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As an expectant mother,
Calamba City Congresswoman
Hernandez is focused on
making sustainable, longterm
improvements for the
city—progress that would
benefit current and future




At eight months pregnant, Congresswoman Charisse Anne “Cha” Hernandez-Alcantara of Calamba, Laguna understands that many expect her to rest and not strain herself too much with work. Hernandez also admits that she finds it somewhat difficult to juggle public service and carrying a child, especially during the third trimester. But she fervently believes that every child, including hers, is a blessing and also, a lucky charm, as many people have often told her.

“During my campaign, I would go around every day and meet people face to face from morning to night,” she recalls. “And I think [me being pregnant] solidified my message that I am just like them. My
situation reflects most women’s lives; I’m not the first woman working at eight months pregnant.”

Not even a month after the elections, Hernandez is already out and about, connecting with one sector after another. LEAGUE trailed after the newly-elected congresswoman who spent the entire morning listening to farmers, who launched a seminar, and the fisherfolk, who held a boodle fight with her for lunch. Her arrival and presence in each meeting lacked the pomp and circumstance often associated with political bigwigs. On the contrary, her simple outfit, visible baby bump, and calm, caring voice (with a forceful undertone) made her appear less of a politician and more of an ordinary Filipino mother.

Pregnancy, the congresswoman shares, also gives her a different sense of focus that helps push her forward in striving for a better City of Calamba. Her internal motivation is to create a clean, thriving city for her son and for others of his generation to inherit.

“Also, I want my children to be proud of me, that someday they could say that I did my best and worked hard even while pregnant. I want them to be proud of the city we helped build when they grow up, to have people tell my children that I did my best as a public servant. I think that’s one good motivation for
me,” the neophyte congresswoman reveals.

Hernandez, however, also had big plans for Calamba even prior to her winning the seat in Congress. As a councilor, her vision was mostly fixing the major issues that the city faced—traffic, environment, waste management, and more. While her current position enables her to improve the city through legislation, she stresses that she still wants to be involved in the planning and execution of local programs.

The 28-year-old public servant shares that she is in close collaboration with Mayor Roseller “Ross” Rizal and Vice Mayor Angelito “Totie” Lazaro Jr. In the latest election, they all ran under the banner “Team CalamBAGO” under PDP-Laban. Their partnership, she shares, allows them to centralize their programs
into one vision and align their projects accordingly.

Among her many plans for the city, Hernandez shares that she wants Calamba to be a “smart city” centered on people and technology. As a millennial, the congresswoman of the city’s sole district wants to push for automated processes in the local government offices.

“When they go to the office to request for assistance and other basic social services, I want it to be convenient and hassle-free so that they don’t have to wait in line for hours. And it is to promote transparency. I’m in consultation with different data and system developers to create a data-driven office. With this, we will be able to provide reports and updates on social media and also through offline means to inform the people.”

The congresswoman is also seeking to apply technology in their local tourism sector which is famous for their hot spring resorts. Hernandez is also eyeing Calamba to be the “Resort Capital of the Philippines” and streamlining their services through a mobile application or website wherein accredited resorts will be listed for people to book.

“With an app or website, people would be secure and safe because it’s the only accredited and government-approved booking system. It would be easier for them to find the perfect resort that fits their requirements. Resorts, on the other hand, would also have to meet a standard in order to be included,” she .....

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