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Being present for his constituents is something that Laguna 3rd District Representative Loreto “Amben” Amante makes sure of. For him, being with the people is a good starting point for providing them the service they deserve.

Originally given the name Lanvincent where his nickname “Amben” comes from, Amante's family later found out that due to a misunderstanding in the local civil registry, his actual registered name was Loreto. It was the name he started using moving forward.

Amante shares that the road to where he is now was not as smooth as everyone thought.The reality of their family’s life is much the same with the rest of the Filipinos, that is, filled with challenges. Having a big family, his father had to exert extra effort to make ends meet. The environment where the younger Amante grew up in taught him to value hard work, discipline, and having a simple lifestyle. This is also one of the reasons he has remained grounded and is easily reachable by his constituents.


Amante’s leadership is inspired by his father, Mayor Vicente B. Amante, incumbent chief executive of San Pablo City in Laguna. He grew up to the usual activities of his father, welcoming different people in their home, from those asking for assistance to those wishing to discuss a business matter.

Amante is a direct witness to how generous his father was, something that the people of San Pablo are also well aware of. He believes that his father’s genuine concern for the people of San Pablo is rooted in his experiences coming from a poor lifestyle before becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Those people, whose lives were touched by Amante’s father, were also the ones who convinced his father to run for public office. The elder Amante granted the request of the people and took a shot at politics. However, his first try ended in defeat. In 1992, it was his followers and friends who once again encouraged him to run and this time, he won as the town’s chief executive. This marked the start of his three terms as mayor, which lasted until 2001. After a three-year hiatus, he made a political comeback in 2004, starting another three terms as mayor. As his father stepped down in 2013, Amben took the opportunity to be involved in public service.

Looking back, the young Amante thought he was out to start a journey in foreign service after he graduated from the De La Salle University-College of Saint Benilde with an AB Consular and Diplomatic Affairs degree in 2002. However, his father needed his assistance in the city as an executive assistant. He willingly obliged, albeit still not sure if this was where he was destined to be. Fast forward to 2013, Amante eventually replaced his father as the city's top leader.

Far from practicing only what he learned from his father, Amante added his touch of leadership in leading the city. Amante is proud that during his tenure as the city’s mayor, he was able to place San Pablo inits best fiscal position so far, being the only local government unit in Region IVA and one of the few in the entire country to have no outstanding debts.

Midway through his incumbency, he was also able to place the city in the tourism map of CALABARZON through the rehabilitation efforts in Sampaloc Lake, which is considered as the city’s crowning glory. The highlight of the rehabilitation was the successful decrease in crowding of fish cages and the fact that there is absolutely no necessity to use force in relocating informal settlers around the lake. These efforts resulted in Sampaloc Lake seeing an unprecedented number of visitors for the first time in many years. From being considered as one of the world’s most threatened lakes, it has been transformed into a primary tourist attraction in Laguna.

This, and more of his efforts inthe tourism sector of the city, earned Amante the Department of Tourism(DOT) CALABARZON Regional Office’s recognition at the “First Chief Executive Awards” under the city category and the DOT Excellence Award (Local Government category) for San Pablo City in 2017.

Amante also shares that San Pablo City was able to display its generosity and disaster preparedness when it hosted hundreds of evacuees from Batangas when Taal Volcano erupted in early 2020. Evacuees were provided with unlimited food and healthcare 24/7. Shortly after that, the city had to deal with the pandemic but that only strengthened their ability to handle unexpected disasters. The distribution of aid was speedy, with the city being the first to roll out a massive vaccination drive in Laguna, even extending its services to neighboring cities and municipalities.

The field of education was likewise not left out when Amante and his father’s dream to upgrade the quality of education in Dalubhasaan ng San Pablo, now Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng San Pablo (PLSP), came to fruition. His last year in office as city mayor coincided with the change in status which resulted in a wider range of courses, among others.


The above are just a few of the many projects that Amante is proud to have accomplished for San Pablo during his incumbency as mayor. He also believes that these were the foundation that gave him a seat in Congress. “I believe that the people in my district appreciated what they saw and heard in San Pablo City during my tenure. Additionally, the services of our city government extended beyond its borders, benefiting neighboring towns as well,” Amante tells LEAGUE.


Amante describes his job as a congressman as basically addressing the same concerns a local chief executive faces but on the legislative side. Having nine years of experience as a local chief executive, he is confident that he is familiar with how things are being done. However, he is open about still having to acquaint himself more on the technicalities of crafting laws, as well as rules and protocols in Congress.This is why he finds it so helpful to always be active in Congress. “There’s a lot to gain by being activein Congress. Every day I spend in Congress, I learn something new,” Amante reveals.

The number of bills he authored and co-authored only proves his active and mindful presence as a legislator. On top of his list is House Bill 2049, which he considers his priority bill.

HB 2049 proposes to establish centers for individuals with special needs (ISN). Amante considers people born with neuro developmental disorder as the most vulnerable, as they are unable to fend for themselves and perform activities of daily living.

