Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon told delegates of the Bagumbayan – Volunteers for a New Philippines to seize our place in history by bringing about genuine change the country seriously needs.
Gordon made the call at the Grand Launching and National Convention of the Bagumbayan Movement-Volunteers for a New Philippines in the Manila Hotel, which was attended by about 2,000 delegates from all over the country.
"It is time to put history back into our politics so that our politics will once again be lofty. Mataas ang pulitika, may prinsipyo ang pulitika, may kasaysayan ang pulitika," he said to the cheers of the delegates and volunteers who gathered at the launching.
"We can change our country if only we look at our past and learn from our history. Change has already been proven in this country. Change has been proven by Jose Rizal and Lapu-Lapu," he added.
Gordon explained that sincere change has become elusive in the country because the nation has forgotten the lessons of history and the heroes who have exemplified good work ethic and showed the dignity of hard work.
To effectively transform society, he explained that genuine change must start from within a person and they should not allow anybody tell them that change -- no matter how great or small -- cannot be done.
He added that vision, values and volunteerism are the tools necessary to transform the nation into a New Philippines, a Bagumbayan.
"Kusang-loob, malasakit at kapwa-tao, these are the hallmarks that make a country great. Vision plus values plus volunteerism equals national victory and national liberation. That is what Bagumbayan must stand for," Gordon said.
As mayor of Olongapo, Gordon was widely credited for implementing programs that were in line with his vision for transformational politics and was able to remove from Olongapo the stigma of being a " Sin City ".
He managed to turn Olongapo into a " Model City " with many of his programs copied by other local government units nationwide.
Later on, he was appointed chairman and administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) where he transformed the military facility the American troops abandoned into an international Freeport .
As tourism secretary in 2003, Gordon led the reinvigoration of Philippine tourism that resulted in the foreign tourist arrivals to 2 million a year from a low of 1 million in 2001, due to his efforts to promote Philippine tourism abroad, notably the WOW Philippines .
Aside from bringing much-needed revenue for the national government, the influx of foreign and local tourists also created jobs and drew investors into the country.
As a Senator, Gordon likewise laid the groundwork for the countries transformation through the laws he authored, most notably the amended Automated Elections System Law which would put an end to wholesale vote manipulation. (30)