Ex-MMDA exec files CONA for Malasakit Movement Party-list, vows to promote grassroot workers' standard benefits

Published October 6, 2021, 8:41 AM

by Jel Santos

Celine Pialago, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson, on Wednesday, Oct. 6, filed Malasakit Movement Party-list’s Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) at the Sofitel Tent in Pasay City.

Malasakit Movement Party-list (Contributed Photo)

Pialago was accompanied by her friends, supporters, and people that the Malasakit Movement has helped in the past.

Banking on her experience in leading countless relief operations around the country during the pandemic, she vowed to live up to her party-list’s name by prioritizing the unappreciated individuals who are mostly found at the grassroots level.

“Malasakit Movement Party-list is multi-sectoral, kami po ay para po sa lahat. Malasakit para sa mga OFWs, Women, PWD, Senior Citizens, Magsasaka, malasakit para sa lahat ng Pilipino (Malasakit Movement Party-list is multi-sectoral, we are for everyone. We care for OFWs, Women, PWDs, Senior Citizens, Farmers, Concern for all Filipinos),” Pialago said in a statement.

“Nire-represent din namin yung mga taong araw-araw nagmamalasakit. Mga barangay and city volunteers, social workers, fire fighters at iba pa, ito yung mga nasa grassroots level– mga frontliners na hindi pinapansin (We also represent the people who care for others every day. Barangay and city volunteers, social workers, fire fighters and others, these are the ones at the grassroots level– frontliners who are being ignored),” she added.

As such, Pialago vowed to push for standard benefits for barangay representatives, councilors, barangay tanod frontliners, and barangay health workers to give them dignity by improving their quality of life.

“Sa tatlong taong pag-iikot po ng Malasakit Movement upang mamigay ng relief at medical assistance, nagulat po akong malaman na wala palang health benefit, walang insurance benefits ang mga frontliners na nasa grassroot level (Malasakit Movement have been going to different places for three years now, giving assistance and medical aid, I was surprised to learn that the frontliners at the grassroot level have no health benefits, no insurance benefits),” she said.

“Ito na yung tamang panahon na yung mga nagmamalasakit ay mapagmalasakitan din (This is the right time to care for those who cared for us),” she stressed.

She also wants to work for the creation of healthcare centers in far-flung areas to end the travel woes of patients who are trying to get to their town’s health centers.

Pialago also wants the regional “disease detectives” or those working under Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Units (RESU) to get better hazard benefits, saying will prioritize this should their party-list get elected.

Other frontline workers whose lives she seeks to improve are the ones Pialago had worked with in the MMDA.

“Traffic constables are also close to my heart, nais ko din sanang maibalik ang hazard pay para sa mga traffic constables kahit ang ating mga street sweepers, hindi Rin madali ang trabaho sa kalsada, nais ko lang silang bigyan ng dignidad ngunit ito ay may kaakibat ding trainings at proseso upang mapatunayan na sila ay karapat dapat (Traffic constables are also close to my heart, I would also like to bring back the hazard pay for traffic constables even our street sweepers, it’s not easy to work on the road, I just want to give them dignity but it also has an affiliation trainings and processes to prove they are eligible),” the former MMDA spokesperson said.

She also seeks to create a more efficient system for the distribution of “ayuda” or cash assistance by utilizing technology for cash transfers and more accurate checking with the national database so that recipients receive the proper assistance.

Pialago started out in the Duterte administration as Media Relations Officer at the Department of Interior and Local Government during the term of Secretary Mike Sueno. In 20216, she became spokesperson of MMDA and was later promoted to the rank assistant secretary.

According to her, the Malasakit Movement led massive relief missions around the country during the pandemic, saying they have distributed over 2 million food packs.