Local legislators among Ilocos Times' Outstanding Ilocanos for 2019


Jan. 11, 2019 ...

Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Angelo Marcos Barba (AMB) and Senior Board Member Matthew Manotoc (M3) are among eight individuals and two organizations or groups included in the Ilocos Times' list of Outstanding Ilocanos for 2019.

The Ilocos Times, a weekly newspaper circulated primarily in the Ilocos Region and the longest-running newspaper published in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, releases the list of "top Ilocanos" yearly to recognize those who have made a significant impact in public service, the overseas community, agriculture, social media, and the everyday life of Ilocanos.

Past recipients include Governor Imee R. Marcos; Dr. Aurelio Solver Agcaoili, president of Nakem Conference International and program coordinator at the University of Hawaii; "Mango King" Zac Sarian and young farmer John Lei Ganiron of Batac City; Magdalena G. Gamayo of Pinili, a Natural Treasure for Weaving; and tricycle driver Ronel Viola, who offered free rides in the Christmas of 2016.

Barba, a former mayor and senior board member, was lauded as "a vice governor for the masses," inclusivity being at the helm of his initiatives. In particular, he has prioritized assistance to the agriculture and fisheries sector, as well as pushed for accessible quality education for the youth.

He pointed out that the recognition would not have been possible without the close cooperation of the people within the priority sectors, saying, "Inpaaytayo lang iti rumbeng a serbisio kadagiti nadumaduma a sector... Tuloy-tuloy lang iti tulongtayo iti kaprobinsiaan tapnon awan maibati." (Ibinigay lang namin ang karapat-dapat na serbisyo sa mga iba't-ibang sektor... Tuloy-tuloy lang ang tulong natin sa mga kaprobinsiya para walang maiiwan.)

Most recently, AMB intensified his environmental advocacy. He has been partnering with the non-government organization Movement Against Plastic Pollution (MAPP), supporting coastal cleanups and promoting the use of plastic alternatives, even prohibiting the use of plastic utensils within the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Office.

Meanwhile, Manotoc, who entered the political scene in 2016, was recognized for "his vision for a healthier public and for promoting holistic youth development." His ordinances have largely focused on promoting a healthier and active lifestyle among Ilocanos, children and the elderly alike.

Moreover, he has brought a new approach to youth welfare through sports involvement, school cafeteria nutrition, and boardinghouse regulation. He also upholds accountable governance, having authored the "Transparency in Appropriation Ordinance of Ilocos Norte."

Both Barba and Manotoc are eyeing higher posts in the upcoming election: the former is running for congressman of the second district of Ilocos Norte, while the latter is vying for the governorship.

Other public servants included in this year's list are Badoc Mayor Maximo D. Cajigal; Badoc Liga ng Mga Barangay (LMB) President Virgilio M. Calajate; Reynaldo E. Andres, who is chief for information services at the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU); Dr. Modesty M. Alejandro-Leaño, head of the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH-MC) Department of Pathology and Laboratories and chairperson of the MMSU College of Medicine Department of Pathology; and all disaster and resiliency workers whose consistent efforts helped achieve a zero-casualty rate during Typhoon Mangkhut/Ompong last September.

Social media influencer Michelle Dy of Bangui was also included, together with Kookee House Inc. President Eric Herbert T. Chua; and MAPP – Ilocos Norte, headed by Patrizia "Pating" Dacanay of Currimao.