Makilala, North Cotabato: After two days of campaigning in South Cotabato and North Cotabato, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. solidified his hold in Mindanao with the help of his fellow Ilocanos, all mayors, who mobilized to ensure his victory.
Ilocano-speaking Mayor Rudy Caoagdan of this town said his parents are Ilocanos thus, he is a solid Marcos supporter. He vowed to deliver most if not all of the 45,000 votes of his town to Marcos in May.
The other Ilocano mayors are Herlo Guzman Jr. of Kabacan town and Joseph Evangelista of the provincial capital Kidapawan City.
Caoagdan said his town is not only known as the rubber capital of Cotabato but also has the distinction of having the only free college institution in the country.
“This is our contribution to the country. We hope to raise more funds so we can accommodate more students,” he said.
Marcos hailed Makilala Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), saying “if this small town can offer free college, why not the entire state college and universities in the country?”
Marcos is pushing for the inclusion of P18 billion education budget to make all government-run colleges and universities free.
Makilala has a yearly budget of P200 million, P160 million of which is derived from the
Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).
Marcos said he is not campaigning mainly among Ilocanos but all the people of Mindanao, regardless of their lineage.
Also yesterday, the senator called on the government to implement a moratorium on the increase of tuition and other school expenses for the coming school year.
Earlier reports said that around 400 colleges and universities were planning to jack up their fees for academic year 2016-2017.
“I don’t think parents and students could afford additional costs in the tuition fees considering the meager income and still high prices of basic commodities,” Marcos, who is running for vice president as an independent, he said.