PRESIDENTIAL aspirants on Thursday, November 18, 2021, bared their plans if they get elected for the tog government post.

For their first 100 days in office, presidential aspirants Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Panfilo Lacson, Emannuel “Manny” Pacquiao and Christopher “Bong” Go; and Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso vows to impose programs that will help the country and the people overcome the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Robredo said for her, this also includes increasing support for the healthcare workers, improving hospital capacity and making Covid-19 testing more accessible to the Filipinos.

“We will ensure vaccines for all and increase the capacity of Local Health Units to allow them to dispense vaccines on their own. We will not stop at vaccines: We will start stockpiling different Covid treatment medicines and deploy them to areas where there are shortages,” she said during the 47th Philippine Business Conference and Expo organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCII).

Robredo said she will also set aside P216 billion from the national budget for cash assistance (ayuda) distribution in order to protect the families from hunger and provide them with their basic needs without being forced to go to work.

Domagoso said his first 100 days in office will be focused on improving the country’s healthcare system particularly in order for it to cope with the prevailing global pandemic.

He said he will also prepare for other possible outbreaks to minimize its impact to the people and business.

Aside from improving the country’s healthcare system, Pacquiao said he will also dedicate his first 100 days in strengthening the economy which was badly affected by the pandemic including the creation of sustainable jobs and creating better tax collection so the government no longer has to borrow money from international institutions.

Go said he will prioritize the identification of 10 million poorest Filipinos to be able to provide them financial and livelihood assistance as well as to make government interest-free loans more accessible for them.

He said he also aims to double the number of Malasakit Centers in the country.

The Philippines currently has 149 fully operational Malasakit Centers which provide financial medical assistance.

“Every public hospital will have Malasakit Center. We will bring down to the lowest mount as possible if not zero balance the hospital bill of out poor people,” said Go.

Go also eyes signing into law bills seeking the establishment of the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Philippines and the Department of Disaster Resilience.

Lacson on the other hand ensured appropriate funding for the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act and boost free vaccination to all as well as for the provision of free Covid-19 testing and treatment which includes the procurement of newly-developed medicines used against Covid-19 such as Molnupiravir and other anti-viral drugs.

The presidential aspirants also vowed to impose programs to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) survive their business amid the crisis particularly in giving out interest-free loans.

Go said he will continue the programs of President Rodrigo Duterte particularly in increasing the number of Negosyo centers in the country and the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso.

Lacson said he will focus on fiscal stimulus packages, eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, lower interest bigger loans programs from state-run financial institutions, and employee retention incentives for motivation.

He said he will also push for supporting locally-produced products and services to help MSMEs.

Robredo said her administration will protect MSMEs through the passage of a stimulus package of at least P100 billion for the capacity building of critically impacted MSMEs.

“The package will include grants on the condition that they will not lay off any member of their workforce,” she said.

“We will increase the availability of credit to MSMEs through Government Guarantee Programs, and reduce interest rates on loans and extend grace periods on existing loans,” she added.

Citing that almost 4 million Filipinos lost their jobs because of the pandemic, Robredo said she will push for the creation of the National Unemployment Insurance Program which will enhance and consolidate the benefits of the SSS and the GSIS.

“We will give workers who were laid off involuntarily 80 percent of their salary for three months,” she said.

Domagoso and Pacquiao both said they will focus the government’s infrastructure program into providing housing to the Filipinos.

Domagoso said the national government should boost its tax collection in order to fund its infrastructure projects.

Robredo said her infrastructure projects are not only for build-build-build but also for building better.

“The point is not about building more, but about building better, making sure that quality is assured, corruption is eliminated, and the infrastructure we build actually contributes towards making the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable better,” she said.

“This means shifting away from the failed car-centric public budgeting. We need a better balance for a better normal: More bus rapid transits, better service contracts for transport workers, a just transition for transport workers, protected bike lanes, bike racks, safe pathways, better bus stops, and railways for our long-term needs,” Robredo added.