The opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) took its campaign to the country’s capital Manila on Sunday.
Before barnstorming different areas in Tondo, Manila in a motorcade, the party’s standard bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay sought the support of the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center (CGHMC) community along with his running mate Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan and UNA’s senatorial slate.
“One, he (Binay) is really close to members of the Filipino-Chinese [General] Chamber [of Commerce Inc.]and the other one the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association [Inc.], and Dr. James Dy is a friend,” UNA spokesperson Mon Ilagan told reporters.
During his speech at the hospital’s packed auditorium, Binay vowed to be a decisive leader and to appoint what he said were Cabinet members who have experience and capability.
“I hope the one who will be elected is one who has executive ability…a decisive leadership. Not like in Mamasapano. In my administration, a Mamasapano incident will not happen again. I will be a decisive leader. And I will confront the problem, I will not hide from that,” Binay said.
Also present were former Manila Mayor and now Buhay party-list Rep. Jose “Lito” Atienza and his son Manila Councilor Ali Atienza, who is running for Vice-Mayor.
Ilagan said that they were “very optimistic and very positive” because of the warm welcome Binay received, noting that officials of the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association Inc. were there as well as several Chinese businessmen and several hospital employees.
“And they also liked Vice President Binay’s program to push for good relations with the private sector so that our fellowmen will have jobs,” he said.
Dy, in a speech, expressed support for Binay’s candidacy.
“Our organizations – the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association, Inc., Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center, and the Filipino Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Inc., – my entire clan, and the 1.5 million strong Chinese Filipino community of qualified voters are behind you in this challenge to lead our country to progress,” he said.
“We will give you our 100 percent support to make a difference in our future,” Dy added.
Binay meanwhile vowed to implement the Makati Yellow Card program nationwide if he is elected President.
Under the said program, beneficiaries are provided free maternal, child and elderly care; free outpatient consultations and medicines, and; government-subsidized hospitalization, on top of PhilHealth benefits.
Binay added, “I promise you, there will be health centers in the whole Philippines. Not just health centers, facilities are also needed. Because there are a lot of health centers, but lack the needed equipment. Medicine provided are lacking.”
He also said that he will work for a 1:1 ratio of one rural health worker for every health center.
After the short program at the CGH, UNA went on a motorcade in Tondo 1, 2, and 3 in Manila.
“Tondo can be considered a bulwark in Manila. Every time that there is a flood, every time that there is a calamity, every time that there is fire, that there is a problem in Manila, the first government official who is immediately there is Vice President Binay to extend help. So he is really close to the masses, close to Manila residents considering the fact that he has the support of Congressman Lito Atienza and several officials in going around today, so that is how close and loved Vice President Binay is…here in Manila that is why he always goes back,” Ilagan said during an interview at the hospital.
Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has yet to decide whether to support his opposition colleague Binay or Sen. Grace Poe who is the daughter of his best friend, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr.