Manny Pacquiao hangs up his alias “Pac-man” and starts his fight for his country as a “congressman” for the start of the 15th Congress of the Philippines.
It is believed that Manny Pacquiao, already master of the boxing ring in 7 different weight divisions, a professional actor and singer, a military reservist and a married father of four, is now turning his attentions to his country. A basic rundown of the Philippine political system in terms of structure has similarities to that of the UK Parliament. There is a lower chamber which has of The House of Representatives of the Philippines and within it congressman, such as Pacquiao. This is similar to the House of Commons which is made up of Members of Parliament each representing one of the 650 constituencies. In the Philippines there are 212 legislative districts each consisting of circa 250,000 people so Pacquiao is probably aware that he has some political challenges ahead of him but going on his past record you wouldn’t be judged for thinking he might just succeed in this role as well. Again drawing on the similarities with the UK system there is an upper tier, like the House of Lords, which is known as the Senate and together they make up the National Legislature of the Republic of Philippines.
It has been claimed a congressman’s role has many dimensions including (but not limited to) being an ambassador, an advocate, drafting legislation, providing political leadership and of course the typical speech giving on TV and radio. It seems Pacquiao really has taken on a monumental challenge but in light of this he does not appear to have a well known political background. It is claimed he will be given political training to help him in the role but many seem to believe his popularity will see him through any hard times.
The next three years, and possibly the next 12 years if he stays as popular with his people, are certainly going to be an interesting new journey for him and many will be with us in saying we hope he brings positivity to a country that needs honest hard working men like Pacquiao in politics. Perhaps the UK could do with a few more popular celebrities in its political system to help boost its morale and interest from the people!