Press Release
February 25, 2016


BANGUED, ABRA--Leading presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe brought her campaign to Abra, deep in the Cordillera Mountains, to prove that with "Gobyernong may Puso," no one will be left behind and no province will be neglected.

"Sa totoo lang, sabi nila sa akin, bakit ka pa pupunta ng Abra e ang layo-layo nun at kaunti lang ang tao doon. Pero mga kababayan, sa Gobyernong may Puso, saan man kayo, sino man kayo, hindi dapat kayo maiwanan," Poe said during her speech in the capital, Bangued.

Poe also shared her big dreams for the province of only 234,000 people, a third of whom are poor. She said that with additional infrastructure such as bridges and concrete road networks connecting interior towns to main highways, Abra will be able to fulfill its potential.

"Malaking pangarap ito pero dapat nag-uumpisa sa pangarap sapagkat kung walang pangarap, wala tayong inspirasyon," Poe said.

As agriculture is the main driver of Abra's economy, Poe underscored the importance of helping farmers and their crops survive extreme weather events such as the El Niño phenomenon. One way to do this is by providing crop insurance and free irrigation to farmers.

"Kung kami ay mabibigyan ng pagkakataon, ang ating irigasyon ay magiging libre sapagkat marami na ang natutuyuan ng pananim dahil sa El Niño. Dapat ang ating mga magsasaka ay may crop insurance dahil sa climate change," the senator said.

A farmer typically spends P4,500 per hectare per year on irrigation fees, adding to the already high cost of production and forcing them to incur loans. Poe said the government should give farmers easier access to credit so they don't have to turn to unscrupulous lenders.

Poe also shared plans to set up an agro-industrial zone in the province, where farmers can process and trade their goods. She said more post-harvest facilities and food terminals should be built in the Cordillera Administrative Region. With these developments, she is positive that more tourists will be visiting Abra, and the lives of the people will improve.

Poe fondly recalled her father's stories about how charming the province is and promised to come back. The senator is the adopted daughter of movie royalty, Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) and Susan Roces.

"Ito ang kauna-unahang pagkakataon na ako'y napapunta rito pero makakaasa kayo na hindi ko ito kakalimutan at hindi ito ang huling pagkakataon na pupunta ako dito. Sigurado ako, saan man si FPJ, ipapaalala niya sa akin, 'wag mong kalilimutan ang Abra,'" Poe said.

Poe was accompanied by her running mate Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero and Partido Galing at Puso senatorial bets laywer Lorna Kapunan and Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso. The coalition also presented the platform of Gobyernong may Puso to the people of Mountain Province and Benguet earlier this week.

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