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Legarda To Mar: Prove Your Pro-Poor Agenda

March 23, 2010

NP-NPC-LDP VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE LOREN LEGARDA YESTERDAY CHALLENGED RIVAL MAR ROXAS TO PROVE HIS “PRO-POOR” AGENDA AND SHOW CONCRETE PROGRAMS OF POVERTY ALLEVIATION AND IMPROVED SOCIAL SERVICES.
She said Roxas has aggravated the struggle of poor Filipinos in the Cheaper Medicines Act that actually provides for “parallel importation” and selective decrease in the price of medicines. She also contested Roxas’ image as Mr. Palengke, saying the former Trade Secretary has not done much to keep the prices of basic market commodities low.
“Tuwing bumibisita ako sa mga palengke, ang hinaing ng mga nagtitinda at mga mamimili, ‘Ma’am, bakit sabi sa commercial mura ang gamot pero di pa rin namin kayang bilhin? Pati po mga bilihin sa palengke ang mamahal pa rin? Di na namin kaya ang araw-araw na gastos dahil sa taas ng presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin,’” she said.
Legarda said that beyond TV ads, Roxas must show genuine support for the masses, “Patunayan niya na sya ay pro-poor tulad ko. Ano ba ang aking mga nagawang batas at ano ang mga ginawa nya?”
She cited her accomplishments at the legislative front in the Senate as having authored bills and laws that benefit the poor of the country. Among them are laws that expand the benefits of senior citizens and exempting them from the VAT, amendments to further modernize the agro-fisheries sector, the Magna Carta for micro, small- and medium-enterprises (MSMEs) that provides greater opportunity for micro & small enterprises to secure capital, the revisions to the Agri-Agra Law that gives more focus in providing farmers, fisherfolk and agrarian reform beneficiaries with credit facilities, the implementation of agriculture and agrarian reform laws, climate change mitigation, post-harvest facilities for farmers, better access of farmers to credit, among others.
“Hindi ako pinalaki sa yaman. Nagsumikap ako hanggang sa nagtagumpay. Nagtrabaho ako at wala akong inaasahanag mana sa mga magulang ko. Hindi kagaya nung ibang kandidato na lumaki sa marangyang buhay at hindi ni minsan nakatikim ng hirap,” she said.
“I am also fighting for the opportunity to provide for cheaper, even free, medicines for poor Filipinos. Ipinapabilis ko ang pagpapatupad ng alternative at renewable energy law para malabanan natin ang krisis sa kuryente. Nariyan ang MSMEs Act para mabigyan naman ng pagkakataon ang mga Pilipino na makapag-negosyo at umasenso. I have so many plans for the poor Filipinos dahil naiintindihan ko ang mga pangangailangan nila, ako bilang kaisa sa kanila,” she said.