Senatorial bets dish out promises, vow to improve people’s welfare

Marvin Sy - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The campaign for the senatorial elections went full blast yesterday, with the candidates dishing out promises to improve the welfare of the people and attract voters.

Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano launched his bid for reelection yesterday with a vow to address the real concerns of the people, such as high prices of commodities and services, jobs, and low wages.

Cayetano, one of the Senate bets of the Liberal Party-led coalition Team PNoy, kicked off his campaign at the Pritil Market in Tondo, Manila, which he said was historically significant, being the place where Andres Bonifacio sold fans as a young boy during the Spanish era.

He dubbed his platform as PiTiK or presyo, trahabo, kita (prices, jobs, wages), a play on the Filipino term meaning a flick of the finger.

“This campaign is not about me, it is about the people we are fighting for,” Cayetano said.

With his PiTiK platform, Cayetano said that he would push for the lowering of the prices of basic goods and commodities, the creation of more employment opportunities and an increase in the wages of all laborers.

Apart from a tour of the markets, Cayetano said that he would hold consultations with the employees of the manufacturing sector during his campaign.

Sen. Loren Legarda, who is also seeking reelection as a common candidate of Team PNoy and the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), promised to improve education, health care, working conditions, and disaster-resilient communities.

Legarda said that she would also work for the expansion of the college scholarship programs for the indigent but deserving Filipino youth and the improvement of conditions of workers here and abroad.

She said she had worked for the Universal Healthcare Coverage Bill, which she hopes will be enacted soon, and will continue to monitor and ensure that all citizens, especially the poorest patients, have access to free healthcare.

Celebrity endorsers

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, a Team PNoy senatorial candidate, is obviously banking on celebrities to boost his chances of making it to the Senate.

In a television interview, he said after singer Sarah Geronimo, another showbiz celebrity, Coco Martin, would be his next endorser in a new television advertisement.

“We are now shooting the ad with Coco. He’s my friend, we have worked together on some advocacies,” he said.

‘Running’ for senator

Another senatorial candidate, Rep. Teddy Casiño of the party-list group Bayan Muna, is planning to literally run in 33 cities and towns during the 90-day senatorial campaign.

“At least, I will be hitting two birds with one stone. I will be campaigning and keeping myself fit by running around the country,” Casiño said.

He officially started wooing voters for his senatorial bid yesterday by running together with hundreds of his supporters from the corner of Gil Puyat and Taft avenues towards the Senate building in Pasay City.

Crossing party lines, past and present Bulacan political leaders yesterday came together in support for the Senate bid of evangelist Eddie Villanueva, founder of the Jesus is Lord Movement.

Villanueva, the lone senatorial candidate of Bangon Pilipinas, kicked off his campaign in Malolos, Bulacan.

Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Alvarado said only a native son of Bulacan could take care of the province. Villanueva hails from Bocaue town.

“We need allies in the Senate and our best bet is Bro. Eddie Villanueva,” said Alvarado. – With Jess Diaz, Dino Balabo, Paolo Romero

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