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June 6, 2016 - Honorable Victor F. Ortega, Congressman - 1st District of La Union, received the Medal of Honor and Plaque of Appreciation from the House of Representatives led by Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte on the last day of the 16th Congress.  Cong. VFO served three terms in his second round at the House of Representatives.  He is completing 20 years as Congressman from the 8th, 9th, 10th, 14th, 15th, and 16th, from 1987 to 1998 and 2007 to 2016.


March 28, 2016 - Cong. Victor F. Ortega delivered his message at a Proclamation Rally at the city plaza after he proclaimed the Bunggoy nga Agserbi - “Group that serves”.  It capped the three-hour motorcade of the Liberal Party candidates led by City of San Fernando Mayor Pablo Ortega for Congressman, Mary Jane C. Ortega coming back as Mayor, Pepe Ortega for Vice Mayor, and the 12 councilors.  Mario Ortega is the candidate for Governor of the dynamic group.


November 18, 2015, La Union - In this photo from extreme left is Cong. Victor F. Ortega who withdrew his candidacy for Mayor of the City of San Fernando last November 12 and in extreme right is his wife, former Mayor Mary Jane C. Ortega who was appointed by the Liberal Party to substitute for him. Mayor Pablo C. Ortega, behind former Mayor MJCO, also wearing a blue shirt, had previously filed for the position of Congressman for the First District of La Union.  Beside him is Pepe Ortega, candidate for Vice Mayor and Monetski Ortega, candidate for Councilor.  Behind them (L-R) are re-electionist Councilors Mario Lacsamana, Wilfredo Ordoño, Antonio Jucar, Barangay Captain Jun Silao who is running for councilor and re-electionist Councilor Ferdinand Verzosa.


October 2015, La Union – In a joint effort to help the victims of Typhoon Lando, the Office of Congressman Victor F. Ortega and the Rotary Club of San Fernando LU Inc., led by its President Marc Singh, distributed relief goods to affected barangays, including Fisherman's Village (Poro), San Agustin, Ilocanos Norte, and Catbangen









September 19, 2015, California  – Cong.Victor F. Ortega received a plaque of appreciation for being the Guest of Honor and Speaker at the Dinner Dance of devotees of Our Lady of Namacpacan.  The event, held at the San Jose Airport Garden Hotel, was a fundraiser to benefit the retired secular priests of the Diocese of San Fernando, La Union.  Earlier that day, the Luna Association of Northern California, in partnership with the city and town organizations of the province of La Union, hosted a Pilgrimage Mass of Our Lady of Namacpacan at Our Lady of Peace Church and Shrine in Santa Clara, California. The shrine of the miraculous Our Lady of Namacpacan, locally known by the Ilocanos as “Apo Baket”, is in St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish Church in Luna, La Union.



August 6, 2015, Pasay City - Cong. Victor F. Ortega of the First District of La Union attended another hearing of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Automated Election System (JCOC-AES) at the Philippine Senate.


In the photo are Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation and Senate Panel chairman of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System (JCOC-AES), Congressman Mel Senen S. Sarmiento of 1st District-Western Samar and JCOC-AES House Panel chairman, and Congressman Victor F. Ortega, of the First District of La Union and committee member.  (Photo credit: Office of Cong.Victor Ortega/Edwin Patricio)


1) Update on the Preparations for the 2016 National and Local Elections
Comelec options are refurbishment with upgrade and new Optical Mark Reader (OMR) machines.  Target to complete this activity is January 15, 2016.
For the Code review, it is awarded to International Certification Entity (ICE) and to be completed by December 31, 2015.
Software customization is scheduled on August 01, 2015 to December 01, 2015, to add systems requirements indicated in the terms of reference.
Hardware Acceptance Test (HAT) to cover all machines is scheduled to be completed by February 28, 2016.  This includes scanning component subjected to mark accuracy test by scanning a test ballot with marks for all possible ovals or marking space positions.  All hardware components and peripherals will be included in the test.  5% sample of every delivery lot will be subjected to stress test.
Trusted build and compilation of source codes for Election Management System (EMS), PCOS/OMR and Consolidated Canvassing Server (CCS) will be completed by December 31, 2015.
Mock elections will be conducted on January 15, 2016 to test the trusted build systems.
Configuration is scheduled to be done between January 4, 2016 to April 15, 2016 which is lesser by 2 months versus original schedule of 6 months
Comelec en banc approved Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) recommendation to award the contract of new OMR (23,000 units) to Smartmatic-TIM Joint Venture after the TRO was issued by RTC Manila.
Comelec is looking at renting 70,977 new OMRs with option to buy (similar to 2010 election).  But there is an option to refurbish the more than 80,000 existing precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines acquired last 2013.
For the communication aggregation, Indra Sistemas is the lone bidder because of the 100% transmission requirement of Comelec.  Last 2010, 9% were not transmitted with cost of less than P200-million.  It is worst in 2013 at 23% transmission failure but higher cost of more than P300-million.  Now the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) for the election results transmission project is P558-million and the expectation is to have 100% successful transmission.  According to Comelec, the telecoms companies do not want to engage directly to Comelec thus an aggregator is needed.
2) Inquiry on the Patent Certificate of Smartmatic submitted by the Commission on Elections
Only Smartmatic bid for the refurbishment of PCOS machines because of its sole patent for the services but Automated Election System (AES) Watch does not agree.  Smartmatic was requested to produce necessary documents to explain this.  Consequently, Smartmatic begged off not to attend the JCOC-AES hearing at the Senate.
3) Report on the pilot testing of the Precinct Automated Tallying System (PATaS)
4) Comelec’s View on PATaS
Chairman Andy Bautista is against PATaS.  According to him, it has many logistical issues.  Based on the costing computation of Comelec, it is also expensive.  Another issue its legality as counting of votes is manual.
5) Inquiry on using private buildings, such as malls, as polling precincts for the 2016 National and Local Elections
6) Progress report and other relevant data on biometrics registration
There is still around 3.8M voters without biometrics.

