ASIDE from allotting 30 percent of the national budget to Mindanao, Partido Galing at Puso presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe also vowed to address poverty directly by creating more than one million jobs a year.
Poe made the bold commitment during her return to Mindanao, home to 11 of the 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines.
The senator, who met with supporters in Butuan City (Agusan del Sur), said the problem with peace and order can only be solved by addressing poverty, not resorting to violence.
“Pangako ko mahigit isang milyong trabaho ang idadagdag ko taon-taon, [I promise to provide more than one million jobs every year],” she said.
Poe went to Butuan after a quick trip to Surigao del Norte, where she was endorsed by Surigao del Norte Rep. Guillermo Romarate Jr. and Robert Ace Barbers of the Nacionalista Party (NP).
Romarate and Barbers ditched Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd, choosing to support Poe after consultations with local leaders of the province.
Romarate said they decided to support Poe because of her concrete plans for Mindanao particularly her plan to allot bigger fund for the region.
“We believe that her clear and concise platforms will usher in an era of good governance, where corruption and criminality are drastically stamped out,” he said.
Surigao del Norte is the 25th poorest province in the Philippines with 33 percent of the population living below the poverty line. The same is true for Surigao del Sur, where 32.8 percent are poor. In Agusan del Norte, three of 10 people are considered poor.
Poe ended her visit to Mindanao, a known bailiwick of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, with a campaign rally in Cabadbaran, where she was welcomed by some 10,000 supporters. Cabadbaran is where the Kelleys — maternal relatives of her father Fernando Poe Jr. — are from.
“If there are any members of our police who will abuse their powers, I will make sure that they do not remain in their post for another day,” she said.