The Leader I Want: Dante Liban’s to-fix list for 2016

MANILA, Philippines – After serving for 3 terms as Quezon City Second District representative and a year as chief of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Dante Liban is now eyeing a Senate seat.

In the House of Representatives, where he served from 1992 to 2001, Liban authored laws on housing and education, among others.

He initially rejected an offer to head TESDA, but then accepted the job in 2002. A year later, he tendered his irrevocable resignation over reported policy differences with the Arroyo administration.

Liban is running as an independent candidate, but has joined the senatorial slate of presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte.

As part of Rappler #PHvote's "The Leader I Want" series, we look at Liban's stand on key issues that the next batch of senators will have to address.

Corruption

Liban’s stint at TESDA was marred by controversy when Bulacan Representative Willie Villarama accused him of involvement in a “corruption network” that allegedly extorted money from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Liban denied this.

Social inequity

In an interview with GMA, Liban said he will propose a law that would provide employment opportunities even for senior citizens.

He would also push for the establishment of a new department of “families, seniors, women, youth, and children.”

Liban, a Christian, is against same-sex marriage and divorce. He is also against euthanasia and abortion.

Education

Liban claimed that he had sponsored the construction of the most number of public school buildings among congressmen.

Agricultural development

Liban sees the Philippines as a country with lots of natural resources, but hardly self-sufficient in food production because of its poorly developed agricultural sector.

He has said it's time for the Senate to pass a measure that will fully support the agriculture sector through the development of agriculture infrastructure, including the transportation of products to the city.

Governance, justice

Liban said he will use his 9 years of experience as a lawmaker to stop political dynasties. This, he said, is part of his commitment and adherence to the Constitution, which clearly prohibits them.

He is against the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law. Instead, he favors federalism to effectively address the needs of the Bangsamoro.

He favors the reimposition of the death penalty, especially for serious offenses like "economic plunder and crimes against the state."

OFWs

He recognizes the contribution of OFWs to the Philippine economy. To help the sector, Liban said he will propose a law that will establish a special bank for OFWs “that will provide economic clout" to the so-called modern-day heroes. – Rappler.com

Dante Liban is among the senatorial candidates who will participate in Rappler's #TheLeaderIWant Senatorial Debates at the Far Eastern University on Friday, April 22, from 3 pm to 5:30 pm.

Kathleen Abenales is a Rappler intern.