In the photo are Cong.VFO, Atty.Alan Tan, and Engr. Edwin Patricio, both consultants to the Office of Cong.Victor Ortega (Photo credit: Senate PRIB/ Alexis Nueva España).


7) Report on the unaccounted votes in 2010 and 2013 National and Local Elections
All votes were accounted but some were done manually because of failure in transmission.  This is the reason why 100% transmission accuracy was included in the Terms of Reference for communication aggregator.
8) Discussion on the proposal to allow a demonstration on the vulnerability of PCOS machines to internal manipulation
9) Inquiry on the Transparent Election System (TAPAT)
10) Comelec’s View on TAPAT
Chairman Bautista is looking at TAPAT as a promising alternative for future elections.  For 2016, it cannot be used because of time constraint.
Another issue is the law mandates that the system to be used should be tested already (used in other elections).  With this, one of the Comelec commissioners proposed to amend the election law to remove that requirement to allow Filipino-developed systems to be used in future elections.
11) MIRU Voting Systems
This is a Korean-based technology.  The main advantage is performance (can scans 7 pages per minute).  This is currently being used in South Korea.  They have pending request to be considered in 2016 National and Local Elections.  They were not able to join the first bidding because of no ample time to prepare.


August 2, 2015, San Fernando La, Union - At the dinner hosted by Congressman Victor Ortega at Olives Restaurant in Thunderbird Resort, he shared updates on the status of R.A. 7171.  To his right are former Mayor George Pinzon of Bangar who plans to run again for the same post since his daughter, Mayor Joy P. Merin is on her third term; Mayor Ruben "Jun" Valero of San Juan who is on his third term and will support former Mayor Art Valdriz for the next elections; former Mayor Floresto "Bating" Sayangda of Santol who will run for Vice-Mayor this coming elections and former City of San Fernando Mayor Mary Jane C. Ortega. To the left of Cong. Victor is incumbent Mayor of the City of San Fernando, Pablo C. Ortega, who is on his last term and plans to run for congressman of the First District of La Union, Mayor Francis Fontanilla of Bacnotan who will run for re-election, and Vice-Mayor Alan Buquing who will run again for the post of Mayor to succeed  Mayor Wendy Buquing of Sudipen who is seated beside him.  At the time of the gathering, Mayor Alfred Concepcion of Balaoan was in Manila and Mayor Divina Daligues was unavailable while Mayor Victor Marron of Luna already met with Cong. VFO earlier that afternoon.  National and local political issues were also shared while the spirit of friendship prevailed.



July 7, 2015, City of San Fernando, La Union - Congressman Victor F. Ortega is accompanied by Provincial Board Member and Philippine Red Cross-La Union Chapter Chairman Jonathan Justo O. Orros, Jr. and Past President of the Rotary Club of San Fernando (LU), Inc. Eduardo V. Regala as they proceed to the Multi-Purpose Hall of the Fishermen’s Village to provide financial assistance to affected fisher folks after Typhoon Egay battered the city and induced rough sea conditions. Fishermen’s Village is a resettlement coastal village situated along the coastal area of Barangay Catbangen.


In the photo are (L-R) first row: Treasurer Ronald Dy, Rtn Nikki Valero, Rtn FaustoLiriano, Rtn Marvin Lanuza, PP Rey Bonifacio, PP Danny Tan (RC Manila Centennial), PP Ming Yan Jao, PP Paul Siao (RC Manila Centennial), President Victor Ngo ( RC Manila Centennial), Rtn Jerry Sharpe, Cong.VFO, Cong. Sherwin Gatchalian, PP Ed Regala, PP Ben Glory (RC Manila Centennial) and PP Jun Tio.  2nd row: PP Alan Sy, PP Edgee Zarzadias, PP Ferdinand Fernandez, PP Jerome Gaerlan, Dir. Danny Hao, PP Jerry Parlan, PP Harvey Tan, Dir. Ric Marquez, Dir. Sherwin Go, PP Daniel Bolong III and Rtn Romeo Delfinado. (Photo courtesy of RCSFLU Inc.)


In the photo are (L-R), PP Jerome Gaerlan, PP Jaisela Gaerlan, IWC Mary Hao, PP Hailey Delfinado, Cong. Sherwin Gatchalian, RCSFLU, Inc. President Marc Singh, PP Mary Jane Ortega, PP Myla Fernandez, IWC Malou Tan and PSec.Cong. VFO. (Photo courtesy of RCSFLU Inc.)


July 7, 2015, San Fernando, La Union - Congressman Sherwin Gatchalian of Valenzuela City was the guest of honor and speaker of the Rotary Club of SFLU, Inc. for its 57th Induction Ceremonies held at Oasis Country Resort Hotel. Congressman Victor F. Ortega, senior active member of the club, welcomed him along with newly inducted President Mark Singh and most of the 75 members. Cong. Win was introduced by Rotary Club of San Fernando (LU), Inc. Past President Eduardo V. Regala.

