BATANGAS CITY, Batangas - Outgoing Governor Vilma Santos-Recto on Wednesday highlighted “continuity” as she wooed voters here to support the candidacy of administration standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
"Isa lang po ang hihilingin ko, ang continuity. Kailangan po ‘yung tuloy-tuloy tayo kasi sa experience natin, pag may isang administration tapos naiba, maiiba rin ang prayoridad. Magu-umpisa na naman tayo sa A," Santos-Recto said.
She said a candidate of continuity is crucial in the implementation of the Aquino administration’s programs and projects, including the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, which grants cash aid to the poorest households across the country.
Santos-Recto, wife of re-electionist Senator Ralph Recto, is seeking a congressional seat this coming May in the new district of Lipa City.
Batangas is a vote-rich province with 1.5 million voters registered for the upcoming national and local elections, according to records of the Commission on Elections.
Call to Batangueños
Senator Recto, who is running under the administration coalition, urged voters to show the kind of teamwork Batangueños have when it comes to electing public officials.
"Ngayon araw na ito, nakikiusap ako sa inyo, hindi para sa akin -- ‘yung patunay natin ng pagkakaisa dito sa lalawigan ng Batangas at alam ninyo na gusto natin ituloy ang mga programa sa Batangas," he said.
Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, vice-presidential candidate of the Daang Matuwid coalition, thanked Governor Vilma and the Batangueños for their support even when she was ranking low in the surveys.
"Nung walang-wala pang nagtitiwala sa akin, nakakakilala sa akin, karamihan sa inyo dito sa Batangas tumaya na sa akin," she said.
Robredo registered the biggest gains in the latest pre-election surveys of both the Pulse Asia and the Social Weather Stations, closing in on leading vice-presidential candidates Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
Like in most campaign rallies of the ruling coalition, the crowd cheered most as they listened to President Benigno Aquino III’s speech.
Aquino, who is publicly endorsing the candidacies of Roxas and Robredo, touted the administration’s projects for the province of Batangas.
"Sa anim na taong pagtahak natin sa Daang Matuwid, hindi naiwan o nakaligtaan ang lalawigan ng Batangas," Aquino said.
He said some P16.66 billion was allocated to Batangas for infrastructure from 2010 to 2016 as compared to the P4.54-billion allotment during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Another P1.6 billion, he added, was allocated for 200 farm-to-market roads and 71 irrigation projects, and P319 million were spent for the repair of health facilities.
Roxas, meanwhile, trumpeted anew the government’s work on 4Ps, and in expanding the coverage of PhilHealth, among others, as he sought their support.
“Hinihingi ko ang inyong tulong para ihatid natin ang magandang balita ng Daang Matuwid sa ating mga kakilala para lalong lumakas ang hanay natin. Pwede?” he said as the crowd responded in the affirmative. —KBK, GMA News