POLITIKO News

The Man with a Plan

EVEN AT A YOUNG AGE, RUFFY BIAZON knew what genuine public service meant. The youngest child of former Senator and former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Rodolfo Biazon and Monserrat Bunoan, Ruffy saw how his father served the country, first in the AFP as a decorated soldier, then later in the Philippine Congress as a three-term senator and two-term representative.

 

Inspired by his father, Ruffy heeded the call of public service. He was elected three times as the Representative of the Lone District of Muntinlupa from 2001 to 2010.

 

His three terms as legislator during the 12th, 13th, and 14th Congress were marked by very significant achievements, with Ruffy being principal author of eight Republic Acts, particularly the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, Tax Exemption for Minimum Wage Earners Act, the Tobacco Regulations Act, and the Philippine Coast Guard Act.

 

Republic Act No. 10121, or the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, was a landmark legislation as it prompted a paradigm shift in the policy environment and the way the Philippines dealt with disasters, from mere response to preparedness – from a reactive approach to a proactive one. For the very first time, the new law provided a comprehensive, all-hazard, multi-sectoral, inter-agency, and community-based approach to disaster risk management through the formulation of the National Disaster Risk Management Framework.

 

It also calls for the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction in physical and land-use planning, budget, infrastructure, education, health, environment, housing, and other sectors.

 

Moreover, it also promotes the development of capacities in disaster management at the individual, organizational, and institutional levels.

 

A prolific legislator, at the end of his first three terms, Ruffy became author and co-author of 44 Republic Acts. For his exemplary performance as a member of the House of Representatives, Ruffy was cited by the Philippine Daily Inquirer as one of the “most prolific legislators.”

 

The Philippines Graphic Magazine also included him as one of the Top 100 Young Leaders of the country, while he was named as an Outstanding Congressman by the Philippines Free Press Magazine.

 

In 2011, Ruffy was appointed as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) by then President Benigno Aquino III.

 

As Customs Commissioner, he pursued reforms not only to address the perennial problem of smuggling and corruption within the Bureau, but also led the advocacy to make Philippine Customs compliant to international standards on Customs administration. He aggressively pushed for the passage of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

 

At the same time, he initiated programs to transform the BOC through a three-pronged program: Modernization of Tools and Equipment, Modernization of Policies, and Development of Human Resources. After his stint in the Bureau of Customs, Ruffy decided to return to the House of Representatives, winning landslide victories in both the 2016 and 2019 elections.

 

His election and re-election in the 17th and 18th Congress are a testimony of the overwhelming trust and confidence of his fellow Muntinlupeños in his leadership and service.

 

After all, service, he reiterates, is a duty, whether you’re appreciated or not. He presently serves as the Senior Vice Chairman of the Committee on National Defense and Security and Vice Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations and Vice Chairman of the Committee on Veterans Affairs.

 

He is also a member of the Congressional Oversight Committee on the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Congressional Oversight Committee on Armed Forces Modernization. Ruffy graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology. His background in allied health sciences is evident in his advocacies, pushing for legislation that protect the health and well-being of Filipinos.  Among the nine laws he authored during the 17th Congress is RA 11036, or The Mental Health Act.

 

Married with four children, Ruffy is a certified Rescue Scuba Diver with certification in the use of Nitrox. Taught to swim at a young age, he traces his love for water to his father’s assignment to different areas in the Philippines close to the beach during the latter’s time in the AFP, including several years in Palawan and 18 years in Mindanao. He regularly dives together with his wife, Trina, whom he shares a passion for nature conservation.

 

On his off time, Ruffy enjoys working on scale models, photography, and dabbles in DJ mixing. He is also an airsoft wargame enthusiast.

 

With a vision of an even brighter future for his beloved Muntinlupa, Ruffy is determined to continue serving the Muntinlupeños, this time in a different capacity – accepting the challenge to take over the reins of city, with Mayor Jimmy Fresnedi relinquishing his seat due to term limits.

 

With the country still in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, Ruffy maintains Mayor Fresnedi’s successor should be able to hit the ground running, with ample knowledge on how to run the local government, especially in the fields of planning, budgeting, prioritization of plans and projects, and day-to-day administration.

 

The next leader of Muntinlupa, Ruffy says, should have a track record of performance and reliable knowledge on crisis management as the Muntinlupeños cannot afford to have an on-the-job trainee chief executive. Ruffy’s focus is Muntinlupa’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. He intends to prioritize the city’s economic recovery and to strengthen health care services, especially primary health care and education under the new normal.

 

A writer at heart, Ruffy is a self-confessed techie, maintaining his own website, social networking sites, and blogs.

 

Biazon intends to prioritize the city’s economic recovery and to strengthen health care services, especially primary health care, and education under the new normal.

And as one who has kept abreast of the technological advancements, one vision he has for Muntinlupa is to integrate technology in governance and in the delivery of public service, particularly in planning, budgeting, revenue collection, business processes, public transactions, disaster risk reduction and management, law enforcement, emergency response, land use and zoning, health services, social services, education, and data driven decision-making. Ruffy is also pushing for an Open Data Policy to enable the public to participate in the study of data, programs, and policies of the government, in accordance with the principles of participative governance, transparency, and inclusivity.

Another agenda Ruffy intends to pursue is the political reform of Muntinlupa. He intends to implement a “politics of platforms and programs” instead of the usual “politics of personalities,” starting with the registration of a local political party, One Muntinlupa. One Muntinlupa has seven primary agenda or the 7Ks specifically tailored for the City of Muntinlupa and the Muntinlupeños – Katarungan (Justice), Karunungan (Knowledge), Kalusugan (Health), Kaunlaran (Development), Kapayapaan (Peace), Kabuhayan (Livelihood), and Kalikasan (Nature).

Just how bright a future does he see for Muntinlupa? “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades,” Ruffy puts it, borrowing a line from a song famous among the Gen-Z.

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