GIVEN his family background, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial candidate San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito Estrada could have easily entered showbiz and starred in a number of movies. After all, he is the son of former president Joseph Ejercito Estrada, one of the greatest Filipino movie stars of all time and San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez, a well known-actress in the 1960s.
JV could have joined child star Niño Muhlach had he decided to enter showbiz. But the San Juan solon admitted in previous television interviews that acting is not his forte.
“Unang una, noon pa mang bata pa ako mahiyain na ako eh. Pangalawa, sa tingin ko hindi ako artistahin kaya hayaan na lang natin sa mga artistahin ang showbiz,” the young lawmaker told well-known TV host Boy Abunda when he recently guested in the show “The Bottomline with Boy Abunda.”
While he idolizes his father and is proud of his achievements, Ejercito Estrada said the former president’s feat in showbiz would be difficult to surpass or even replicate.
“Nakakahiya naman kasi superstar si daddy (Erap) tapos gagawin akong kontrabida, kaya hindi na lang ako nag-artista,” he said.
He may not have made a career out of acting, but the San Juan solon made good use of his entrepreneurial skills and succeeded in business ventures. Aside from inheriting his mother’s business acumen, JV attributes his accomplishments in the business world to his passion for the field as well as the training he received from Xavier School.
“I have always wanted to become a businessman. Kaya nga ako ipinasok sa Xavier School na kung saan ang mga anak ng mga business tycoon undergo early business training. After college, I went into business dahil doon ako nakalinya,” said Ejercito Estrada.
Before he entered politics, JV was able to put up a number of successful business ventures. “I was into construction at mayroon din akong mga fast-food restaurants.”
The young legislator’s entrepreneurial skills benefited the city of San Juan where he served as its chief executive for three terms. Under his watch, the municipality was able to increase its revenues to P1 billion, from P300 million in six years.
San Juan was also cited by the Commission on Audit (COA) as the municipality with the highest gross income, cash in bank, and placed second with the highest income and current assets, and recognized by the Commission on Audit as the best fiscally-managed municipality in the Philippines.
Due to Ejercito Estrada’s sound financial management, San Juan was the only local government unit in the country to be given an “AA” credit rating in 2001-2003 by the Local Government Unit Guaranty Corporation, the highest rating among the local government units.
As representative of the lone district of San Juan, Ejercito Estrada was able to file 149 House Bills and 18 House Resolutions. JV was co-author of the “Batas Kasambahay” or the Domestic Workers’ Act signed by President Aquino on Jan. 18 which would shield kasambahays from abusive employers.
Despite his numerous achievements, JV does not want to rest on his laurels because he understands that much work needs to be done to improve the plight of his fellow Filipinos. The young lawmaker said he developed an empathy for the plight of the poor while he was growing up. His parents may be relatively well off but the young JV interacted with people from all walks of life and enjoyed playing traditional Pinoy games such as “tumbang preso,” “patintero,” and “taguan pung” in the streets with other kids.
“Ang hindi alam ng marami lumaki rin ako sa kalye. Since the age of five, my mom had let me play with other kids in the neighborhood kaya kahit na nagmula ako sa magandang pamilya natutunan ko ang buhay sa kalye and that keeps me grounded until now,” said Ejercito Estrada.
February 19, 2013