Mara Cepeda


Mara considers joining Rappler as her baptism of fire. She is currently covering the House of Representatives as it puts forward the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte.

During the 2016 elections, Mara trailed the presidential bid of former vice president Jejomar Binay. She also wrote about labor and migration issues as well as hunger and poverty alleviation.

Mara graduated cum laude from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Communication. She was the editor-in-chief of The GUIDON, the university's official student publication.

In her spare time, Mara loves to read books, to binge-watch her favorite TV shows, and to dance around the room like no one's watching.

May 2017
PHILIPPINES 02:26pm, May 24, 2017
Alvarez, Mindanao lawmakers justify martial law declaration

MANILA, Philippines – Mindanao lawmakers led by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Wednesday, May 24. that the declaration of martial law in Mindanao is justifiable, given the other security problems ...

PHILIPPINES 01:20pm, May 24, 2017
No more lifting of VAT exemptions for cooperatives

MANILA, Philippines – House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas on Wednesday, May 24, confirmed the value-added tax (VAT) exemptions for cooperatives will be retained in the proposed comprehensive tax ...

PHILIPPINES 10:01am, May 24, 2017
Lawmakers advised to stay in Manila while waiting for Duterte’s return

MANILA, Philippines – Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas urged lawmakers to remain in Manila while waiting for President Rodrigo Duterte’s return from Russia following the latter’s declaration of ...

PHILIPPINES 11:05pm, May 23, 2017
House begins debates on Duterte tax reform package

MANILA, Philippines – Plenary debates on the first batch of tax reforms kicked off at the House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 23, after two lawmakers delivered their respective sponsorship ...

PHILIPPINES 05:45pm, May 23, 2017
DOTr suspends Anti-Distracted Driving Act

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) suspended the implementation of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act after lawmakers pointed out it would be "irregular" for them ...

PHILIPPINES 12:36pm, May 23, 2017
House subpanel approves bill retaining 15 as criminal responsibility age

MANILA, Philippines – The House subcommittee on correctional reforms approved the bill strengthening the Juvenile Justice Act of 2006 to make children in conflict with the law (CICL) responsible for ...

PHILIPPINES 08:29pm, May 22, 2017
Bill granting free tuition in state colleges hurdles House

MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers approved on 3rd and final reading the measure seeking to provide free tuition and other fees in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and state-run technical and ...

PHILIPPINES 07:52pm, May 22, 2017
House approves bill on 5-year driver's license

MANILA, Philippines – The bill extending the validity of driver’s license to 5 years is one step closer to getting passed into law after the House of Representatives approved it on 3rd and final ...

PHILIPPINES 05:40pm, May 22, 2017
Higher loan interest rates if VAT exemptions for coops lifted – lawmaker

MANILA, Philippines – House committee on cooperative development chairperson Rico Geron warned loan interest rates would increase by 5% to 6% if the value-added tax (VAT) exemptions for cooperatives ...

PHILIPPINES 04:20pm, May 22, 2017
House opposition backs De Lima's request to join Senate debates

MANILA, Philippines – Members of the House opposition bloc are supporting the request of detained Senator Leila de Lima that she be allowed to participate in important legislative deliberations. The ...