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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jun 25, 2015

Tesda Sec. Joel Villanueva Calls On Celebrities And Media To Attend Their Disaster Preparedness Seminar-Training, 'One For The Big One'

SEC. JOEL VILLANUEVA of TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) is also a TV personality. He's hosting the show "Agenda" shown on Friday, Sunday and Monday, on GMA-7 and GMA News Channel. He is now calling on all celebrities and media people to attend the disaster preparedness seminar and training, 'One for the Big One', in preparation for the so called West Valley Fault that can cause an earthquake.

He is holding this in cooperation with CHEERS (Community Health Education Emergency Rescue under Sandy Montano and the American Heart Association) at Victoria 1 Bldg. on Quezon Ave., near Hi Top Supermarket, this Saturday at 10 AM onwards. Some celebs who have expressed their support for this are the talents of Noel Ferrer like Ryan Agoncillo and wife Judy Ann Santos, Iza Calzado and broadcaster Atom Araullo.

"We cannot overemphasize the need to be prepared to be able to survive," says Sec. Joel, a management graduate of Harvard University. "In 2009, Bagong Silangan at the ban of Marikina River had 200 deaths when Ondoy struck. TESDA introduced to them later the Mobile Training Plus platform and since then, they have zero casualty in the typhoons that followed as they already know how to prepare."

Recently, at the graduation of 2000 students at TESDA's Special Training for Employment Program, Pres. Pnoy Aquino praised him to high heavens for his superlative work at TESDA and some people say it's an endorsement for him to run as senator in 2016. What can he say about this?
"The president is a great moral booster. I'm interested to run but I am not yet that sure if I would run. I still have enough time to decide."

His dad, Pastor Eddie Villanueva, ran for the presidency. Will he ran again in 2016? "No more. But he is pushing me to run as senator."

Did he never feel the call to follow in the footsteps of his dad as a pastor? "My calling is really to be a public servant. I consider this as my ministry. But I have very strong faith in the Lord. You know, my wife and I tried to have a baby for eight years, pero hindi kami magka-baby. Our story was featured in 'Maalaala Mo Kaya', with Diether Ocampo as me and Maricar Reyes as my wife. Nagpunta na kami sa kunsaan-saang doktor, hanggang sa Singapore, and they were all very discouraging. But hope springs eternal if you have faith and it was a life-changing experience for us. Now, we are the parents of a 4-year old son and a 2-year old daughter."

Joel, the second of three kids of Pastor Eddie, is a former congressman of the CIBAC partylist. The eldest son, Eduardo Jr., was elected mayor of Bocaue (from where their family hails) and has a son with Alicia Mayer. So how is his nephew? "Honestly, hindi ko nakikita, e."