NOTE: I gathered the following information from various sites supporting this candidate. If you wish to see something shorter (albeit containing limited info), GMA Network has a brief summary of the track record of all the candidates, which you can find by clicking here. The Philippine Star also has detailed profiles for each candidate, and you’ll find their feature on Roxas here.
Roxas joined the government in 1993 as a Congressman representing the 1st District of Capiz. He later became Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.
As congressman, he espoused consumer protection, underscoring the right of every Filipino to affordable medicines, as his personal advocacy. His landmark laws include, among others:
- Republic Act No. 8759 – establishing in all municipalities a Public Employment Service Office which serves as employment facilitation and information center, and links all job opportunities within the region
- Republic Act No. 8748 – amending the Special Economic Zone Act by directly allocating to the municipality or city 2% (out of the 5%) gross tax to be collected from the establishments operating in the ecozone and providing for disturbance compensation for persons to be displaced or evicted by publicly-owned ecozones
- Republic Act No. 8756 – incentivizing the establishment of regional headquarters to encourage investment and operation of multinational companies in the country and to generate more jobs.
- Republic Act No. 7880 (Roxas Law) — ensuring fair distribution of the education capital budget among all the provinces. This started his advocacy for fair and equitable access to education, free from regional bias and political patronage considerations.
Roxas resigned from the House of Representatives following his appointment as Trade and Industry Secretary under the Estrada administration in 2000.
DTI Secretary (2000-2003)
Roxas was appointed Secretary of Trade and Industry by President Joseph Estrada in January 2000, replacing Jose Pardo who as appointed Secretary of Finance. He resigned the position in November, as Estrada was under fire due to allegations of corruption. In January 2001, days after Estrada was overthrown, Roxas was re-appointed to the same office by newly installed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He was also temporarily designated by Arroyo to head the Department of Energy.
During his four-year stint as DTI Secretary, he pushed for the development of the “palengke” (market) as the basic unit of the economy and the root of progress, advocating not only consumer welfare and protection but also sound trade and investment policies, particularly SME development.
He intensified his commitment to quality education through the Personal Computers for Public Schools (PCPS) Program, which distributed over 30,000 computers to 2,000 public high schools all over the Philippines. PCPS computers provided 500,000 high school students with the necessary ICT tools and skills.
His work regarding trade policy was highlighted during the 2003 WTO Meeting in Cancún, Mexico, where he fought for increased market access for Philippine exports, particularly agricultural products and a rationalized Philippine trade regime so that domestic industries would not be harmed.
Mar Roxas launched ‘Make IT Philippines’ and organized the first IT-enabled services (ITES) to the US which led to the biggest global industry names to invest in the Philippines. He pioneered the establishment of high-technology industry centers and the promotion of the business process outsourcing (BPO) market in the Philippines, particularly call center operations. From a mere 2000 jobs at the onset, the BPO industry now provides hundreds of thousands of jobs, thereby putting the Philippines on the map as a major IT/BPO destination.
He worked for the reopening of the National Steel Corporation which provided thousands of jobs, income and livelihood to Iligan City, Northern Mindanao and adjacent regions. He later launched the Garment Export Industry Transformation Plan and Assistance Package to enhance the competitiveness of the industry and ensure its viability and vibrancy beyond 2004. He also initiated the Motor/Vehicle Development Program to promote exports, create a viable market base for our car manufacturers and secure jobs for our workers.
He pushed for MSME development through the SULONG (SMEs Unified Lending Opportunities for National Growth) Program, which granted almost P26.7 billion on low-interest loans to 281,229 SMEs on its first year.
He promoted the Tamang Timbang, Tamang Presyo (Right Scale, Right Price) program for consumers; the Presyong Tama, Gamot Pampamilya (Right Price, Family Medicine) to make affordable and quality medicines accessible to Filipinos, and Pinoy Pandesal, Palengke ng Bayan, among others. These programs promoted supply chain efficiencies leading to growth and productivity, and a wide range of opportunities and long-term gains.
As a proponent of the philosophy of ‘palengkenomics’, which considered the “palengke” (market) as a microcosm of the economy, Roxas conducted weekly monitoring of the prices of prime commodities and maintains strong linkages with suppliers, traders, and vendors in the different wet markets.
On December 10, 2003, Roxas resigned from his post to prepare for his senatorial bid under the banner of the Liberal Party in the 2004 elections. Roxas said that he needed to separate his work in DTI from his work as a candidate, and added that his resignation did not surprise the President. He was succeeded by Cesar A. V. Purisima, former chairman of the accounting firm Sycip, Gorres & Velayo (SGV).
Roxas was proclaimed by the Comelec as Senator-elect on May 24, 2004 and officially assumed the office at noon of June 30, 2004. He was elected under the Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karanasan sa Kinabukasan (K-4) of President Arroyo.He held assignments on the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce and Senate Oversight Committee on Optical Media Board serving alongside with Ramon Revilla, Jr.
- 13th Congress
Roxas authored 43 bills and 46 resolutions brought before the 13th Congress in July 2004 and 2007. He filed bills on fighting smuggling, supporting labor, education, economy, and alternative energy.
On February 26, 2006, the Philippines was under a state emergency after the government claimed that it foiled an alleged coup d’état attempt against the administration of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earlier that same day. Two days later, Roxas called on the government to immediately revoke Proclamation No. 1017, saying it betrays its own vision of a strong republic and directly attack Philippine democracy.
He voted in favor of the Revised Value-Added Tax Law when it was deliberated in the Senate . The law was co-authored by other Liberal Party members, Franklin Drilon and Francis Pangilinan.
He also voted in favor of the abolition of the death penalty in the Philippines.