         Also on hand to cordially receive Cong. Sherwin Gatchalian is Past President of the Inner Wheel Club of the Philippines, Inc. and of San Fernando La Union, former SFLU City Mayor Mary Jane Ortega, together with the other officers and members of the Inner Wheel Club of San Fernando La Union.


In the photo are Honorable Victor F. Ortega, Congressman of the First District of La Union, Cesar Flores, President of Smartmatic Asia Pacific and Dr. Pablo R. Manalastas Jr., a lecturer at the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines (Photo credit: Senate PRIB/Cesar Tomambo).
May 14, 2015, Pasay City - Cong. Victor F. Ortega of the First District of La Union attends the Joint Congressional Hearing on Automated Elections System at the Philippine Senate.  The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Elections (JCOC-AES) is chaired by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation and Representative Mel Senen S. Sarmiento of 1st District-Western Samar.
Cong. Victor asked for a further study on the proposal of former Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman where voting will be done manually—voter writes the name of chosen candidates, instead of just shading the oval near the name, where the counting at the precinct level will be done manually, and all else, such as transmission to the City/Municipality, to the Provincial and National Canvassing Board, will be done electronically.  This "hybrid" system of Electoral Process will make sure that the voters will write the names of the candidates they choose, that the counting on the precinct level will be witnessed and known to the community immediately, and that the results will be electronically shared.  No delays of proclamation of candidates will be due to glitches of the machines.


April 1, 2015, City of San Fernando, La Union – Cong. Victor F. Ortega congratulates his scholar, Sharlene Agcanas of Barangay I, for graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing cum laude, from Lorma Colleges.  It was indeed an Easter blessing for both benefactor and scholar!  Shown in the photo are former San Fernando Mayor Mary Jane Ortega, Cong. VFO, Sharlene, her father Danilo Agcanas, Barangay I Captain Dionilo Ancheta, her mother Rowena Agcanas and Barangay Kagawad Lito Balagot.


In the photo are (from left) LTSG Marwin del Rosario, former San Fernando Mayor Mary Jane C. Ortega, Cong. VFO, Capt. Leovigildo Panopio, LTJG Gresa Candugo, LTSG Atanacio Bagawe, Jr. and SN2 Alvin M. Castro.
March 5, 2015, City of San Fernando, La Union - Captain Leovigildo Panopio, the new commander of the Philippine Coast Guard of Coast Guard District Northwestern Luzon, paid a courtesy call on the congressman of the First District of La Union, Hon. Victor F. Ortega.  During the visit, Cong. VFO gave Capt. Panopio a copy of SEASONS OF LIFE - ABEL ITI BIAG NI VICTOR, translated as Tapestry of Victor's Life.



January 18, 2015, Rizal Park, Manila - Cong. Victor F. Ortega and former San Fernando City Mayor Mary Jane C. Ortega were able to go to Luneta to attend the Concluding Mass of Pope Francis’ five-day visit to the Philippines through the IDs sent by Senator Bongbong Marcos.

    "How blessed!", our family members and friends commented. Yes, we feel blessed, but for every blessing, there are sacrifices. We were soaked in the rain for seven and a half hours.  Many were soaked for a longer time. Many were not able to sit down and stood the whole day in the rain. But all of us came out of that Holy Mass at the Luneta  - celebrated by Pope Francis and all the bishops and priests present, listening to the 1,000 voices - inspired, and the motto of "Mercy and Compassion" ringing in our ears. -Mary Jane Ortega



January 15, 2015 – Congressman Victor F. Ortega gave an Inspirational Message and introduced the Guest of Honor and Speaker, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. at the 34th Foundation Anniversary celebration of the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) held at the North La Union Campus in Bacnotan, La Union.


December 26, 2014 - The first general born and raised in Bangar, La Union, Brigadier General Johnny Macanas, was the guest of honor and speaker of the Bangar fiesta.  Congressman Victor F. Ortega, First District of La Union, was a special guest and has always been attending the fiesta of the hometown of his grandmother, Doña Francisca Lacsamana Ortega, for more than three decades. With General Macanas and Cong. Ortega are Mayor Joy Merin, third term Mayor of Bangar and Mary Jane C. Ortega, former Mayor of the City of San Fernando, La Union.


In the photo, PSSupt Benjamin T. Hulipas, PSSupt Angelito A.  Dumangeng, PSupt Julius C. Suriben, PINSP Vanessa M. Gabot, City Councilor Ramon C. Ortega, Engr. Antonio L. Estrada of DENR-EMB, Director Joel Salvador of DENR-EMB, former San Fernando City Mayor Mary Jane C. Ortega and Cong. VFO.

November 26, 2014 - Congressman Victor F. Ortega called a meeting between the Regional Philippine National Police officials and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) for the location of the Air Quality Monitoring Equipment being put up by DENR in the City of San Fernando.  The city government, under Mayor Pablo C. Ortega, offered to take care of the expenses related to its energy consumption.


