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Youth Leaders, Bishops endorse Legarda

May 9, 2013

In an apparent repudiation of the instigators of the persistent demolition job against Sen. Loren Legarda, influential youth, student and bishop groups endorsed the senator’s candidacy in separate ceremonies this morning.

First to endorse Legarda was the Independent Bishops Conference of the Philippines (IBCP) at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan.

The endorsement of the IBCP, a Christian sect with nationwide members, was led by Bishop Efraim Perez, president; Bishop James Antioquia, vice-president; Rev. Reynaldo Mapanoo, secretary, and Rev. Jun Bernal, secretary general.

Next to endorse Legarda were the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) and Kabataan party list at the Imperial Palace Hotel in Timog Avenue, Quezon City.

The students and youth signed a manifesto expressing their views on why they chose Legarda and a select group of senatorial candidates.

The groups said in her 15 years in the Senate, Legarda promoted the welfare of the youth and students and even teachers and advanced their interests.

In her speech, Legarda said, “Kailangan maiangat ang kalidad ng edukasyon lalo na sa mga pampublikong paaralan at state universities and colleges o SUCs. Kailangan madagdagan ang pondo ng DepEd at CHED para sa mga mahihirap na kabataang kasama natin na nangangarap magkaroon ng diploma, sa pamamagitan ng dagdag na mga scholarship.”

She disclosed her plan called “Pantawid Tuition Program” which would grant a college scholarship to each of the 3.8 million households that are beneficiaries of the government’s Conditional Cash Program.

“Sa ilalim ng Pantawid Tuition Program, bawat mahirap na pamilyang Pilipino ay magkakaroon ng college scholarship. Layunin natin na mabigyan sila ng magandang trabaho at umasenso ang kabuhayan ng kanilang pamilya,” she said.

Legarda added: “Patuloy po tayong magsisikap sa pagsusulong ng mga adhikain natin para maitaas ang budget para sa edukasyon, para sa mga dagdag na scholarship, tamang pasahod sa mga guro, pagbaba ng presyo ng mga bilihin at pasahe, at siyempre, para sa kalusugan ng lahat.”