Press Release
March 18, 2016


NEGROS OCCIDENTAL--Leading presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe brought her campaign to her mother's home province of Negros Occidental and bared her platform for the newly created Negros Island Region.

Local officials led by the mayors, as well as local candidates of the Nationalist People's Coalition, came out in full force to welcome Poe and running mate Sen. Francis Escudero. Negros congressman Alfredo Benitez has also expressed support for the tandem.

Poe, whose mother Susan Roces was born and raised in Bacolod, reiterated the country's need for a leader with a fresh perspective.

"Bakit tayo magtitiwala sa mga dati nang nandoon kung pwede naman tayong magtiwala sa bago na may kakayahan na? Ang ipinaglalaban ko ay ang pangarap nating lahat, na mapabuti ang buhay natin, na hindi na kailangan mangibang-bansa, hindi na kailangan mahirapan," Poe said at a campaign rally in San Carlos.

"'Pag kami ay nanalo, ang inyong funding para sa city hospital ay ibibigay para matapos na ito. Alam kong meron kayong zero billing sa inyong hospital pero dapat maganda rin ang facilities," she said.

Poe and Escudero, who top the presidential and vice-presidential preference surveys, were hosted by top local officials as they made the rounds of San Carlos, Isabela and Bacolod Friday.

At a multi-sectoral consultation in San Carlos, Poe addressed local issues including the growing problem on informal settler families (ISFs).

"Balita ko hindi raw natapos ang socialized housing dito. Hindi lang edukasyon, agrikultura ang ating tututukan, kasama na rin dito ang pabahay," she said.

According to the Bacolod Housing Authority (BHA), half of Bacolod's estimated 41,610 households are considered ISFs, most of which are living in extreme danger zones.

Poe proposed an on-site or near-site resettlement for ISFs in Bacolod to provide them easy access to livelihood opportunities and other basic services.

"Sa isang gobyernong may puso, nagtatanong talaga tayo kung ano ba ang inyong pangangailangan. 'Pag ako ay naging pangulo, hindi lang ako mapapako sa Malacañang," she said, proposing a presidential office in the three regions.

The senator also assured that the P2-billion annual budget meant to boost the competitiveness of the local sugar industry will be given by her government, if she wins. Negros Occidental is the country's top sugar producer.

When they arrived in Negros, Poe and her adoptive mother went straight to Silay cemetery and paid their respects to Teresa "Tessie" Ledesma Valencia, who gave Grace to Roces and Fernando Poe Jr.

Roces proceeded with her market tour in Silay and is expected to join Poe, Escudero and the senatorial slate of Partido Galing at Puso at a political rally in Bacolod Plaza tonight.

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