San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan is a place in the Philippines which holds so much promise in terms of infrastructure and development. It’s out of the big city we know as Metro Manila but somehow you get the feeling it’s still part of it because of its proximity, being only 30 minutes away from Fairview, Quezon City. SJDM is also the future site of the ABS-CBN Sound Stage and the beginning point of the future MRT-7 which will bridge the distance even more.
With its status as a first-class city in Bulacan, San Jose Del Monte also boasts of the exemplary leadership of the husband-and-wife tandem of Mayor Arthur Robes and Representative Florida Robes. We got to personally meet and talk with Congresswoman Rida, a short meet-up which left us impressed with her pro-women and pro-family initiatives for her constituents in San Jose Del Monte City.
In photo: mommy bloggers with Rep. Robes (wearing brown dress) –
She struck me as the epitome of a concerned mother and a prayerful woman. God and family has always been her top priorities. “No matter how busy I get with my work, weekends are always for the family. ” She believes that she can only serve the people effectively with success in the home front.
The people of San Jose Del Monte are her second family. It’s amazing how the congresswoman knows the behind the scenes happenings of the life of her constituents. From her role of attending the wakes of those who died in the city, she got to know the alarming rise in suicides among young people. This prompted her to make a privilege speech pointing to the prevalence of depression as a serious health condition that must be addressed by appropriate interventions, specially as it mostly affects young people aged 15 to 29.
“Social media, family situations and school life are risk factors for depression and suicide among the young nowadays. Many of our youth today lack a sense of purpose. They also don’t receive enough guidance from parents or guardians because of the busy nature of modern life. And social media and technology bring more stress and pressure to the youth instead of making them feel more connected,” Congresswoman Robes noted in our interview.
As a result, she has urged her colleagues in Congress to pass laws regarding responsible social media usage, restore values education as an integral part of the curriculum and review the age-appropriateness and relevance of difficult subjects like calculus, economics and statistics.
Rep. Robes said the easing of licensing requirements for guidance counselors should also be implemented for they act as second parents to students and are best able to assist the ‘depressed’ ones.
One other proposal of the congresswoman worth mentioning is her plan to put up a human milk bank to promote breastfeeding in San Jose del Monte.She got the idea from observing excess breast milk from lactating mothers and she even travelled to Taiwan to see how a similar model can be successfully implemented in the Philippines.
Since breast milk is deemed best for babies six months old and below, Rep Robes considers it crucial that newborns get consistent supply of a mother’s natural milk for their optimum development.
The system would involve the counseling and screening of moms who would like to donate their milk. Milk is then extracted, collected, labelled then stored in freezers and special pasteurization machines before being given out to those who need them.
Thanks to the trendsetting leadership team of Mr & Mrs. Robes, San Jose Del Monte – the Rising City – now hosts the country’s first LGU-operated veterinary hospital and the City College of San Jose Del Monte giving free tertiary education to poor but deserving students. Coming up is the the St. Bernadette Children and Maternity Hospital and the country’s first LGBT school. SJDM also holds a Guinness World Record for the largest lantern parade.