Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gordon to address Bagumbayan delegates, volunteers for change at the Manila Hotel

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon will address tomorrow (April 27) more than 1,500 delegates of the Bagumbayan Movement - Volunteers for a New Philippines on its Grand Launching and National Convention at the historic Manila Hotel.

Leon Herrera, president of the Bagumbayan Movement, said Senator Gordon will deliver the keynote address before their delegates due to his decades of experience in Filipino volunteerism and his transformational style of leadership.

Gordon will also be joined by other speakers, to wit: world flyweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr., CNN Hero nominee Efren Penaflorida, Journey band lead vocalist Arnel Pineda, and Chikka.com founder Dennis Mendiola.

"Bagumbayan seeks genuine changes in our country from being transactional to transformational. We want our nation to climb out of the quagmire that it has sunk into. Achieving this necessitates a radical change," he said.

"For our launching and convention, who is more fitting to be our speaker than Senator Gordon? With his impressive track record in bringing about positive changes wherever he went, Gordon's forward-thinking ideas tie in with our aspirations,' he added.

As mayor of Olongapo, Gordon was widely credited for implementing programs that were in line with his vision for transformational politics and was able to remove from Olongapo the stigma of being a "Sin City".

He managed to turn Olongapo into a "Model City" with many of his programs copied by other local government units nationwide.

Later on, he was appointed chairman and administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) where he transformed an abandoned military facility into an international Freeport.

As tourism secretary in 2003, Gordon led the reinvigoration of Philippine tourism that resulted in foreign tourist arrivals to 2 million a year from a low of 1 million in 2001, due to his efforts to promote Philippine tourism abroad, notably the "WOW Philippines!" campaign.

The influx of foreign and local tourists drew more investors into the country, created more jobs and brought much-needed revenue for the national government.

As a Senator, Gordon likewise laid the groundwork for the country's transformation through the laws he authored, among them the amended Automated Elections System Law which would put an end to wholesale vote manipulation.

He also authored the Tourism Act of 2009 which will enable the country to compete with tourism giants, such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. President Arroyo is scheduled to sign it into law on May 12.

Herrera said the launching and convention to be held tomorrow coincides with the 488th anniversary of the historic "Battle of Mactan" where Lapu-Lapu defeated Ferdinand Magellan and became the first Asian to beat a colonial invader.

He added it will be held in another historical site, the Manila Hotel, because it had been a witness to many important events in Philippine history, including the sessions of the 1971 Constitutional Convention, where Gordon, one of the inspirations of Bagumbayan, was the youngest delegate.

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