Region III, also known as Central Luzon, plays a significant role in the Philippines. It holds the distinction of being the largest rice producer and is one of the leading growth regions in the country, thus allowing Filipinos to benefit from its strengths. The region is 66 kilometers from Manila, making it the gateway to Northern Luzon. It has seven provinces: Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales.
Central Luzon also has a vibrant history, including an established rapport with seasoned lady legislators who led their constituents to greater heights by providing them with their wants and needs through proper representation in Congress. These lady lawmakers remain an inspiration and beacon to the Filipinos.
In the meantime, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) boasts of its rich, ancient culture and thriving communities. It also has several agricultural and mineral products that benefit Filipinos’ everyday lives. CAR has six provinces, Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province.
The vibrant heritage interweaves with modern elements, creating a hub for continuous growth through tourism and other activities.
HON. GERALDINE B. ROMAN
(Bataan, First District)
As the first transwoman person elected to the Philippine House of Representatives, Roman defied several odds and achieved milestones in Congress. She comes from a political family and boasts a progressive view from experience. She’s a courageous champion of equality for all, especially against gender bias.
She’s a prime mover of the sexual orientation, gender identity expression, and sexual characteristics (SOGIESC) bill and the chairperson of the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality. Roman seeks the SOGIESC Bill to “protect Filipinos, whether straight or of the LGBTQ+ experience, from discrimination.” Roman also filed the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 2022 to resolve unlawful employment practices or discrimination.
Roman also highlights Bataan’s tourism industry to encourage local and foreign tourists to visit and sample their hospitality while putting the province on the global map.
HON. LORNA C. SILVERIO
(Bulacan, Third District)
The province of Bulacan has several opportunities and challenges for growth. Nestled between the bustling city and the mountains, it’s brimming with potential. Leading the region to achieve significant milestones is Silverio, who has represented the province’s third district since 2016. Silverio deeply considers the safety and welfare of her constituents, making her active and ever-present when distributing aid and support during natural calamities.
In the House of Representatives, Silverio also advocates various projects in Bulacan, including establishing local government units and infrastructure for sectors like education, health, and more. She also pushed for lowering the optional retirement age of government workers from 60 to 56.
She remains present in her district to encourage and guide the people to carry out their responsibilities.
HON. LINABELLE RUTH R. VILLARICA
(Bulacan, Fourth District)
Linabelle Ruth R. Villarica of Bulacan’s Fourth District, a women-advocate from the ranks of civil society for two decades prior to becoming Meycauayan’s first-ever Congressional Representative in 15th Congress, rose to become Bulacan’s first ever House Deputy Speaker in the 17th Congress.
Her developed civic skills honed to attach much importance to serving the public interest as a personal life goal drove her legislative workload to expand from Chair of the House Committee on Women & Gender Equality in the 16th Congress, to Chair of the much-coveted House Committee on Foreign Affairs in the 17th Congress, which she would later yield upon her election as House Deputy Speaker. Presently, she is an elected Member of the House Contingent in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal in the 19th Congress. Landmark legislation in these roles include passage of the Anti-Mail Order Spouse Act, and the extension of the validity of the Philippine passport to 10 years, among others.
Beyond legislation, her political activity included serving as President of the Central Luzon Bloc twice. Significantly, as reflective of her roots, she was also twice-elected President of the Association of Women Legislators Foundation, Inc., (AWLFI) where she sustained projects benefitting children and women with cancer, widows of fallen soldiers, drug reformists, as well as survivors of natural calamities in the 17th and the 19th Congresses.
HON. ROSANNA “RIA” V. VERGARA
(Nueva Ecija, Third District)
Change and progress. These are the two primary drivers of the lady lawmaker in public service. The main thrusts of her legislative agenda are food security, farmer’s well- being and providing Filipinos with opportunities to learn new skills to help them have a better future. Vergara is also passionate about safeguarding the most relevant industry in Nueva Ecija: agriculture. She’s pushing to establish a bill to establish an Onion Research Institute to address the problems of the onion industry.