November 26, 2014 – Honorable Victor F. Ortega, Congressman of the 1st District of La Union and President of the Francisco and Corazon Ortega Foundation, Inc., with his sisters, Aurora Ortega Carlos and Nita Ortega Laoang, and his wife, former Mayor Mary Jane C. Ortega, visited the Doña Corazon Ortega Day Care Center, in commemoration of the 20th death anniversary of Corazon Campos Ortega.They brought McDonald's hamburgers and drinks for the 167 children, the teachers and parents present. An additional treat for everyone was the presence of McDonald's mascots - Birdie and Hamburglar. 


Mrs. Corazon Campos Ortega with her sister Mrs. Julita Campos Benedicto, introduced through the National Federation of Women's Clubs, these day care centers in the early 1970's, years before day care centers became requirements under the national and local governments. Then President Ferdinand Marcos donated the Marcos type building which houses the day care center until the present time. Twenty years ago, Cong. Victor repaired the building from the Countrywide Development Fund but the recent visit showed that the day care center presently needs further repairs. The Doña Corazon Ortega Day Care Center is on a lot owned by the Provincial Government now headed by Governor Manoling Ortega and the City of San Fernando now headed by Mayor Pablo C. Ortega takes care of its operations.



In this photo (L-R) are City of San Fernando Councilor Ramon Ortega, Cong.VFO, Cong.VFO’s Chief of Staff Ma. Veronica O. Regala, Senator Guingona, former City of San Fernando Mayor Mary Jane Ortega, La Union Governor Manuel Ortega, Rotary Club of San Fernando (LU), Inc. Past President Eduardo Regala, Executive Assistant V to the Governor Mario Eduardo Ortega, former SK Federation President of the City of San Fernando Ramon Guio Ortega, and ABONO Party-List Representative Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III.


October 17, 2014 – Senator Teofisto Guingona III visits La Union.  Congressman Victor F. Ortega and family host a luncheon for him at the Ortega ancestral home in San Fernando City.


In the photo are (standing, L-R) former Cebu Cong. Rachel Marguerite del Mar, Cong. Raul V. del Mar of the 1st District of Cebu, Cong. Victor F. Ortega of the 1st District of La Union, Head of Delegation Deputy Speaker Giorgidi B. Aggabao of the 4th District of Isabela, Cong. Susan Yap-Sulit of Tarlac; (seated) Cong. Cheryl P. Deloso-Montalla of the 2nd District of Zambales and Cong. Maria Zenaida Benedicto-Angping of the 3rd District of Manila. Not in photo but also part of the Philippine delegation is Cong. Nicasio M. Aliping, Jr. of the lone district of Baguio.


September 2014 - The 35th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-35) was held in Laos, with the theme “Strengthening parliamentary cooperation in ASEAN community building.”  Lao People’s Democratic Republic hosted the event from September 14 to 20 at the Don Chan Palace Hotel in Vientiane. The four-day assemblage was attended by 400 delegates from the 10 ASEAN member nations along with the observer countries of Australia, Belarus, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea,  Russia, and Timor Leste.  In her opening speech, AIPA-35 Chairperson and President of the Lao National Assembly Pany Yathortou underlined the significance of the event for the member legislative bodies in the face of regional and global situations challenged by continuous complicated developments.


The predecessor of the AIPA was AIPO, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization, founded in 1977. This is a forum for ASEAN legislators to discuss and find solutions for regional issues, to promote cooperation, to share information and legislative experience, and to help members achieve common goals. Over the past 30 years, AIPA’s 10 members and 12 observers have contributed to making Southeast Asia a region of peace, stability, cooperation and sustainable development. AIPA has become an important support mechanism of ASEAN at all levels and for its 3 pillars of Security-Politics, Economics, and Culture-Society.  (Source:


Malaysia will be the host of the 36th General Assembly of the AIPA from September 6-12, 2015. (For more photos, please visit the Multimedia Gallery.)


August 15, 2014 - Congressman Victor F. Ortega handed to PSupt. Jovencio Badua, Jr., Deputy Provincial Director for Administration of the La Union Police Provincial Office (LUPPO), the key and pertinent documents for registration of the motorcycle unit which the former donated to the LUPPO in a simple turnover ceremony at the Camp Diego Silang. With him are PSupt. Godfrey Buslotan, Deputy Provincial Director for Operations, and SPO3 Beverly T. Salvador, Secretary of the Provincial Director, who is holding a helmet as part of the motorcycle package.


August 13, 2014 – Students from St. Louis College La Union visited the office of Cong. Victor F. Ortega in the House of Representatives in Quezon City.  Cong. VFO and his wife, former San Fernando City Mayor Mary Jane Ortega warmly received the undergraduates taking up Business Administration, major in Human Resource Development Management.  Class instructor, Ms. Elvira Quinagoran, headed the group.


In the photo are (from left) Cong.VFO, Ms. Cristina Cortez with son Ruben, Cabaroan Brgy. Captain Romulo Ancheta, and DZNL Manager Ruben Ballesteros

Aug. 1, 2014, San Fernando, La Union - Rosita Estanislao Cortez of Barangay Cabaroan, San Juan, La Union was struck by lightning on June 19, 2014.  Financial assistance to her bereaved family in the amount of 10,000 was received by daughter, Cristina Cortez.  Cong. Ortega asked DZNL Aksyon Radyo La Union to give advisories to the listening public not to go out in the fields during typhoons to avoid a tragedy such as this. 


