Former Defense Secretary Gilberto “Gibo” C. Teodoro, Jr. said he is hopeful of the impending election victory of former Senator Bongbong Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, that both leaders are “very energetic” and humble, during his talk to media at the April 19 Pandesal Forum at 83-year-old Kamuning Bakery Cafe in Quezon City. As a Uniteam senatorial candidate, Teodoro personally advocates strengthening public health programs and anti-pandemic safeguards, increased social amelioration or “ayuda” for the people and continuing infrastructures development with the existing state-driven “Build Build Build” program to be complemented with increased private sector investments through more Public Private Partnerships or PPPs. Teodoro said after the May 9 election, he hopes the whole nation shall unite for Philippine economic recovery amidst a global environment of continuing uncertainties.
The U.P. and Harvard-educated bar topnotcher Teodoro revealed that he had a one-on-one “job interview” conversation with President Rodrigo R. Duterte last night April 18, with Duterte asking him extensively about his socio-economic reforms, national security and other advocacies as prospective senator. Teodoro also described Duterte as a “very good” leader in the past six years, having fulfilled his basic three top promises to the Filipino people. Teodoro said Duterte has maintained high trust ratings of the public due to his personal integrity, his authenticity and effectiveness in communicating to the people and in his simple lifestyle. Teodoro thanks President Duterte for his support, reminiscing that both of them have been friends since they first met in 1990 when Teodoro was then a lawyer working under Atty. Estelito Mendoza.
Teodoro also expressed condolences to the family of the late Philippine Ambassador Chito Sta. Romana who died in Beijing, China, paid tribute to his contributions to improving crucial Philippines-China friendship. Teodoro also cited upholding an independent foreign policy as one of the top achivements of now still popular President Duterte in the past six years. Teodoro advocates for attracting and giving higher compensations to experts to join government, such as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), etc.
Other reforms advocated by Gibo Teodoro includes attracting more foreign and domestic inverstors to make the Philippine economy globally competitive; lessening bureaucratic redtape and enhancing ease of doing business in the Philippines; agriculture modernization and allowing for economies of scale; granting higher budget to education; creating disaster preparedness as top national priority and among local government units (LGUs); improving digital technology nationwide; reviving the pandemic-hit tourism industry with better infrastructures like airports, better policies and allocating higher global marketing budget; etc.
The non-partisan, issues-focused Pandesal Forum is one of the unique civic projects of 83-year-old Kamuning Bakery Cafe ever since writer and realty entrepreneur Wilson Lee Flores bought and revived it. Leaders and newsmakers dialogue frankly with media and intellectuals at the Pandesal Forum, with moderator Wilson Lee Flores. Other civic projects of Kamuning Bakery Cafe include the annual World Pandesal Day celebration every October 16; the annual World Poetry Day celebration every March 21; the baking of thousands of breads daily for medical and other frontliners as well as urban poor families during the pandemic in cooperation with Quezon City government led by Mayor Joy Belmonte; book launchings, poetry readings, music concerts, art exhibits and other culture events; donations of public schoolbuildings to various rural regions of the Philippines like those for Sta. Rosa Elementary School in historic, seaside Balangiga town in Eastern Samar province; for Dinaloan Elementary School in Barangay Dinalaoan in Calasiao, Pangasinan province; for Villa Bacolor Elementary School in Tarlac, Tarlac province, etc.