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Berlene Alberto: More money can address problems before they arise

Berlene Alberto is not a newcomer to Laguna politics. In 2013, he ran as an independent candidate for mayor of San Pedro City against Lourdes Cataquiz, who is currently on her second term as city mayor, and Norvic Solidum.

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Candidate for governor Berlene Alberto. (Photos by Chris Quintana)

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LOS BAÑOS — Berlene Alberto is not a newcomer to Laguna politics. In 2013, he ran as an independent candidate for mayor of San Pedro City against Lourdes Cataquiz, who is currently on her second term as city mayor, and Norvic Solidum. However, Alberto landed third place, garnering a measly 1,548 votes or 1.6 percent of San Pedro’s total voter turnout of 96,332.

But Alberto, 61, promised not to quit politics regardless of his dismal performance in that election. The man, it seems, is on a mission and is running again, this time for governor.

“Ako po ay pumasok sa pulitika hindi po sa dahilan na ako ay maging gobernadora,” he said during Monday’s gubernatorial forum in UP Los Baños. “Gusto ko lang pong magising natin ang mga namumuno dito sa ating lalawigan na sana po, unahin nila ‘yung mga mamamayan na totoong nagkakaroon ng problema,” Alberto added.

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Alberto believes that people will lose by default if they don’t participate in politics just because they face more formidable political foes. “Wala po talagang mangyayari kung walang katulad ko na lalaban, katulad namin, para magising po yung mga nakaupo,” he said.

If anything, he said, he would like his candidacy to serve as a “wake-up call” not only to Lagunenses but also to incumbent officials. He has not felt any change in the administration of the province despite the efforts of the previous officials, he pointed out.

He said he is speaking for everyone who experience the same issues that the average Lagunense experiences:  bad traffic, job security, inequality, and environmental problems. “Wala pang problema, may solusyon na” is his favorite mantra.

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Alberto is the chairman of Golden Harvest Savings and Credit Cooperative, a microfinance group. He believes that funding programs are essential in order to solve Laguna’s issues, such as high tuition fees and the lack of subsidy in public education, and the lack of infrastructures for persons with disabilities.

Having a steady budget will help to mitigate problems even before they arise. “Solusyonan po natin yung mga paparating na problema. Kaya wala pang problema, may solusyon na po,” he said.

Alberto also plans to integrate the use of technology in the local government system if he were given the chance to serve as Laguna’s governor. “Antayin mo ang solusyon sa iyong tahanan,” Alberto promised. He said he would use a computerized system for Lagunenses to request documents and process other government-related concerns. (Laguna Now)

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