MEET the CANDIDATES Speech for the BARANGAY ELECTIONS 2007

Good afternoon. Thank you for taking the time out to day to attend this forum to give us a chance to introduce ourselves to you.

I am Bettina del Rosario. I am 31 years old and a resident of Magallanes Village for the past fourteen years – almost half my life. I had my early education at the Maria Montessori Cooperative School in Pasay, then moved to Assumption College in San Lorenzo for high school and college. I am about 6 units short of earning my bachelor’s degree major in Advertising & PR.

I got involved in Barangay activities when I volunteered for the recent Children’s Summer Program, handling the Practical Home Arts Cooking classes. I prepared the cooking curriculum for the summer and conducted the lessons with the help of other volunteer parents like Vicky Alunan and Judy Sarino and some Barangay officials. We not only taught the children how to prepare an assortment of recipes, we also provided them with lessons in table settings, safety tips for the kitchen and table manners.

Our Barangay Captain Marilou Gordon also asked me to help her organize the Persons With Disabilities group in Magallanes. So I started attending Barangay meetings regarding this matter and later she nominated me as head of the Persons With Disabilities (or PWD) Group. We invited heads of other disability groups such as the Makati PWD Federation and the Makati Social Welfare for Disability in line with the City’s programs for persons with disabilities. We have initially sent out a survey form to Barangay residents to identify the persons with disabilities in our community. Eight have responded but we are certain there are more, so we have to initiate a better means of determining the actual persons who need our help in the barangay. We have just initiated this program so there is much to be done in the days to come.

I am half paralyzed as a result of a brain operation I had to undergo eight years ago. I was eight months pregnant with son Luis when I developed pre-eclampsia and apparently an Arterio-Venous Malformation or AVM caused a brain hemorrhage. I wasn’t expected to survive the operation because of the profuse bleeding and loss of brain mass. My parents were told I was expected to go into cardiac arrest due to renal failure that night and they were asked whether I should be revived. They were warned that if I survived, I would probably not be able to speak or worse, be a vegetable. However with the prayers of my family and friends, I did survive and I do speak I went through intensive rehabilitation and am now almost fully functional. While I do not have use of my right hand and arm, I am able to walk, I have been able to go back to my passion which is horseback riding, I have a small home based business, and I have been raising my son Luis who is now eight years old.

However, all this I went through with a lot of difficulty and frustration – physically, mentally and emotionally. It is terribly traumatic to wake up one day to find one’s self with a disability. And for this reason, I would really like to get the Persons With Disabilities Program for our barangay off the ground to make life easier and worth living for the increasing number of people with disabilities in our community.

There is so much to do to help us people with disabilities, but there is also so much we people with disabilities can contribute to the community. Give the PWDs self worth by encouraging them to take pro-active roles to uplift their current situation. This is what I’d also like to tap – the valuable contributions disabled people can make to the community and the country. Our barangay already has many good programs in place. I would like to concentrate on some of these to better serve our community. I would like to focus on providing more programs for the youth, enhancing our existing health program such as improving our emergency capabilities and facilities in coordination with the MVA Board so that immediate first-aid, ambulance, and firefighting services can be provided.

If I am elected as Kagawad of Barangay Magallanes, I can assure you that I will give 100% of myself – my time, efforts and energy – in the service of our community. Thank you and please remember – on October 29, vote Bettina del Rosario for Kagawad.

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