July 28, 2014 - Senator Pia Cayetano visited the office of Congressman Victor F. Ortega of the First District of La Union with her Portuguese guests, Raquel Cristina Baptista Leite and Nuno Gonçalo Esteves da Cruz.  They were given a virtual tour of the different towns in the First District of La Union through the photo collection of products displayed in the wall panels, such as the honey and silk of Bacnotan, the tobacco plants of Balaoan, the weaving of Bangar, the organic vegetables of San Gabriel, the basket weaving of Sudipen, as well as the waterfalls of Santol, the watchtower or Baluarte of Luna, the Botanical Garden of the City of San Fernando, and surfing in San Juan with the grandson of Cong. Ortega, Joseph Ortega Pollisco, on the surfboard.  They were also shown a beautiful photograph of the image of the miraculous Our Lady of Namacpacan which is enshrined in the church of St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Luna.  Former Mayor Mary Jane C. Ortega gave a copy of the biography she wrote on her husband, Victor, entitled SEASONS OF LIFE - ABEL ITI BIAG NI VICTOR, translated as Tapestry of Victor's Life.  The dedication of the book read: "To Senator Pia Cayetano - the Godmother of the health programs of the First District of La Union..."


In this photo, Cong. Victor F. Ortega delivers his inspirational message.  Looking on are former San Fernando City Mayor Mary Jane C. Ortega, City Schools Division of San Fernando (La Union) Superintendent Fatima R. Boado, La Union Governor Manuel C. Ortega, Mr. Idris M. Tayeb Lamin, Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of Libya, and Mr. Virgilio B. Lumicao, former chief proofreader, reporter and sub-editor of The Philippines Daily Express. (Photo courtesy of Wendell Tangalin)


July 8, 2014 - The Francisco and Corazon Ortega Foundation, Inc. with the Department of Education of the City of San Fernando under Superintendent Fatima R. Boado organized a Lecture series on Literature at the Diego Silang Hall in the Provincial Capitol.  It consisted of two parts.  The first was an echoing of the lecture on Ilocano writer Manuel E. Arguilla held last June 17 at the Municipal Hall of Bauang, La Union where Arguilla was born, with National Artist for Literature and another Ilocano pride, Dr. Francisco Sionil Jose, as the guest of honor and speaker.  The second part was the reading of excerpts from THE VANISHING BREED, A Biography of Speaker Pro-Tempore Francisco I. Ortega, a book written by Mary Jane Crisanto-Ortega in 1977 for the occasion of the unveiling of the statue of Speaker Pro-Tempore Ortega by Governor Juvenal K. Guerrero.  This literary event was part of the celebration commemorating the 110th birthday anniversary of the late Speaker Pro-Tempore Francisco “Pacoy” I. Ortega.

Special guests were Idris Tayeb Lamin, Cultural and Media Counselor of the Embassy of Libya to the Philippines, who recited his own composition from his book of poems, Fires of the Sea, Tenderness of the Desert; and Mr. Virgilio Lumicao, who translated the Arabic poems to Filipino.
A highlight of the program was the author, Mary Jane C. Ortega, reading the poem that she wrote:
                                              His was the smile that welcomed me
                                              His was the voice that commanded our respect
                                              His was the heart that loved all his 15 children equally
                                              And still found room to love his in-laws as well.
                                              And in tribute to one whose heart was so big
                                              As to have space for everyone
                                              We gave our son ....his name.
                                              To you, FRANCISCO I. ORTEGA...
                                              We build a memorial not made of stones and
                                                    cold slabs of concrete
                                              We remember you in the temple of vibrant flesh
                                              Through which your own warm blood flows.
After the reading of the poem, the children of the late Speaker Pro-Tempore read various passages from the book.  His eldest son, Congressman Victor Francisco Campos Ortega, who also gave the inspirational message, read the excerpts of the nomination speech made by Rep. Toribio Perez of Albay who quoted Ruskin who once said of political leaders that "for every thousand who can talk, there is but one who can think; and for every thousand who can think, there is but one that can see.  The Honorable Francisco Ortega can talk, and think and see at the same time."  Cong. Victor also quoted Rep. Domingo Veloso of Leyte who said, "Pacoy, as his intimates call him, has an ever charming personality, one that fascinates the hater, one that disarms the attacker; such that no one can easily deny him."  Cong. Victor added that his father hated no one and had no enemies but the stress of politics took a toll on his health.
Superintendent Boado gave the response on behalf of the DepEd Schools Division of San Fernando and thanked the Ortega clan in sponsoring the Lecture Series on Literature to encourage the English teachers to write and be aware of local literature.  
As the program drew to a close, copies of the biography of Cong. Victor F. Ortega entitled SEASONS OF LIFE - Abel iti Biag ni Victor, also written by his wife, Mary Jane C. Ortega, were distributed to the different schools represented.  
In closing, the emcee-author, Mary Jane, read the Preface of The Vanishing Breed.  The first and last paragraphs are quoted below:
I had known Francisco "Pacoy" Ortega when age had mellowed his fiery stance, when politics, for him, had become a remote, enigmatic friend. I saw him in the sunset of his life and shared with him and his family, a dream of another day which he hoped would be kind to his progenitors.
This is the story of a man's life which was dedicated to politics.  He had not made politics a means to an end or as a mere phase of his life.  For him, politics was sacred and should be entered into only by those with a vocation for public service.  Francisco I. Ortega, a lawyer, embraced politics as a career.  As a loser or as a winner, he had been in the scene from 1927 until 1965, a span of 38 years.  He was appointed on Christmas day of 1966 as Commissioner of COMELEC but his term was ended by his passing away on March 20, 1967. It is, therefore, inevitable that this personal biography would touch on the political climate of the changing times.