Amante believes that it is just right for the government to intervene and start addressing the needs of this “most neglected sector” with members nearing 30,000, some of them even being abandoned. The ISN centers to be built in Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao are expected to provide ISNs with free services that ensure their health and well- being aside from providing them a shelter where they are protected from abuse and neglect. “There is very little advocacy for their rights and welfare. If we can shout in defense of animal rights, why not at least speak up for these individuals with special needs? My heart always goes out to those who need help the most,” Amante states.

Another of his principal authored bills is House Bill 300 which was among the bills that sought to amend the Centennarian Act of 2016. One of the main provisions of the bill is the staggered release of the financial aid given to elderly Filipinos. Instead of receiving the whole Php100,000 as they turn 100 years old, octogenarians and nonagenarians will instead receive this amount in portions. For Amante, it is based on the reality that only a handful of Filipinos reach the age of 100. Even if they reach that age, they may no longer enjoy the amount provided by the government because of various conditions brought by their advanced age. “Therefore, it was my intent to enable our elderly to enjoy what is provided for in the Centenarian Law much earlier while they still can,” Amante adds.

With the enactment of Republic Act 11982, or the expanded Centenarian Law, every 80-year-old Filipino will receive Php10,000 from the government and another Php10,000 for every 5 years thereafter until they reach age 95. Centenarians will still get Php100,000 as provided for in the old law. The congressman believes that this will uplift the spirits of the elderly knowing that they are appreciated and cared for by their government.

Amante also did not turn a blind eye on a major concern plaguing the justice system in the country. He is convinced that the backlogs in pending cases is a result of the insufficient number of regional trial courts. “Aside from the grief, anxiety, and fear experienced by victims of wrongdoing, and the agony of those wrongly accused and awaiting acquittal, this diminishes the public’s confidence in our justice system,” Amante says, adding that it worsens jail congestion in the country.

Amante believes that if more courts exist, more cases will be heard, resulting to a more speedy dispensation of justice. Thus, he co-authored multiple bills creating additional regional trial court branches in different parts of the country.

Aside from these, he also filed the proposed State Universities and Colleges Mental Health ServiceAct as well as the proposed Basic Education Mental Health and Well-being Act. He believes that life is more complex and fast-paced now than before. And since the school is a place where youth from different backgrounds meet, there can be a pressure on them. Hence, there is a need for institutions to be equipped in addressing such concerns. “Both proposals in Congress seek to institutionalize mental health services in schools as an important component in nurturing the overall growth and well-being of students and the learning community as a whole,” Amante explains.

“We are called representatives for a reason, and that is to represent our district in the halls of Congress. What better way is there to accomplish this than by being active in Congress?” Amante says as he describes his job. However, he accepts the reality of lawmaking that it may take time for their priority bills to be enacted into law or may not be enacted at all.


“As public servants, people look to us in times of need. They wouldn’t come to us if they had the means to deal with their situations or concerns themselves,” Amante says. This is the reason he regularly spends time in his own district office. He finds it important that people feel heard and cared for, otherwise, they will lose hope and trust in government. Thisis Amante’s rationale behind People’s Day. Every Thursday and Friday, he opens his office to his constituents so that they could interact with him face- to-face.

Every people’s day, his district office is filled with people who have different concerns, hoping to be given assistance. In response, Amante and his staff provide them with medical and educational assistance and other material and non-material help.

In March 2022, Amante started the Cong. Amben Amante Enduro Cup. This introduced the people to motorcycle racing, a sport which promotes discipline, among others. For the congressman, discipline is a character trait every motorcycle rider must possess particularly now that motorcycle riding has become so popular.

Still thinking of his constituents, Amante also expressed his intention to regulate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to prevent the downsides that come with utilizing it. Amante says that while using AI simplifies tasks by providing results in just a few clicks, this can be used in counterproductive things such as students depending on it for their homeworks, or swindlers using someone else’s identify in creating not-so-wholesome videos. Worse, it can replace natural talents when not controlled.

Amante agrees that we should have a better understanding of AI before making use of it. After all, more discussions are needed to formally regulate its use and implementation. "Alarm bells are ringing on the world stage. Some tech giants are even pushing for a pause in its development. We should take the cue from there," he says.

One of the principles that Amante lives by is having compassion for the needy. “What you do for the least of your brothers, you do it for the Almighty,” he quotes the Bible. He also believes that “your word is your honor; once you break it, your honor crumbles to the ground. If you live by and stand for the truth, no lies will be effective against you.”

With these principles in his mind and heart, “I am able to contribute in my own little way to crafting sound laws, being at peace with my decisions in Congress, and fulfilling other functions expected of me as a congressman and a public servant,” Amante says.

Speaking to his constituents, Amante says that he is just an instrument to make the collective will of the people be reflected in the efforts of government. He encourages everyone to continue working together to achieve their common goal, which is a better life for all.

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