Vergara’s other efforts in Congress include strengthening traditional and complementary medicine systems, fortifying mental health services in state universities and colleges, and providing for hazard pay to disaster responders.
She remains an ally to the underrepresented communities as she continues to fight for their rights to a safer and more productive future.
HON. GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
(Pampanga, Second District)
Almost every Filipino knows who Arroyo is from her previous office as the 14th president of the Philippines from 2001 until 2010. She has always exhibited her passion for public service as she took on different responsibilities within the Philippine government. In 2002, she supported the Framework Plan for Women, which promotes women’s economic empowerment, protects their rights, and strengthens gender-responsive governance.
In the 19th Congress, Arroyo sits as Deputy Speaker, again highlighting her political prowess. Besides holding significant responsibilities, she also authored several bills, like establishing a hospital for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), exploring nuclear energy, and creating different government agencies for specific functions, especially for underestimated industries.
The lady politician has overcome numerous challenges throughout her time, only to emerge unfazed and ready to continue what she started.
HON. ANNA YORK P. BONDOC
(Pampanga, Fourth District)
Bondoc, a proud Capampangan, loves gardening and plants vegetables which her family consumes in her house in the rural town of San Luis, Pampanga.
Besides being a politician, she is a medical doctor, a pulmonary and critical care specialist, and an internist from the University of the Philippines. She is a Psychologist and she authored in Congress the law for the Psychology Board Exam.
She has been doing Libreng Konsulta online via Facebook live and Youtube channel live stream since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. For this, she was named by TV station ABC 5 as “Covid Hero”. Her FB page Dr Anna York Bondoc garnered 3.5 million views for the viral video #BanRapid. She is also very popular in Tiktok. The lady solon uses her knowledge and platforms to give Filipinos inside and outside her district a brighter future by promoting the country’s quality of health for women, children, and everyone.
Her proposed bills include establishing the Philippine Virology Science and Technology Institute, constructing satellite specialty hospitals in Central Luzon to provide specialized medical care, and instituting a policy on bloodborne viral hepatitis and screening. The Congresswoman also values education hence why she offers scholarships to her constituents.
Dra Anna. is also a floral stylist and a businesswoman. She is the wife of 6-termer incumbent Mayor Jayson S. Sagum of San Luis, Pampanga, himself a medical doctor and a farmer. Most importantly, she is mom to 10-year old Benjamin Jayson S. Sagum.
HON. FLORIDA “RIDA” P. ROBES
(San Jose Del Monte City, Lone District)
Many words describe the congresswoman, who’s passionate about many things but prioritizes public service. People know her as a vibrant leader, an efficient communicator, a keen organizer, and a dedicated worker. With her at the helm, San Jose Del Monte is always bustling with various projects to improve the quality of life.
Other than her numerous ongoing projects in her district, she also authored several bills in the 19th Congress, like establishing an elderly care and nursing complex in San Jose Del Monte and declaring the city as a human resource capital.
Although a public figure, Robes also presents herself as a sisterly figure to give a sense of approachability as she offers them the best through her political platform.
HON. ELEANOR C. BULUT-BEGTANG
(Apayao, Lone District)
Fondly called Leah by her family, the congresswoman is the first woman representative of Apayao, a position she held for three consecutive terms from 2010 to 2019 before becoming Provincial Governor from 2019 to 2022. She rose above all challenges because of her strong character and determination to get the job done.
Bulut-Begtang champions welfare and protection. She also rallies to establish a one-stop-shop assistance for women and children who are victims of violence in Apayao. As the daughter of educators, the lady solon strongly believes that education is vital in uplifting her constituents’ lives. She created programs such as Apayao Student Assistance Program to assist the youth in their educational journey.
Some of her contributions to the 19th Congress include establishing evacuation centers in every city and municipality, creating the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers, and institutionalizing the transition of the national government to e-governance in the digital age.