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Pinoys’ woes persist: High prices, job losses

Ten days before Christmas, Filipinos were worrying about high prices, about jobs and their children’s education, Senator Francis Pangilinan said during Project Makinig [Listen] in the metropolis over the weekend.

Pangilinan and senatorial candidates Bam Aquino, Chel Diokno, Samira Gutoc, Pilo Hilbay and Erin Tañada were among more than 5,000 volunteers who visited various parts of the Philippines to talk to more than 100,000 people there.

“Our people hope to be able to share more for the Noche Buena feast and to do that not just this Christmas but in the new year,” Pangilinan said.

“Our people feel the hard times and the need to work harder to give their family a better life.”

Pangilinan said the conversations were casual, down-to-earth and dealt with problems like traffic, floods, the long lines for NFA rice, high prices of goods, tuition increases, water and electricity bills.

Sometimes, the exchange extended to personal matters such as misunderstandings with neighbors and love, Pangilinan said.

The Liberal Party initiative that started on Oct. 6 has since been adopted by various groups such as the Akbayan Party-list, Magdalo Party-list, Team Pilipinas, Kilos Maralita, Millennials PH and youth and civil society groups.

Pangilinan said the feedback and suggestions gathered from the conversations would be collated and be made part of the inputs for the party’s future actions.

“In instances when there is need to assist the families immediately, we also try to do our share to ease their burden,” said Pangilinan, who went with Vice President Leni Robredo’s daughters Aika and Tricia. The vice president went on her own Project Makinig ops in Bicol a couple of weeks ago.

During the weekend when the senator took part in the listening project, he visited a market and chatted with vegetable vendors. A farmer himself, Pangilinan was not new to the woes the country’s farmers face such as the difficulty in transporting and marketing their produce, high prices of farm inputs, lack of government support and climate change.

One vegetable vendor said that, for the new year, she wished her children would be able to go back to school.

Pangilinan’s next step was a relaxing story-telling with women in a salon. Sitting beside a customer who was there for a pedicure, Pangilinan saw how skillful the Filipinos were in their chosen craft, yet poorly paid.

The customer said her new year’s wish was to have a permanent job.

Topics: Francis Pangilinan , Project Makinig , Bam Aquino , Chel Diokno , Samira Gutoc , Pilo Hilbay , Erin Tañada
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