SUDDEN CONGRESSWOMAN: Herself surprised is Nina Taduran, broadcaster-turned-sudden congressman under the CIS party list.
“I still have to get used to being called Congresswoman,’’ the veteran radio anchor of 27 years tells us one morning over coffee at Kamuning Bakery.
Nina had just finished fielding questions thrown her way during the bakery’s weekly Pan de Sal Forum where she was special guest.
She said among her priorities as newly elected member of the 18th Philippine Congress is the setting up of more action centers throughout the country. These centers could be built in Bicol, Isabela, Davao and Quezon City.
Nina looks at her new job description as a higher level of public service.
The 48-year old Iriga native served as co-anchor to Raffy Tulfo for 20 years on popular radio show, “Wanted.” Earlier, she did another public service program on another station.
“The sad part of my having been elected is that I shall miss my radio show,’’ she said.
CIS party list topped the recent election with an historic, unprecedented vote count of over 2.6 million.
SIN TAX: Dr. Anthony Leachon, convenor of Sin Tax Coalition, said he he is quite happy with the P45 tax hike on cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The two chambers of Congress approved the bill increasing the controversial excise tax on June 5.
Earlier, in a forum at Kamuning Bakery, Dr. Leachon noted that the Senate also had “to address concerns of tobacco farmers and Department of Health’s underspending on infrastructure.”
MORE SCHOOLS: Senator Wyn Gatchalian said he will pursue his advocacy, basic education, as a sitting senator.
In another Pan de sal forum, the 42-year old lawmaker said there are, at present, 27 million Filipino students enrolled under the K-12 program.
Gatchalian hoped that local government units could use as template the example he launched in his hometown, Valenzuela, years ago. As mayor, he expropriated vacant lots and used them to build schools.
It is one best way to turn bank-foreclosed property into meaningful use.
FIRE COULDN’T STOP FORUM: Kamuning Bakery continues to bake bread, holding weekly fora in a makeshift set-up in its old venue following the fire that started from a next-door neighbor in 2018.
Proprietor Wilson Lee Flores, writer-realtor, says people in business, government, arts and culture, have been encouraging him to continue what KB has started since 2015.
Pan de Sal Forum is an informal dialog between media and newsmakers. Its first resource speaker was then Vice-President Jejomar Binay.
“Pandesal Forum” was coined by Senator Grace Poe, who faced media in one such forum early on. From September 2015 to the present, there have been more than 200 sessions held at the 80-year-old bakery.
Among those who have guested in the forum are Bongbong Marcos, ambassadors from US, Britain, China, and Russia.
Wilson clears that their Pandesal Forum is non-partisan, an issues-focused forum.
Kamuning Bakery Café, started in 1939, is known for traditional, artisanal Filipino-style breads, cookies, and cakes baked in an antique fugon.
Among its loyal clients then were media tycoon Alejandro Roces, Nick Joaquin, President Cory C. Aquino, movie queens Amalia Fuentes and Gloria Romero.