July 8, 2014 - Congressman Ronald M. Cosalan of the Lone District of Benguet and Chairman of the Committee on Public Works and Highways at the House of Representatives visited the public works projects in La Union. The staff of the Committee are shown in a photo with Congressman Cosalan (in white shirt) and Congressman Victor F. Ortega, a member of the committee, who hosted the group with a luncheon held at the Ortega ancestral home in the City of San Fernando.  Also in the picture is District Engineer Ray Elaido.


June 28, 2014 - The Province of La Union and the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG) honored the second batch of graduates of the Master in Public Management (MPM) program in Recognition Rites held at the Provincial Capitol.  Dr. Antonette Palma-Angeles, Vice President for the Ateneo Professional Schools was the guest of honor and keynote speaker.  Dr. Antonio G.M. La Viña, Dean of ASoG, also delivered a speech on the continuing partnership of the Ateneo and La Union. 
There will be 17 graduating students from La Union and all were awarded Certificates of Recognition and Ateneo medallions during the ceremony.  Also given medallions were 5 students who graduated in August last year.  Firth M. McEachern, a consultant of the Provincial Government of La Union, topped this graduating class while the two silver medalists were Ruby Jean N. Balanon, an administrative officer from the Provincial Government and Vicky Barbea B. Dela Torre, an Information Officer of the Commission on Population-Region 1.  Formal graduation ceremonies will be held in Manila on August 9, 2014.
The ASoG MPM program for La Union specializes in Local Governance and is delivered off-campus in association with the local government.  Primary benefactors of the scholarship program include Cong. Victor F. Ortega of the 1st District of La Union, Cong. Eufranio C. Eriguel of the 2nd District of La Union and Cong. Francisco Emmanuel “Pacoy” R. Ortega III of ABONO Partylist.  Other sponsors for the program are the Province of La Union under the leadership of Governor Manuel Ortega and the City of San Fernando headed by Mayor Pablo Ortega.
Guests from Ateneo during the LU-MPM Recognition Day included:
-Dr, Antonette Palma-Angeles, Vice President for the Ateneo Professional Schools
-Dr. Antonio G.M. La Viña, Dean of the Ateneo School of Government 
-Dr. Mario C. Villaverde, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, ASoG
-Dr. Mary Jean A. Caleda, Associate Dean for Research, ASoG, member of the faculty
-Ms. Aurma M. Manlangit, Director, Jaime V. Ongpin Executive Education Program, member of the faculty
-Ms. Amihan R. Perez, Assistant to the Dean of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, member of the faculty and Governance Innovation Report (GIR) coordinator
-Ms. Helen T. Alkuino, ASoG Finance Manager
-Ms. Maricel V. de Guzman, ASoG Academic Program Officer - Public Relations and External Coordinator
-Ms. Anna Karmela F. Zabat, ASoG Academic Program Officer - Student and Alumni Coordinator
-Ms. Corazon S. Rabe, Office of Administration and Finance, ASoG
-Ms. Liwayway D. Bacani, Office of The Registrar, Ateneo Law School
SEASONS OF LIFE - ABEL ITI BIAG NI VICTOR is a a pictorial-biography of Congressman Victor F. Ortega, First District of La Union written by his wife, former Mayor of the City of San Fernando, La Union, Mary Jane Crisanto Ortega. The first copy which was hot from Vibal Publishing Corporation was out in time as the author's gift for the eightieth birthday of Congressman Victor or Manong Victor last June 4, 2014.

In this photo, we have Congressman Victor with wife, Mary Jane, presenting the copy to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte in the Speaker's office.  "Abel iti Biag ni Victor" is the Ilocano phrase that can be translated to "Tapestry of Victor's Life".  Handweaving is the heritage handicraft of the paternal grandmother of Cong. Victor, Francisca Lacsamana Ortega of Bangar, La Union. She married Joaquin Joaquino Ortega, of Cebu, who was appointed the first civilian Filipino Governor of La Union in 1901 and was subsequently elected in the same year. The father of Joaquin was Antonio Ortega who was assigned by the Tabacalera to introduce tobacco farming in La Union.
SEASONS OF LIFE is divided into eight seasons of Cong. Victor's life, as a Congressman; a Governor; Constitutionalist; Public Servant starting with NARIC, Department of Foreign Affairs, Congressional staff of Speaker Cornelio Villareal, Appointed Board Member of La Union, Unopposed elected Vice Governor of La Union; The Student Leader, Lawyer, Academician, and Manager; The Sportsman; The Friend, The Son, Grandson, Brother, and Relative; Best Friend and Husband.

May 10-11, 2014 – The Preparatory Meeting for the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface Meeting with Representatives of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) was held at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, coinciding with the 24th ASEAN Summit.   Standing are Cong. Jose Christopher Belmonte of 6th District of Quezon City, Cong. Raul del Mar of 1st District of Cebu, Cong. Victor F. Ortega of 1st District of La Union, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Deputy Speaker Giorgidi Aggabao of 4th District of Isabela, Cong. Mark Llandro Mendoza of 4th District of Batangas, Cong. Raymond Democrito Mendoza of Party List – TUCP and Rajini Rye, Deputy Executive Director of the Inter-Parliamentary Relations & Special Affairs Bureau of the House of Representatives.  Seated are the liaison officers assigned to each one of the delegates.


