, as Estrada was toppled by the EDSA II Revolution on January 20. Angara remained loyal to Estrada until the end of his presidency, though he later asserted that his support for Estrada was contingent on the latter's undertaking to pass reforms.
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