AFTER solidifying support from the “Solid North” voting block and other parts of Luzon through his “Unity Caravan,” vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. is set to court Mindanao voters this week.
Marcos will kick off today his Mindanao leg campaign sorties, anchored on his advocacy for national unity, with a motorcade around General Santos on Wednesday.
He is expected to be welcomed by politically influential families and groups, both incumbents and non-incumbents, who are backing his candidacy, and thousands of supporters.
Apart from General Santos, Marcos will bring his “Unity Caravan” to Koronadal, South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Davao del Sur, and Zamboanga del Sur.
Marcos already got the endorsement of leaders of the “Solid North” composed of Region 1 or the Ilocos Region (Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur, and Ilocos Norte), Region 2 or the Cagayan Valley (Cagayan, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya) and Quirino, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.
He also had received warm welcome when he brought his “Unity Caravan” to Liberal Party-dominated Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
Political kingpins of the provinces of Laguna and Rizal, led by the Ynares family, have also thrown their support for the vice presidential bid of Marcos and his call for national unity. The Ynares even declared that their province will forever be a “Marcos country”.
Political leaders of Manila, San Juan, Pasig and Mandaluyong City have also expressed their support for a Marcos candidacy.
Marcos vowed to push for the expansion of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (conditional cash transfer program) to increase its beneficiaries once elected vice president of the Philippines.
Marcos said the program is a direct concrete intervention that helps poor families and the government should enroll more households in the program as well as come up with other strategies in its anti-poverty campaign.
“Aside from expanding the coverage of 4Ps, we can implement other programs like ‘cash for work,’ ‘cash for reforestation,’ ‘cash for community service,’” he said in a statement.
The senator said poor families should be given employment packages that will not only compliment 4Ps but give them new skills to enable them to find a new sense of purpose.
The government defines 4Ps as a human development measure of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor, to improve the health, nutrition, and the education of children aged 0-18.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development is the lead government agency of the 4Ps.
Marcos said the government should help poor families that try every possible means to survive. With Joel Zurbano