SENATOR Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. remains the top choice for vice president in the provinces of Isabela and Cagayan, bolstering his claim of support from the Ilocano-speaking provinces of Northern Luzon.
In a local non-commissioned survey conducted by the Issues and Advocacy Center from Feb. 15 to 20 in Isabela and Feb. 15 to 18 in Cagayan, Marcos continued to lead his vice presidential rivals by a large margin.
In Isabela, Marcos emerged the top choice of his fellow Ilocanos with 42.3.1 percent while Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero came in second at 21.0 percent.
Bicol Rep. Leni Robredo is in third position with 14.3 percent while Senator Alan Peter Cayetano posted 12.2 percent. Senators Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan and Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV garnered 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively.
Another survey showed a similar result in Cagayan province where Marcos took the top spot with 43.2 percent with a 18.7 percent margin over Escudero who got 24.5 percent. Robredo was in third with 12 percent while Cayetano is in fourth with 8.3 percent. Honasan and Trillanes trailed the pack with 5 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively.
The pre-poll surveys used a sampling size of 800 respondents in Cagayan and 1,200 respondents in Isabela culled from registered voters who are eligible to vote in the May 9 automated polls. The survey has an applied margin of error of 2.5 percent more or less with 98 percent confidence index.
In a similar survey, 1,500 residents in Pangasinan on Jan. 10 to 18, Marcos also emerged the top choice of voters for vice president.
Meanwhile, Marcos Jr. called on barangay officials and volunteer workers to flex their political muscle and press for the enactment into law of his Barangay Retirement Benefits Bill which has already been approved by the Senate, but is still pending in the House of Representatives.
The measure provides a retirement pay of P100,000 for each qualified barangay chairman, P80,000 for each member of Sangguniang Barangay, and P50,000 each for the barangay treasurer and secretary, barangay tanod, member of the Lupon ng Tagapamayapa, and barangay health and day care workers. Macon Araneta
“As the election day draws near and the campaign season goes into full swing, many of the candidates will likely seek your help and support. I don’t think it would be too much to ask them to support the passage of your Barangay Retirement Bill in exchange for your help,” Marcos said.
Marcos said he proposed the bill in recognition of the important role of barangay officials and volunteer workers in governance and in the delivery of basic services to the people.
He pointed out that barangay officials and volunteer workers are not eligible for Government Service Insurance System pension because they are not receiving salaries but merely honoraria.
“That is why I tried to find ways to help our barangay officials and health workers,” said Marcos.
Under the measure, barangay official or worker must be at least 60 years old and with at least nine years of service to be eligible to receive the retirement benefit.
The government needs P5.2 billion to pay for the retirement of the initial number of qualified officials and workers.
As funding source the measure proposed the creation of the Barangay Retirement Fund, which shall be established through annual investments with an amount equivalent to one percent of the share of the National Government in the Internal Revenue Allotment.
The Department of Interior and Local Government shall administer and ensure the appropriate disbursement of the fund.