Press Release
April 7, 2016


CATARMAN, NORTHERN SAMAR--Visiting remote barangays where no other presidential candidate has gone before, Sen. Grace Poe promised to address the problems of Northern and Eastern Samar, two of the poorest provinces in the Philippines.

Poe, who campaigned in Borongan and Catarman Thursday, reiterated her promise to provide free meals to children in public day care centers and elementary schools, free kinder-to-college education for indigents, and free irrigation for farmers.

"Makakasiguro kayo, kapag ako ang inyong pangulo, una libre na lahat ang pananghalian sa mga bata sa public schools. Pangalawa, lahat ng gustong mag-college na anak ng magsasaka, anak ng mangingisda, anak ng mahirap--libre na," she said.

When it began to rain, Poe stepped out of the covered stage where she was speaking to join the crowd.

"Hindi naman puwede na kayo lang ang mababasa, dapat ako rin," the senator told supporters who gathered in Barangay Baybay, demonstrating the kind of compassionate leadership that she is espousing.

"Mga kababayan, kahit na ako ay simpleng mamamayan lamang, gusto ko kayong tulungan. Bigyan n'yo ako ng pagkakataon dahil 'pag ako ay naging pangulo, hindi na maghihirap ang taga-Samar," the independent candidate said.

Northern Samar is the sixth poorest province in the Philippines, with 52 percent of the population living in poverty, according to the 2015 survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority. Western Samar is the 13th poorest province, while Eastern Samar is the 16th poorest, with 4 of 10 people living well below the poverty threshold.

Samar's population depends on farming and fishing for their income.

Under "Gobyernong may Puso," Poe and running mate Sen. Francis Escudero have committed to allocate P300 billion for the agricultural sector, the highest allocation to come from government.

Poe, the first foundling to run for president, said she would fix the public schools, hospitals and even barangay centers that have been destroyed by typhoons.

"Sa inyong lahat, hindi ko na patatagalin sapagkat ayokong magkasakit pa tayong lahat. Pero gusto kong sabihin na sana ako ay makakabalik dito nanalo na bilang pangulo. Sasabihin ko, 'Baybay, ito na ang pinapangako sa inyo, ibibigay ko na sa inyo. Uunahin ko ang mahihirap at nangngailangan," Poe said.

Poe, who continues to lead pre-election surveys as the voters' choice for president, brought her campaign for "Gobyernong may Puso" to Borongan, Samar Thursday morning, where she visited the public market and public hospital.

She proceeded to Catarman and Mondragon in the afternoon, where she was welcomed by thousands of supporters.

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