FFE Magazine

Hagedorn pitches for environment and local govt

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Hagedorn

MANILA, Philippines – Independent senatorial candidate Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn is determined to buck the odds even without political party support.

Hagedorn admits it is difficult to campaign as a solo senatorial candidate, with no benefit of party machinery and resources.

On the campaign trail he usually pitches for the environment and local government.

Hagedorn’s name is synonymous with the declaration of the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) as one of the seven New Wonders of Nature.

He takes pride in Palawan’s tourism which has grown to a P4-billion industry in recent years because of the PPUR, also a UNESCO world heritage site.

First elected mayor in 1992, Hagedorn is banking on the support of LGUs nationwide to gain mass support from the voting public, although he noted that many people do not even know that he is running for senator.

“We’re solo, so it’s a bit difficult to go on sorties, but that’s okay,” Hagedorn said.

Like many other candidates, Hagedorn has a personal Facebook account: the Edward Hagedorn for Senator movement now has 21,900 followers. He also maintains a Twitter account.

Hagedorn told The STAR that he wants to pursue reforms in local government through legislation and that he is banking on the support of local government executives to win his senatorial bid.

Although he did not finish college, he hopes his experience as a local official will help him get through his Senate duties.

There are not enough laws passed in Congress that benefit local governments, Hagedorn said, adding he wants to share his experience in the local level and implement this on the national level.

Hagedorn revealed that the declaration of areas as calamity zones was initially only a function of the local governments, until it was made it into a national law. Hagedorn was a proponent of the Bantay Dagat program – initially implemented in Palawan – which was replicated in many areas in the country after the local model was adopted on the national level through legislation.

In one of his many radio interviews, Hagedorn virtually admitted that it takes one gangster to know another, which was apparently why he was tapped by former President Gloria Arroyo as anti-jueteng czar.

Just like in the mafia, Hagedorn said there are protocols among jueteng operators, which was how he dealt with local executives, including a high-profile governor from the North whom he talked to in a bid to slow down, if not stop, jueteng operations in the provinces.

Hagedorn was born on Oct. 12, 1946 in Parañaque. His parents were Alexander Hagedorn and the former Gliceria Solon. He is married to Ma. Elena Marcelo, with whom he has two children, Eva Christie and Elroy John.

He studied at the San Sebastian College-Recoletos and University of the East in Manila. He was elected mayor of Puerto Princesa City in 1992 and served as representative of the League of Cities of the Philippines, Region IV; member of National Executive Board of Boy Scouts of the Philippines; and assemblyman of Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development.

With the overwhelming support of the people of Puerto Princesa, he transformed the city into a major eco-tourism destination and model in environmental protection. It became a Hall of Fame awardee for consistently being named the cleanest and greenest component city in the Philippines.

By Christina Mendez

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