SENATORIAL candidate Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez over the weekend vowed to bring back the power bread “Nutribun” that sustained hunger-stricken “Yolanda” victims at the height of the crisis.
At the Saturday Forum @ Anabels, Romualdez said his cousin, Ilocos Norte Rep. Aimee Marcos made possible the distribution of the nutritious Nutribun to augment the delayed and lack of distribution of relief goods in Tacloban.
Nutribun, made of whole wheat, was popularized during the Marcos years when schoolchildren were being given a big piece of the bun for breakfast to fight malnutrition.
“There is no debate that Nutribun is nutritious and helped fight malnutrition and made our schoolchildren intelligent,” Romualdez said. “We will bring back Nutribun in all schools nationwide.”
He said the return of the Nutribun is one of his advocacies to institutionalize the feeding program to bring back “malasakit” especially to the schoolchildren belonging to the poorest of the poor.
Romualdez said he would see to it that once he got elected to the Senate, he would push for the expansion of the controversial Conditional Cash Transfer program and tap the P700 billion in savings to fund the feeding program and free schooling for the indigents.
Opposition United Nationalist Alliance standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay also vowed to utilize the government’s budget to fund programs for the poor with the number of Filipinos languishing in poverty up at 26 million under an “underspending government.”
“Five years, no spending, all underspending, underperformance. Pagka-hindi mo nire-release (ang pondo), ang iyong performance maapektuhan,” Binay told supporters in Mindoro where he took his campaign on Saturday. Instead of spending its budget, the Vice President noted that the present administration kept on saving the Filipino people’s hard-earned money for five years, only to release it in large amounts just in time for the 2016 presidential elections.
The Department of Budget and Management has earlier revealed it was releasing P760 billion supposedly for infrastructure spending in 2016, a far cry from 2010’s P165 billion, he said.
Binay insisted that the state’s budget should be spent for the Filipino people, especially the poor who comprise a large percentage of the country’s population.
Under his presidency, Binay said government funds would be used to expand the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to include senior citizens and rid it of fake beneficiaries; abolish income taxes for six million middle to below-middle class workers; modernize agriculture and fisheries; provide free health services for the poor; and provide books, uniforms and school supplies to public school students.
`The Vice President said he would use his years of experience in the government to improve the lives of the poor, pointing out how he was able to lift the status of the city of Makati from bankruptcy towards the bustling business district it has become today.