He voted against the Human Security Act together with Senator Jamby Madrigal saying that “the fight against terror requires urgent operational reforms over measures that could impair civil liberties”. He even warned that the said law poses a danger to the security and rights of every Filipino if there will be no set of implementing rules and regulations laid down.
- 14th Congress
He filed Senate Bill No. 101 (Law on Patents, Tradenames and Trademarks) to amend Republic Act No. 8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, to lower the prices of medicines through increased competition among drug companies and by providing the government with better policy tools to significantly influence the supply and demand of medicines.
EVAT Funds for Education and Healthcare
He filed Senate Bill No. 102 (People’s Fund Act) to ease the effect of the 12% E-VAT. The People’s Fund would consist of thirty percent (30%) of all proceeds from the VAT collected under Title IV of the National Internal Revenue Code. This portion estimates the share of incremental revenues from Republic Act No. 9337, the Expanded Value-Added Tax law, which increased to 12% the VAT and removed the exemption.
Tax Exemption for Minimum Wage Earners
He filed Senate Bill No. 103 (Individual Tax Exemption for Minimum Wage Earners Bill) to exempt minimum wage earners in the private sector and government workers in Salary Grades 1 to 3, amending certain provisions of Republic Act No. 8424, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended.
Amendments to the Roxas Law
He filed Senate Bill No. 104 to amend Republic Act No. 7880, also known as the Fair and Equitable Access to Education Act, to eliminate the problem of classroom shortages in the Philippines, as well as enhancing the process of construction, rehabilitation, replacement, completion, and repair of needed school buildings and classrooms.
Regulating the Pre-Need Industry
He filed Senate Bill No. 105 (Pre-Need Industry Act of 2007) to address the absence of a statute that regulates the pre-need industry by establishing the Pre-Need Industry Act of 2007 to govern the operations of firms which issue or sell pre-need plans or similar contracts and investments.
He filed Senate Bill No. 106 (Anti-Smuggling Act of 2007) to amend certain provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1464, otherwise known as the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, as amended. Under the proposed bill, an Audit and Transparency Group under the Bureau of Customs, headed by a Deputy Commissioner, would regularly inspect and report on the bureau’s operational processes, collection and financial reporting, fiscal and personnel performance, system efficiency, internal control, information and communication flow, fraudulent and illegal practices and other related areas. On the basis of these inspections and reports, the Audit and Transparency Deputy Commissioner can initiate investigations of fraud and other graft and corrupt practices in the bureau, and shall recommend to the Office of the Ombudsman the filing of any cases against personnel and officers involved.
He filed Senate Bill No. 107 (Lemon Law of 2007) to have a one (1) year period in which buyers of brand-new vehicles can avail of the provisions of this Lemon Law, which allows up to four repairs on the same defect before a replacement or refund of the vehicle can be claimed. For him, it would ensure that the investment on a vehicle is money well-spent.
SME Magna Carta
He filed Senate Bill No. 108 (Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) to strengthen Republic Act No. 6977, the Magna Carta for Small Enterprises. The focus of the amendments of this bill focuses on three points: guidelines, institutional support and organizational support. Guidelines refer to the specific asset size definition, appropriating a definite and regular amount for the Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Council and increase in the mandatory allocation to lending activities. Institutional support comprises additional government agencies to coordinate SME efforts and formalization of the SME Development Plan. Lastly, organizational support to intensify the powers and increase capitalization of the Small Business and Guarantee Finance Corporation to complement the growing demands for financing. Other features of the bill include formalizing the celebration of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Week and recognition of outstanding MSMEs.
Free Information Act
He filed Senate Bill No. 109 (Free Information Act) to implement the Constitutional guarantee to free access by the people to official information, except when the disclosure of such information would jeopardize other prerogatives of the government, namely, the protection of the privacy of individuals, trade secrets, national security, public order and safety, and foreign diplomatic relations.
The bill also proposes the adoption by all government bodies a mechanism wherein all written requests for information shall be responded to within two days, unless proper justification is given by the government body, subject only to the payment of reasonable fees for the viewing or reproduction of such information. To compel disclosure of information, in case a government body refuses access to such information on whatever grounds, the Office of the Ombudsman would be tapped to hear any citizens’ complaints of not being properly assisted by the pertinent government body. Penalties will be levied to officials or employees who knowingly and unjustly refuse to provide access to information, or who consciously release false or misleading information.
He has filed Senate Bill No. 110 (Penalty of Imprisonment in Libel Cases Abolition Bill) to decriminalize libel and limit the venue of filing libel suits. He believes that the approval of the said measure would be a small way by which Congress may help in alleviating the plight of journalists.
The infographic below, developed by the New Media for Social Change Project, shows highlights of Poe’s legislative career.
DOTC Secretary (2011-2012)
Roxas is credited for the Air Passenger Bill of Rights, which was drafted during his term at the DOTC. Here is an infographic summary of this DOTC-DTI Joint Administrative Order, while here is the full text.
I was able to lift this information from https://fightformar.wordpress.com.
As DOTC Secretary for just 13 months:
Mar sought the budget and NEDA approval for the purchase of new train coaches to add capacity to the MRT system. He was the first government official/DOTC Secretary to do this despite the fact that the need to buy new train coaches was known early on in PGMA’s term. These new train coaches are already in the process of being operationalized.
Mar was also the first to call out Sumitomo on their poor maintenance of the MRT system for over a decade. If no one had done this, it would have risked commuter lives all for the sake of continuing the status quo.
He got the ball rolling for the Automatic Fare Collection System (now known as beep) that created a single ticketing system for the MRT and the two LRT lines.
DILG Secretary (2012-2015)
I found this material in the Oras Na, Roxas na Facebook page:
Here is a detailed explanation of Oplan Lambat-Sibat.
*Information on his track record as Congressman, DTI Secretary and Senator was lifted directly from http://www.marroxas.org/about.htm.