PAMPANGA seems to be playing a big factor on the candidacy of the nation's leaders, as it on the top list of their places to visit even before the start of campaign season.

On Sunday, November 14, Partido Reforma standard bearer Senator Ping Lacson and runningmate Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, together with some of their senatoriables, visited anew Pampanga to meet with youth at the LausGroup Event Centre.

The tandem said it was their fourth time to visit the province together after the first one when they met with the business sector, followed by their courtesy call to Governor Dennis Pineda, and the most recent when they held a forum with barangay officials and residents in Mexico town.

Sotto said their meeting with Kapampangan businessmen became a significant factor in pursuing their plans to run for president and vice president, respectively.

He said that during their meeting with the business sector, around 15 Kapampangans aired the problems they are facing especially during this pandemic.

"Kasama ang Pampanga e, nung kami ay magdesisyon kasi nga umikot kami rito nung kami ay at kausap namin ang mga businessmen at napakabigat ng feedback nila sa amin. Kaya iyon ang isa sa nakita namin na dapat gawin talaga namin for the good of the entire country as far as business sector is concern," Sotto said.

Lacson, for his part, said they frequently visit Pampanga as it is considered one of the biggest business hubs in the country outside of Metro Manila.

"Gusto namin marinig ang mga hinaing ng both business owners and workers, and at the same time ilatag at maipaliwanag sa kanila kung ano iyong aming programa tungkol naman sa ekonomiya," Lacson said.

In particular, Lacson vowed to ensure the recovery of economy amid this ongoing pandemic by implementing stop gap measures.

"Itong Covid-19 hindi pa naman ito aalis, at least in the near future. Nagmumutate, dumadami so wala talagang trade-off between health and economy, talagang mahirap pagpilian kaya kailangan natin gumawa ng programa para diyan," he said.

Among the programs eyed to be implemented by Lacson are restructuring of government cash aid initiative Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, paid internships to college students and graduates, and digitalization of government processes.

Aside from Lacson and Sotto, also present were aspiring senators Minguita Padilla, Monsour Del Rosario and Guillermo Eleazar.

The Lacson-Sotto tandem are the third group of national candidates to visit Pampanga since the start of filing of candidacy.

Just like the tandem, presidentiable Vice President Leni Robredo also disclosed during her visit that Kapampangans played a big role in her decision to pursue her bid for presidency.