Cong Jon Lazatin: The Silent Worker

Quietly works behind the scenes in government and seldom seeking acknowledgment. Despite his modesty, I managed to obtain his comprehensive report card, revealing nearly a decade of diligent public service.

His efforts in social programs, health livelihood, employment, education, infrastructure and legislations have been particularly noteworthy. Thus I’m referring to last-termer Congressman Carmelo Jon Lazatin II who has made significant strides in improving the well-being of his constituents in Pampanga’s First Congressional District from 2016 to 2024.

Cong Jon, a homegrown leader, born and raised in Angeles City, is making a significant political shift by running for the mayoral position. His brother, the current mayor, Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr., also a dedicated, branded and multi-awarded public servant, plans to run for the congressional seat his brother is vacating. This exchange of roles between the two brothers underscores their deep-rooted commitment to serving their community. Unlike candidates with less local connection, they have a genuine familiarity, harmony, understanding of and life-long commitment to the needs and aspirations of their constituents.

Innovative. Through strategic partnerships with various national agencies, he has effectively extended and optimized his services for the benefit of his constituents. Noteworthy among his achievements is the facilitation of training for 741 scholars through TESDA. The scholars were trained in Housekeeping, Welding, Automotive Servicing, Electrical Installation, Hairdressing, Nail Care, Agricultural Crops Production, Poultry-Chicken Production, Swine Production, and Caregiving.

Through the DOLE’s TUPAD program, he supported 18,335 beneficiaries from 2019 to 2024, including displaced workers, entertainment industry employees, families of drug surrenderees, bar and restaurant staff, LGBT members, event organizers, security guards, fire victims, market vendors, and various other groups.

Proactive. Cong Jon’s collaboration with the DSWD has provided aid to 2,891 beneficiaries under the Ayuda para sa Kapos Ang Kita Program (AKAP). This initiative supported victims of violence against women and children (VAWC), senior citizens, pastoral councils, jeepney and tricycle drivers, ambulant vendors, PWDs, street sweepers, garbage collectors and drivers, utilities, and maintenance staff.

Focused. In collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and NIA, Cong. Jon M. facilitated substantial food security measures, including distributing 31,916 seed assistance packages, 249,830 fertilizers, 5,337 buffer stocking units, 587,320 planting materials, and 1,120 animals. Additionally, he provided agricultural machinery and equipment, constructed post-harvest and production facilities, and improved the irrigation network with 64 pump and engine sets and 44.49 km of farm-to-market roads.

Committed. His priority program on food assistance and food security is evident through various programs. The DSWD assisted 11,919 AICS beneficiaries since 2019, Jelfarm Fresh Produce Enterprises Inc. distributed okra since 2020, and PAGCOR’s Pagkain Para sa Masa program supported 3,520 beneficiaries.

In terms of burial assistance, he facilitated support for 1,225 AICS beneficiaries through the DSWD since 2019.

Cong. Jon’s initiatives in education, particularly through CHED, have significantly impacted the lives of many. The Tulong Dunong Program, aimed at providing financial assistance to deserving students, has benefited 7,065 individuals. Additionally, the Student Monetary Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) Program has supported 80 beneficiaries, aiding in their pursuit of higher education.

Under his leadership, the DPWH has overseen numerous infrastructure projects, improving connectivity and resilience in the region. This includes constructing or improving 35 bridges, a 15.5-kilometer road dike, flood control structures totaling 97,221.02 meters, upgrading road and drainage systems covering 74,510.27 meters and 377.661 kilometers respectively, constructing 174 multi-purpose buildings, and completing preventive maintenance and rehabilitation efforts over 67.98 kilometers.

In the education sector, his efforts with DEPED have resulted in significant improvements in school infrastructure. Across Angeles City, Mabalacat City, and Magalang, a total of 97 new school buildings have been constructed since 2016. Specifically, Angeles City has seen the addition of 45 school buildings, Mabalacat City 34, and Magalang 18. Moreover, the number of newly constructed classrooms stands at 932, with Angeles City accounting for 481, Mabalacat City 347, and Magalang 104.

Cong. Jon’s commitment to healthcare is evident through various medical assistance programs. Through the DOH Medical Assistance to Indigent and Financially Incapacitated Patients (MAIFIP) Program, 25,061 individuals have received support for hospital bills, while 16,801 beneficiaries have been assisted with laboratory expenses.

Charitable. His initiatives span health, youth, sports, COVID-related efforts, and multi-sectoral support. They include providing free medicines to 148,965 individuals, anti-rabies vaccines to 2,320, organizing youth sports events, distributing PPE to frontline workers, food assistance, and financial aid. Partnerships with educational institutions further his advocacy for education and healthcare.

During the 17th, 18th, and 19th Congresses, Cong. Jon’s efforts led to the enactment of significant bills into law. He authored and co-authored a total of 722 bills, resulting in 66 becoming Republic Acts. These accomplishments demonstrate his commitment to serving the people and effecting positive change through legislation.

Despite his quiet demeanor, Cong. Jon’s impactful social programs have made a lasting impression, leaving behind a legacy of progress and unwavering support for the people of the First District of Pampanga.

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