The House of Representatives is mourning the demise of former Deputy Speaker and Cebu City Rep. Raul V. del Mar, a veteran lawmaker admired by his colleagues for his commitment to public service and exemplary performance as a legislator.
Del Mar died in Manila on November 16. He was 79.
Together with Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco extended the condolences of the Lower House to Del Mar’s family and to his constituents in Cebu.
“Representative Del Mar proved his passion and commitment to public service by religiously attending plenary sessions and public hearings of the House of Representatives in order to fulfill his duties and mandate as a lawmaker,” said Velasco.
The Cebuano solon served with distinction as a House member and registered a perfect attendance in plenary sessions during his 27 years as congressman.
“His contributions to Congress and the nation cannot be overstated, having served a total of nine terms as congressman since 1987. He was a mentor to me and many others. He would have been a deputy speaker under my term,” said Velasco.
Del Mar’s diligence as a lawmaker did not go unnoticed by many of his colleagues, including Romualdez.
“Rep. Del Mar will be terribly missed in the halls of Congress, where he devoted most of his public life crafting legislation that aims to improve our people’s living conditions. At a ripe age of 79, he never got tired of reporting for work to serve his constituents even at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Del Mar authored 51 bills during the 18th Congress where he is serving his third and final term as Cebu City representative.
Among the legislative measures he filed included House Bill 0012 strengthening the people’s right to information; HB 0016 for the construction of Light Rail Transit or Metro Rail Transport in Cebu; HB 494 providing for the venue of the criminal and civil action in libel cases against community or local journalists, publications or broadcast stations and HB 7899 proposing to institutionalize the social amelioration program in quarterly tranches per annum.
He was also among the principal authors of Republic Act 11463 that established the Malasakit program and institutionalized the delivery of medical and financial assistance to poor Filipinos, and RA 11476 that institutionalized values education in kindergarten up to Grade 3. Del Mar is survived by his wife, Melanie, and children former Rep. Rachel “Cutie” and Raoul Del Mar.