PRESIDENTIAL aspirant Senator Grace Poe vowed Wednesday to establish a Malacañang satellite in Pangasinan, the home province of her late adoptive father Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ), if she is elected in the May 9 elections.
Speaking to a crowd of over 5,000 in San Nicolas, Pangasinan, Poe acknowledged the huge support Pangasinenses have given her in 2013 senatorial race, as well as her father in the 2004 presidential elections.
"When FPJ ran in 2004, Pangasinan is the first one to declare that he is Filipino, a kind person, and a Pangasinan resident. And when I ran in 203, even when I am a foundling, Pangasinan owned me and declared that I’m a child of Pangasinan, that’s why I was number one here in 2013,” Poe said.
"When I become president, I will not turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to your needs. Malacañang must not only be found in Manila; I will have an office in every region so it will be easier for you to address your needs to me. And of course, one of the first offices I will build is here in Pangasinan," she added.
Poe said she would ensure that the promised access to education for indigent students and free irrigation for farmers will benefit the people of the province.
The senator also promised to improve the healthcare of senior citizens.
She also sought for a program that would provide employment for senior citizens who are still physically able and mentally sharp to work again.
Senior citizens, people aged 60 and above, constitute seven percent or around six million of the Philippine household population in 2010.
Further, she said, the government must utilize all mechanisms to ensure local communities have full access to essential medicines, and must ensure that public health facilities are well-equipped to serve the marginalize sectors of society, such as the elderly.
Poe cited the 2012 report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which showed that medicines account for more than half of out-of-pocket expenditures of Filipino patients. A December 2015 survey also found that health was the top concern of Filipinos.
She added that PSA report found that 66 percent of Filipinos seek medical care from public hospitals, rural health units and barangay health centers.
Poe was with her running mate, Senator Francis Escudero, and some of their senatorial bets when she visited Pangasinan. They were welcomed and accompanied in their town visits by local officials and Abono party-list group chair Rosendo So.
The vote-rich Pangasinan has 1.7 million registered voters. (Sunnex)