2022 presidential aspirants continue to court sectors

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 05 2021 04:33 PM

MANILA — An "expanded" COVID-19 vaccination program and aid for senior citizens are among the issues that presidential aspirants tackled this weekend as they continued to court support from various sectors for next year's national elections.

In Cebu, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said there was a need to "expand" the government's COVID-19 vaccination program to help the tourism sector.

"First things first: kapanatagan to the tourists and to the workers. Kapag laging pangamba na baka 'yong nagseserbadora sa kaniya ay may COVID o yung kaniya turista may COVID, lahat takot. Kapag lahat takot, mababa ang efficiency level at service," Domagoso told tourism workers in a recent visit at the Cebu Safari and Amusement Park.

"Kapag bakunado ang lahat, tuloy na ang buhay... Bakunahan natin nang bakunahan ang tao," he said.

Domagoso also reiterated his plan of building bridges that would connect Cebu with Bohol and Negros, a move which he said would help boost tourism in the islands.

Sen. Many Pacquiao, meanwhile, said he was pushing for free hospitalization and medical checkups, and maintenance medicine subsidies for senior citizens.

The boxing champion-turned-politician said there is also a need to "modernize the country’s barangay health care system," which would help "de-clog" hospitals that have become overcrowded amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pacquiao said his proposals can be accomplished by stopping "massive corruption" in government.

"If we can stop the massive corruption in our government institutions... we can easily have enough money to help our senior citizens," he said in a statement.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson also touched on corruption as he addressed transport workers in Quezon City on Saturday.

Lacson claimed that he was able to save up to P300 billion in the country's coffers in his years as a lawmaker who monitored the national budget.

"Umaabot na pala ng P300 billion ang nailigtas sa kaban ng bayan doon sa 18 taon ng kabubusisi ko," he said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go said he would provide additional funding for the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, the country's leading COVID-19 testing facility.

Go, who said he would back out from the presidential race but has yet for formalize it, made the statement in a speech on Saturday at the virtual convention of the Philippine Association of Medical Technologists.

The lawmaker, who chairs the Senate health committee, added that he would continue to push for "health-related bills" in the upper chamber, including a measure that aims to give health workers a fixed monthly COVID-19 risk allowance for the duration of the current State of Emergency in the country. Go's term as senator ends in 2025.

In Bukidnon, Ferdinand Alexander "Sandro" Marcos represented his father, Bongbong, in an event attended by supporters in Valencia City.

Sandro echoed the message of unity that his father and his running-mate, Sara Duterte-Carpio, often speak about in their visits to parts of the country.

"Ito po ay isang mabigat na laban, ito po ay isang mahirap na daanan na pupuntahan natin pero, sa totoo lang po, basta tayo ay magkakaisa, ang akala natin na mabigat na laban ay biglang magiging magaan," said Sandro, who is also running for congressman in Ilocos Norte.

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