Ilocos Sur Congressman Ronald V. Singson

Rep. Ronald Singson: Continuing his father's legacy of public service

Of the 80 or so new faces in the House of Representatives, one of them is a young man who has the distinction of having a father whose daring exploits including that of being the central figure behind the unseating of a President may find no parallel in the future.

Rep. Ronald Singson is considered by many in his province as the fair-haired boy of controversial former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson.

The description is not baseless, and he deserves it. He is always the first to come to his father's side and aid especially when the going gets rough. He was beside him all throughout the "expose" and "impeachment" episodes, first when the older Singson mounted his daring expose in Club Filipino against then President Joseph Estrada, his buddy and political ally, for various alleged venalities; and subsequently during Estrada's impeachment trial in the Senate.

As one of his aides told the STAR, it was not as if Ronald did not trust his father's security men but his act came out of his deep affection and filial loyalty to his Dad. "He is fiercely devoted to his father, he was willing to put his own life on the line," one would say.

It was noted that Gov. Singson's life was under constant threat when he parted away from Estrada "especially during those times when he openly assailed him and became star witness in the impeachment trial."

Ronald's own political career began when he topped the polls for Ilocos Sur's provincial board in 2001. He duplicated the feat in 2004.

Last elections, he emerged victorious after a gruelling race for the first district congressional seat. He was pitted against a scion of the prominent Baterina clan, lawyer Trandy Baterina who ran under the Liberal Party banner.

The youthful congressman vowed to perform well, attend committee meetings and strive to be present in all House sessions.

He pledged to put to completion two major super region projects located in his district which President Arroyo has visited. These are the Port Salomague development project in Cabugao town which his father initiated and the Banaoang Pump Irrigation project that his predecessor former Rep. Salacnib Baterina began.

Construction work on both projects are in full swing but Rep. Singson promised to work on additional funding if they fall short of funds. The Salomague projects will generate thousands of jobs with factories envisioned to locate in the port while the irrigation project targets to irrigate farmlands in eight towns of the first district.

On tourism, he would work for the expansion of the Vigan airport to accommodate international flights. He acknowledged the growing popularity of Vigan and Sta. Maria town as Unesco-listed World Heritage sites which he said are tourist drawers.

Vigan's centuries-old ancestral houses and the baroque church mounted on top of a hill in Sta. Maria have received UNESCO's nod several years ago.