Nov 04 2015 12:00am

Mar defends admin programs

MANILA, Philippines - Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II visited vote-rich Pangasinan yesterday and defended the government's programs.

Roxas held a multi-sectoral consultation with local leaders in San Carlos City, Rosales town and at the Malimgas market in Dagupan City.

The LP standard bearer reiterated the need to continue the Aquino administration's daang matuwid (straight path) policy which led the country to achieve a lot because of the reforms implemented by the President.

"I am not here to campaign. I am here to introduce myself to you," he told residents of Rosales. 

Pangasinan has about 1.6 million registered voters, making it the third most vote-rich province in the country after Cebu and Cavite.

"For me what is important is to be given the chance, a chance to introduce myself, a chance to present my platform, a chance to express what we are fighting for. What we are fighting for is simple - the Filipino family and the opportunity to fulfill their dreams," he pointed out.

Roxas said he wants to provide jobs and to ensure that workers would have better lives. He also defended the controversial Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which critics claimed is prone to corruption.

The program provides cash incentives to poor families who send their children to school and who avail themselves of health services provided by the government.

"Through the 4Ps, Filipino families are given a concrete way to see their children graduate. Education is really the path towards a bright future," Roxas said.

"Many are saying they will replace or change the 4Ps. We will defend the 4Ps and expand it," he added.

Roxas stressed that the program is not about personalities or politics.

Meawhile, three women lawmakers from Pangasinan have declared their support for the presidential bid of Roxas.

Reps. Rose Marie Arenas, Gina de Venecia and Marlyn Agabas joined Roxas in his visits here, and in San Carlos City and Rosales town yesterday, where he met with leaders of multi-sectoral groups and spoke at the launch of the TODA (Tricycle Operators Drivers Association) Rescue project.

Dagupan Mayor Belen Fernandez, a Liberal Party re-electionist mayor, welcomed Roxas.

Former lawmaker Ma. Rachel Arenas, daughter of Rep. Rose Marie Arenas, was among Pangasinan leaders present to boost Roxas' candidacy.

San Carlos City Mayor Julier Resuello and his brother and Vice Mayor Joseres led residents in welcoming Roxas.

The city is considered a bailiwick of another presidential contender Grace Poe, as her father, the late king of Philippine movies Fernando Poe Jr., was from here.

Urdaneta City Mayor Amadeo Gregory Perez IV and Calasiao Mayor Mark Roy Macanlalay were also present to assist Roxas.

The women lawmakers cited Roxas' contributions to the province when he was senator and secretary of the departments of trade and industry, and the interior and local government. - With Eva Visperas  



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