April 9, 2014 - Congressman Victor F. Ortega attended the World Urban Forum 7 (WUF7) held in Medellin, Colombia and was present at a session on Rural-Urban Agriculture held at the One UN Room.  He also attended the Global Parliamentarians Forum and the Dialogue for Water and Cities.

The World Urban Forum (WUF) is a non-legislative technical forum organized by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), hosted in a different city every two years, to explore the most pressing issues facing the world today in the area of human settlements, including rapid urbanization and its impact on cities, communities, economies, climate change and policies.  A record 22,000 people attended the Seventh Session of the World Urban Forum, with many describing it as the best ever Forum so far. <>.


Feb. 19, 2014 – Cong. Victor F. Ortega and his wife, former San Fernando City Mayor Mary Jane Ortega warmly received 45 students from Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU), Mid La Union.  The group, a mix of freshmen, sophomores and juniors taking up AB Padm (Public Policy & Program Administration) and AB PSci (Parliamentary Procedures) visited Cong. VFO in his office at the Mitra Building, House of Representatives then were officially recognized as his guests during the regular session.  Professors Tiffany Ruth R. Quinitip, PAdm 108 and Marifel R. Dawey, PSci 103 headed the delegation.


                                               Photo courtesy of APPA-USA

February 13, 2014 - The Association of Philippine Physicians in America, Inc. – APPA-USA led by Dr. Leonor Pagtakhan-So, Dr.  Alexander Fangonil, Dr. Henry Eugenio, Dr. Renato Judalena, and the APPA AUXILIARY led by Ms. Cora Reyes and Ms. Yoly Ortega-Lopez held a Medical Mission at the People’s Hall of the Municipality of Luna.


                                                               Photo courtesy of APPA-USA

Mayor Victor Marron hosted the lunch at his office and the group is seen in a photo taken at the Municipal Hall which was reconstructed in 1906, when the town of Namacpacan was changed to Luna to honor the Luna brothers, Antonio and Juan.  Three hundred patients from various barangays were pre-screened by the Municipal Health Officer, Dr. Primitivo Zambrano but one hundred eleven patients who heard of the medical mission came and were also attended to.


 Photo courtesy of APPA-USA

The APPA-USA doctors were assisted by the La Union Medical Society led by Dr. Aurora Valdez and Dr. Stella P. Mabanag.  Each of the patients went home with free medicines after their consultation and a package of goods, with merienda funded by the APPA group.  Congressman Victor F. Ortega with Governor Manuel C. Ortega hosted the welcome dinner at the Provincial Capitol and the next night after the medical mission, dinner was hosted again by Congressman Ortega and his wife, Mary Jane, who with Rica Ortega-Regala, organized the local preparations.
The Medical Mission was inspired by the Pilgrimage of Our Lady of Namacpacan last 2013 held at Virginia Beach.  Because of the calamity in Tacloban, APPA-USA decided to also have a medical mission in Leyte, aside from the originally planned projects in Dasmarinas, Cavite, Bulacan, and La Union.  
After the whole day medical mission from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., a short tour to the watchtower and the beach of Luna gave the visitors a brief historical background of the town and the arrival of Our Lady of Namacpacan in 1871. From the beach, the group proceeded to the Shrine of Apo Baket and a  mass was celebrated for the group by Rev. Msgr. Alfonso Lacsamana at 5:00 p.m.   The APPA-USA group came to show they cared for the less fortunate among us and in so doing, were refreshed by the gratitude of the townsfolk and were blessed at the Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan.  Namacpacan means to feed, and inspired by Apo Baket, as we fondly call Our Lady of Namacpacan, the APPA-USA fed the people while giving medical assistance.  (For more photos, please visit the Multimedia Gallery.)



January 11, 2014, Baguio City – U.S. Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg welcomes Cong. Victor F. Ortega at the annual Holiday Reception at the Ambassador’s Residence, situated within former American military base, Camp John Hay.  This traditional post-Christmas event is hosted by the current Ambassador with Embassy officials for Philippine Government officials, diplomats, NGOs and friends from the North, thus making it an important representation of solidarity between the United States and the Philippines. (Photo taken from



