Senator Teofisto "TG" D. Guingona III
Biography | Resume
A man who has lived his public life in accordance with the principle that public office is a public trust. All government officials must at all times be accountable to the people.
TG, as he is called by friends and colleagues, is presently a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines in the 15th Congress (2010-2016).
TG is the third generation of public servants. His lolo, Teofisto Guingona Sr., served as the Governor of the entire Mindanao during the term of President Manuel Quezon during the 1930’s. His father, Teofisto “Tito” Guingona, Jr., has served our country as Chairman of the Commission on Audit, Senator, Executive Secretary, Secretary of Justice, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and Vice-President. His mother, Ruth de Lara, is the former Governor of Misamis Oriental and is presently the Mayor of Gingoog City.
TG served as Congressman of the Second District of Bukidnon during the 13th (2004-2007) and 14th Congress (2007-2010). In the Lower House, he was a member of the opposition and the minority group. He is the Deputy Minority floor leader and is the Minority representative to the Joint Congressional Power Commission (POWERCOM) which deals with matters relating to energy and electricity.
TG is a lawyer and graduated from the Ateneo de Manila with a degree in Economics and Law. He is married to his Ateneo Law classmate, Atty. Maria Victoria Garcia Guingona and they have a son, Bobby.
While in college at the Ateneo, TG already joined the student government. This was when he got his first taste of raw politics. He and his colleagues in the student government joined a protest rally of the opposition party Lakas ng Bayan (LABAN) to protest the massive cheating by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos during the elections for the 1978 Interim Batasan Pambansa. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Sr. headed the LABAN ticket. While marching along España Avenue, in Manila, TG and the entire Ateneo student government were arrested together with other prominent opposition personalities. At 19 years old, TG was incarcerated at Bicutan Center together with Nene Pimentel, Joker Arroyo, Soc Rodrigo, and Lorenzo Tañada, Sr. He shared the prison cell with his father and mother, who were also present in the rally.
TG strongly believes in the principles of transparency in governance and accountability of government officials. Thus, he was chosen as a Kaya Natin! Champion. Kaya Natin! is a national movement that aims to promote good governance, ethical leadership and support effective and ethical leaders in government.
TG steadfastly fought against graft and corruption. He was involved in the impeachment complaints against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. He has exposed during the House Committee investigation of Joc-Joc Bolante and the Fertilizer Fund Scam how he had managed to get P1.83 Billion in just one week from the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani or GMA program of the Department of Agriculture. He also made an expose on the excessive travel expenses of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He was also one of the very few who voted against House Resolution No. 1109 which called for a Senate-less Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass).
The objective of TG’s legislative work is to ensure that the government invests in the Filipino people. Investing in the Filipino people means using national resources primarily to build a healthy and educated citizenry. At the minimum, his legislative efforts seek to protect the most vulnerable segments of the population – to make certain that they are neither impoverished materially nor marginalized socially. At best, these efforts seek to foster the investment climate necessary to create job opportunities that will enable greater human, not just economic, development.
In order to achieve this objective, TG seeks to reform the budget process. This is to ensure that the nation’s financial resources, as well as, the plans and programs that underpin them are directed, first and foremost, towards building a healthy and educated citizenry. Budget Reform is at the center of his legislative agenda.
If budget reform sits at the heart of TG’s legislative agenda, then its mind is on strengthening the health system and on improving the educational system by focusing them on specific, concrete, and measurable outcomes, towards a healthier and better educated citizenry.
Even where education and health resources are easily accessible, an inordinately high cost of living can prevent people from availing of them. As an example, if all family members need to work just so they can eat, then they can neither send their children to school nor make regular visits to health centers. The cost of living can be not only high but unpredictable as well. Energy and food costs are the most volatile elements of the cost of living. Lately, they have also constituted the largest part of that cost. Therefore, TG seeks to craft legislation that will ensure both energy and food security through the use of more local resources. By so doing, he aims to make the price of food and energy both affordable and predictable.
Over the long term, the nation’s ability to meet its development objectives rests on the country’s capability in science and technology. To this end, TG seeks to craft legislation that will provide resources and incentives for science and technology and direct their activities toward improving the health and education of the Filipino people and securing the country’s supply of food and energy. In effect, science and technology are the limbs that will enable the agenda to move forward and make the changes we badly need.
Finally, there is Mindanao. TG believes that peace can be achieved once we make serious investments in building the human and social capital in Mindanao. If more resources were directed in making Mindanawons healthier and better educated, then they would be able to see a brighter future for themselves and end the cycle of violence that has afflicted them for a long time. He is also the co-author of Republic Act No. 9996, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Act of 2010.
TG has also championed Disaster Risk Reduction and Management which led to the enactment of Republic Act No. 10121. He has also involved himself in issues such as human rights and extra-judicial killings.
15th Congress Senators