Cebu News

Aquino rallies for LP, BOPK in Cebu

Kristine B. Quintas, Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - An estimated 8,000 supporters flocked the Capitol grounds yesterday afternoon for the joint rally of the Bando Osmeña - Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) and the Liberal Party led by no less than President Benigno Aquino III.

"Isa lang ang boto ko. Kailangan ko ang tulong ninyo," Aquino told the crowd, adding, "Yung iba gagawin pa. Kay Roxas nagawa."

Aquino, who won in Cebu in the 2010 elections, said LP's Daang Matuwid is the way to go to continue the P34.8 billion infrastructure projects and more than 7,900 classrooms, among others, his administration has poured in Cebu.

Roxas, for his part, assured he will continue and improve Aquino's conditional cash transfer program dubbed the "Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program" (4Ps).

"Paparamihin at milyon ang idadagdag sa 4Ps para marami pa ang makakapagtapos sa pag-aaral," he said.

According to a recent poll, a huge chunk of voters would pick a president who continues the popular program.

Aside from 4Ps, he said job opportunities will be offered to Cebuanos.

"Tututukan natin ang pagbibigay ng trabaho sa inyo. Ang ating bukas ay puno ng pagkakataon," he said.

"Ipakita natin sa Mayo 9 na marami pa ang disente at tuwid na Pilipino.Ipagpatuloy natin ang tuwid na daan," he added.

His running mate, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, called on Cebuano supporters to work harder to help her stay in the top spot in the surveys.

"Parang impossible noong una… malapit na tayong magtagumpay pero hindi pwede magkampante dahil may 12 days pa bago ang halalan. Doblehin natin pa natin ang sipag," Robredo said.

Senate President Franklin Drilon who is running for re-election backed Roxas' promise.

"Gagawin nating permanente ang 4Ps at additional one million na beneficiaries. Magbibigay din tayo ng malaking budget para mabigyan lahat," he said.

4Ps is the national government's human development measure that provides conditional cash grants to the "poorest of the poor," seeking to improve health, nutrition, and education of individuals from infant to 18 years old.

DSWD-7 said at least 190,780 households benefitted from the program in Central Visayas: 126,951 in Cebu province; 59,994 in Bohol; and 3,835 in Siquijor.

Senator Ralph Recto also has the expansion of the budget, beneficiaries, and coverage of 4Ps as top priority, alongside free health care, education, and establishment of Wi-Fi areas.

Recto said this is part of his HEARTS program, which stands for Health care, Education, Agriculture, Roads and infrastructure, Tourism and Technology, Security and Social protection.

The IT-BPO industry expects to see at least 15 to 18 percent expansion, which translates to 20,000 new job opportunities this year.

He reiterated his promise to create more shipbuilding industry and develop more IT-BPO industry in Cebu, but said faster telecommunications and Internet service should be made available first.

In 2015, an estimated P36.8 billion was released by the BPO sector in terms of salary to employees. Cebu contributes only 10 percent of the outsourcing employment and revenue to the entire IT-BPO sector.

Meanwhile, Coop-Natcco Party-list Congressman Cresente "Mr. Co-op" Paez whom the LP adopted said he will seek to amend the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 if elected to the Senate.

He also said he was responsible for the retention of P8 billion for 4Ps budget this year when congressmen pushed for the budget reduction.

Felicito Pancho, a dried fish vendor who attended the rally, told The Freeman he has yet to decide on a candidate to support but he will vote for one who knows enough about the work, who has principles, and who has integrity.

"Akong gi huna-huna gyud nga ang akong botaran katung nay nindot nga background, honest, naay baruganan ug way agi nga pagka-kurap di pareha anang uban nga daghan kayg anomalya," Pancho said.

"Lisod na kaayu ma sayop tas atung mga desisyon nga buhaton gud dapat mubutar jud," he added.


In a post on Facebook following the rally, BOPK leader Tomas Osmeña apologized for the convenience caused by the event.

"Sorry for the inconvenience again. We originally wanted to hold the rally in the SRP where the IEC was held but the 93-1 families cannot go there by jeepney and we have no buses to transport them. Also, Gov. Junjun wanted to host the event here and the president was here and it's hard to argue with PSG security. I hope you understand. Sorry again and thank you for understanding," part of his post reads.

He said they were able to dismantle the stage, collected garbage, and reopened the major intersection to the public just about 15 minutes after the rally. 


Prior to the rally, Aquino graced the pre-Labor Day employment and job fair of the Department of Labor and Employment 7 at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex.

At least 40 of 529 job seekers were hired during the event.

DOLE spokesperson, Undersecretary Nicon Fameronag, said 337 male and 192 females registered for the fair.

"People who are not hired on the spot may have lack requirements-hindi nakapagdala ng bio-data, passport, birth certificate and clearances… we will find out thru employers. They (employers) are required to report to the DOLE…those job applicants who were not able to make it today, good luck, meron pang job fairs coming kahit walang Labor day," Fameronag said.

Most of the applicants are hired under manufacturing, hotel and tourism as well as construction. — With Christell Fatima M. Tudtud and Chleiv Von Garcia (FREEMAN)

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