3 senatorial candidates lay out platforms in media forum
Sandy Araneta (The Philippine Star) - February 5, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Three senatorial aspirants yesterday presented their platforms if elected in the upcoming midterm elections in May.

Former senator Ernesto Maceda, former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairman Grace Poe-Llamanzares and San Juan City Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito discussed issues that could help improve the country’s development during a forum at the Manila Diamond Hotel.

Maceda cited the lack of jobs, criminality and corruption as the three principal problems of the country.

Maceda said he would propose an increase in the budget of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to address criminality.

He urged President Aquino, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima “to do a better job in cleaning up the police force.”

Maceda said the police-community relations should also be strengthened. He also called for the abolition of the National Police Commission (Napolcom).

At present, he said the Aquino administration is creating one million jobs a year, but the target should be three million jobs per year.

Maceda also called for a review of the Local Government Code.

“The purpose of the review is to find out what functions and responsibilities could be further decentralized or devolved,” he said.

Poe, meanwhile, said she decided to run for the Senate to pursue the program of her father, the late Fernando Poe Jr., dubbed as “Altanghap” or almusal, tanghalian and hapunan (breakfast, lunch, dinner) for the poor.

She said there is a pending bill in Congress on standard feeding program.

“But what I want is a standard lunch program in all public schools. This is a big help since a lot of children stop going to school not because they lack money to pay for tuition but they don’t have ‘baon’ for lunch,” she added.

Once elected as senator, Poe said she will strengthen the farmers’ group. She said there are about five million farmers, but only 200,000 are insured under the Philippine Crop Insurance Co.

She also vowed to address unemployment and underemployment.

According to Poe, the chairman and commissioners of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as well as the chief PNP should not be appointed by the President.

For his part, Ejercito believes that education is the only way out of poverty.

He said he fought for higher subsidies in state universities and colleges as House member.

Ejercito said he also plans to help lower income municipalities increase their revenues to improve the delivery of basic services to constituents.

He also cited the need to improve the agriculture and fisheries programs and create more jobs to further boost the economy.

“Even if the economy is improving, it has not been felt by our countrymen. We have to address unemployment and underemployment,” he said.
 

DIRECTOR GENERAL ALAN PURISIMA EJERCITO ERNESTO MACEDA FERNANDO POE JR. GRACE POE-LLAMANZARES AND SAN JUAN CITY REP INTERIOR SECRETARY MAR ROXAS JOSEPH VICTOR EJERCITO LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE MACEDA MANILA DIAMOND HOTEL
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