Carl Balita rejects spending for 2022 Senate bid, to rely on word of mouth campaign

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 16 2021 04:27 PM

Radio show host entrepreneur Carl Balita files his certificate of candidacy for senator under Aksiyon Demokratiko at the Harbor Garden tent of Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on October 7, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Radio show host entrepreneur Carl Balita files his certificate of candidacy for senator under Aksiyon Demokratiko at the Harbor Garden tent of Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on October 7, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Aksyon Demokratiko senatorial candidate Carl Balita on Tuesday said he would not spend his family’s money for television advertisements and tarpaulins to boost his awareness and survey numbers in the 2022 senatorial elections.

In a recent SWS survey, Balita ranked 30th in the list of senatorial aspirants if the elections were held in October.

“My money belongs to my family. The hard-earned money I have is something I want to protect,” he said in a virtual press conference “Pandesal Forum.”

“Successful businessman does not mean I have so much money to spend. I am very diligent in how I spend my money,” he said.

Balita, a licensed nurse and midwife, owns several review centers for board examinees across the country, and 2 resorts in his home province Oriental Mindoro.

“If this is going to be a business, I am going to put all my money, but this is public service,” he said.

Instead of using a chunk of his money to increase his public awareness months before the May elections, Balita said he is counting on his network of graduates and supporters to spread word about his maiden candidacy.

The Carl Balita Review Center has produced about 1 million professionals in the Philippines, the Aksyon Demokratiko senatorial bet said.

“I’m a niche marketer. I don’t need to sell to every one. I just need 18 million votes,” he said.

“But I still need everybody’s support… My awareness is still low,” he said.

“I am 100 percent sure I helped a lot of people who are willing to help me back and I will capitalize on that.”

BALITA’S PLATFORM AND ‘SACRIFICE’

Balita’s platform centers on “Kalusugan, Kabuhayan at Karunungan” (Health, Livelihood and Learning), which touches on his professional expertise as a medical worker, entrepreneur, and teacher.

“Ang akin pong pinanggagalingan ay hindi ang aking political experience kung ‘di ang aking leadership experience,” he said.

(I am offering my leadership experience, not my political experience.)

“I’m pushing for a better normal,” he said, noting that among the bills he would push for in the Senate is the improvement of the conduct of virtual learning in the Philippines even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m niching myself as a relevant candidate for those who would believe that they need such advocacy and credentials.”

The former radio host said joining the senatorial race was a “sacrifice” on his part as he had to leave his decades-long radio program, and entrust his businesses to his staff as he campaigns around the country.

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Balita and the rest of the Aksyon Demokratiko slate have been visiting provinces, holding dialogues with various sectors so that the party - headed by standard bearer and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso - can come up with community-centered platforms when the official campaign period begins in February 2021.

“I want to call this as sacrifice because this is a road less traveled for me,” he said.

“I had to give up my 20-year-old show. I had to let my people run my business. Malayo ako sa pamilya ko,” he said.

But Balita said he is happy to be included in the Manila Mayor’s 2022 ticket, even if he landed on the 30th spot in pre-election surveys about half a year before the elections.

“I only have a 33-day campaign activity [so far],” he said.

“I’m just starting. I still have 5 months to go.”