January 3, 2014 - Congressman Victor F. Ortega and family hosted a post holiday get-together for all accredited members of the press of La Union.  The annual event was held at the Ortega residence in San Fernando City.  (For more photos, please visit the Multimedia Gallery.)
By Mary Jane C. Ortega
In 1986, a group of media practitioners was formed called VVVROMM - for Victor, Vicky San Jose, Voltaire Cabading, Romy, Ortega, Mila Abuan and Mary Jane.  We exchanged current events and analyzed political movements.  When Victor was elected Congressman in 1987, we would gather during Christmas to assess the year past and enjoyed our friendships.  The Christmas get together was transformed to a Media Salo-salo in January and the group was open to all accredited media groups, whether radio or print.
This year, we had 81 accredited groups who attended our get-together.  Joining Cong. Victor in welcoming them were his siblings, Provincial Governor Manoling, City of San Fernando Mayor Pablo, City of San Fernando Councilor Monetski, former Provincial Board Member, Pepe and Executive Assistant to the Governor, Mario.  We had other guests like former Councilor John Orros and Mr. Makoto Ozami, a former Japanese youth volunteer who was assigned to Zambales and Cebu but through his colleague, Ozamu Nakagaki, became our friend.  He is a dental anthropologist and for 35 years, has been spending his vacation in various parts of the Philippines.  This time, he was in Sagada, Bontoc and La Union before going to Manila and back to Tokyo.
In one of the newspapers brought by the media practitioners, an article was about the Senior Citizens Center donated by VP Jejomar Binay in Naguilian.  I then had a quiz and asked them who built the first Senior Citizens Center in San Fernando City and when?  Cong. Victor had the Senior Citizens Center built even before the Senior Citizens Law was enacted, when he turned 60 years old in 1994.  When I turned 60 in 2001, I was then Mayor of the city and a Senior Citizens Hall and Home was constructed in Barangay Camansi. 
Although majority of the media practitioners present were either senior citizens or about to become one, there were several who were young and were third generation journalists.  Together, we welcomed the New Year and Victor and I wished each one a year where they would receive the three Gs - God’s Blessings, Good Health, and Gold.


September 20, 2013 - Congressman Raul del Mar of Cebu City,  and Congressman Victor F. Ortega of the First District of La Union, Current Chairman and Immediate Past Chairman respectively, of the Committee of Interparliamentary Relations and Diplomacy of the House of Representatives, prepare for the meeting of the Committee on Political Affairs of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) in Brunei. It was the first time that Brunei Darussalam hosted AIPA, since they have been observers for several years until they recently formed their Legislative Council that qualified them to be regular members.



May 15, 2013 - Cong. Victor F. Ortega was recently proclaimed as the Congressman elect for the First District of the Province of La union, garnering 97.45% of the votes . He was proclaimed by the members of The Provincial Board of Canvassers including Vice Chairman Danilo C. Bumacod, Provincial Prosecutor Atty. Rhodora G. Arrocena (Acting Provincial Election Supervisor) and Member-Secretary Dr. Rowena C. Banzon, CESO VI  and Schools Division Superintendent at the Speaker Pro Tempore Francisco I. Ortega Legislative Building of the Province of La Union.



Congressman Victor F. Ortega Receives Outstanding Congressman Award

Congressman Victor F. Ortega was recently recognized as one of the outstanding congressmen for the year 2012. He received his award at the Outstanding Congressman Awards held at a luncheon ceremony the Mandarin Oriental Makati on Feb. 6, 2013. The awards are in its 20th year honoring Outstanding District and Party List Representatives and is being organized by Superbrands Marketing International Inc. (SMI), a leader in global branding that pays tribute to exceptional leadership in many different categories in private and public service. (In photo from left to right: Cong. Jun Omar C. Ebdane, Cong. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles, Cong. Susan Yap, Cong. Ortega, Cong. Lani Mercado-Revilla, Cong. Mark Llandro L. Mendoza and Cong. Anthony Rolando  T. Golez, Jr. )




CURE- The Sea

Sponsored by the Hon.Congressman Victor F. Ortega from his Congressional funds with the support of the City of San Fernando under Mayor Pablo C. Ortega, the Department of Education under City Division Superintendent Linda Laudencia, Rotary Club of San Fernando under President Ed Regala, the Red Cross La Union-San Fernando Chapter under Chairman Jayjay Orros, and lifeguards under Councilor Alfred Ortega, a new project, CURE-The Sea, was launched.


It will focus on educating the Filipino youth, starting with the children of the City of San Fernando, about the marine environment. The protection of coral reefs is necessary as it directly influences the lives and livelihoods of millions who depend on the coral reef ecosystem. CURE-The Sea stands for Children Understand Respect the Environment- The Sea.  It intends to:


• Promote enhancement of education in marine ecology, in particular reef ecology to give a better understanding of coral reef ecosystems and their impacts not just on marine life, but on the lives and livelihoods of Filipinos and other peoples.

• Strengthen environmental awareness in youth through marine fieldwork.

• Increase the understanding of the consequences of climate change and its impact on the marine environment.

• Show why nearly invisible life is visibly essential.


Lectures on marine ecology, especially reef conservation and protection, are given by the resident Marine Biologist Laura Riavitz, who is an Austrian marine consultant for the Province of La Union. The program in 2012 focused on the marine education of 1,796 Grade VI pupils of twenty-six (26) public elementary school. The whole program is for free for the children and includes:


• Transportation

• Use of Snorkeling gear (snorkel and mask), life jackets

• Safety due to Life Guards and the volunteering help of the Red Cross

• Using the Facility of Blue Horizon for free courtesy of the owners, Dr. and Mrs. Antonio Orencia

• Lunch


The Department of Education schools division superintendent, Dr. Linda Laudencia, program supervisors, school principals/heads and Science Teachers were introduced first to the program before taking out the students. The program includes a lecture on reef ecology and the importance for the humans, a beach exploration and subsequently a snorkeling field trip. The safety is assured by the lifeguards of Red Cross and the La Union Life Guards and additionally, every participant needs to wear a life jacket. The underwater exploration is documented with an underwater camera. The location is at Brgy Canaoay at Poro Point at the Blue Horizon Resort, former Blue Lagoon where the lectures and snorkeling fieldtrips can be conducted. After finishing the program (3-4 hours) the children will be brought back to their school.


For more photos, please visit the Multimedia Gallery.