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Mayor Aleli-3



For aspiring Pasig City councilor Jana de Leon, a good leader motivates
others to be the best that they can be. “It’s not about the power that a
leader possesses, but their ability to empower others.”

To be “Darna ng Pasig” is a tall order for Pasig City councilor aspirant Jana de Leon. But it’s also a title that she is willing to live up to.

The past few years, especially during the pandemic, the people of Barangay Pineda, Pasig have seen her in the frontlines tirelessly doing relief operations, even going as far as Tanay, Rizal to provide aid to their relocatees there. She’s been actively supporting her father, Barangay Chairperson Francisco de Leon, in carrying out programs and charity work for their community.

Today, de Leon is ready to take her public service efforts to the next level by running as councilor in Pasig City’s 1st District. It was a path she initially didn’t plan to take, she says. What made her decide to run?


Coming from a family of politicians, the 39-year-old proud daughter of Pasig says she has seen both the good and bad side of politics. Her grandfather, Filomeno A. De Leon, was one of the longest-serving councilors in the city. Her uncle, Fortunato D. De Leon met an untimely demise in an ambush while campaigning in 1989.

Naturally, their family was reluctant when her father, Francisco, decided to dedicate his life to public service. He ran as barangay chairperson in the 2018 elections and won. To make sure that her senior citizen father would get his much-needed rest, the dutiful daughter found herself becoming a regular fixture at the barangay hall. “He was dubbed ‘24/7 Kap’ because he would hardly get any rest. I would help him because I want him to get home early and be able to spend time with my mom,” she says.

This exposure to public service led to a realization. She could do so much more if she is holding a government post in the city. She could ensure that the poor and marginalized have a voice in the political process. “You could easily do charity work. But when it comes to other essential things like crafting ordinances and coming up with programs, these are more easily done when you occupy a certain position,” she says.


One of the important things she would like to focus on if she wins as city councilor is the provision of livelihood programs to different neglected sectors—especially solo parents, persons with disability (PWDs), senior citizens, and persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).

She shares with LEAGUE her conversation with a solo parent who’s raising three children, one with special needs: “I hope we could have programs aimed at helping solo parents so that they could attend to their children and at the same time, provide for their family’s needs,” says de Leon, who is co-parenting her two kids, aged six and nine.

De Leon also had a chat with a PWD who had lost hope after her feet were amputated. “She was formerly a security guard. Now, she’s a PWD. She couldn’t land a job and has no source of income. If only we had livelihood programs for constituents like her,” she says.

She says there are also a lot of hardworking senior citizens who only need work opportunities so that they can help their families. “Best example—we have a lot of grandmothers who know how to sew. We could give them opportunities through livelihood programs.”

As for the inmates, de Leon—who used to be a teacher herself—is thinking of providing them with online courses that they can take while they are in jail. This way, they can have a source of livelihood once they have completed their jail sentence.

STANDING UP FOR LGBTQ A proud ally of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community, de Leon believes that heterosexual people (those who are ‘straight’) should also stand up for the rights of the LGBTQ community. “Kung sila-sila lang din maninindigan para sa isa’t isa, parang mahihirapan din sila na ipatanggap sa society ang kanilang ipinaglalaban (If we leave them to stand up for themselves, they could have a hard time getting society to accept what they are fighting for), ” she says.

She decries the lack of aid or ayuda for the LGBTQ sector during the pandemic. “The government always says that heads of family and those with children will be given priority. When will the LGBTQ community be prioritized more? They were also hit hard [by the pandemic]. They are also breadwinners. And their businesses closed down,” she says.

De Leon also hopes that HIV patients will be given more consideration this pandemic. Especially in getting their COVID-19 vaccines, since most of them does not want to disclose their personal information.

The aspiring councilor believes that inclusivity should start at the barangay level. “Hangga’t hindi nagiging inclusive ang mga barangay natin, hindi natin mabibigyan ng equal access to benefits ang mga tao (As long as our barangays do not embrace inclusivity, we won’t be able to give people equal access to benefits [due them]),” she says.


De Leon believes that a government leader should be able to inspire others to do more and to dream more. She should be someone that people would like to talk to and listen to. “She should speak in such a way people would love to listen to her and listen in such a way people would love to speak to her,” she says. “Hindi sila mahihiyang lapitan ka kasi alam nila makikinig ka (They won’t think twice about approaching you since they know that you’d listen),” she says.

As a member of the Philippine Army Reserve Force, de Leon would also like to encourage the younger citizens of their city—especially out of school youth and drug surrenderees—to undergo the Basic Citizen’s Military Training. “I believe in the discipline that the Philippine Army has instilled in us soldiers. And I think if we could do the same with drug surrenderees, we could keep more youngsters away from drugs. With this, we will be able to slowly but surely improve the peace and order situation in Pasig,” she says.

A good leader motivates others to be the best that they can be. “It’s not about the power that a leader possesses, but her ability to empower others. You can only call yourself successful if you lead others to success. If you could not help people to improve their situation, then you are not a good leader but just a boss. Para sa akin hangga’t hindi ko po natutulungan ang mga taong nasa likod ko, ilalim ko at nasa tabi, (Unless I could help those behind me, below me, and those on the sidelines,) then I cannot call myself a good leader,” she says.

The would-be councilor fervently believes that there is a need for women to be represented in government. “I think we need to balance the city council. Hindi puwedeng puro lalaki lang ang [bubuo sa] council. Iba pa rin po ang may boses ng kababaihan. Iba ang may puso ng babae, iba rin po ang may puso ng nanay (We couldn’t have an all-male council. One that carries the voice of women could make a difference. A [council member that has] a woman’s heart, a mother’s heart, could make a difference,)” she says.

De Leon urges Pasigueños to never let their idealism waver and to continue dreaming bigger dreams. “Nakakalungkot na tinanggap na lang natin kung ano ang traditional way, kung ano normal na nakasanayan. Hindi dapat ganito. Ang mensahe ko sa Pasigueño ay patuloy sana tayong magmithi ng mas maganda, mas maayos at nagkakaisang gobyerno (It is saddening that we just accept the traditional way, what’s considered normal. This shouldn’t be the case. My message to Pasigueños is to continue advocating for a better, cleaner government),” she says.

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