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Isko’s senatorial aspirants press flesh in Oro public market

By Mark Francisco

THREE senatorial aspirants under the ticket of presidential hopeful Manila Mayor Isko Moreno trooped at Cogon public market in Cagayan de Oro City Saturday morning, November 6, for a multi-sectoral dialogue there.

The three senatorial aspirants are human rights advocate Samira Gutoc, former Quezon City Councilor Jopet Sison and academic Carl Balita.

“Kalusugan at kabuhayan ang tinututukan ko ngayon. Kulang ang ayuda para itawid ang gutom ng pamilyang Pilipino. Hindi sapat ang pera para pambili ng gamot ng mga maysakit. Kulang ang kinikita ng mga magulang at anak dahil lahat naman tayo ay apektado ng pandemya,” Gutoc said.

Gutoc is a seasoned peace advocate and crisis worker in Marawi City and the whole of Mindanao.

A law to protect the rights of internally displaced persons is at the top of her priorities.

The country currently has no law tailored to the needs and concerns of internally displaced persons. Draft bills have been pending in Congress for around a decade.

Meanwhile, Sison is pushing for a federal government and a more transparent national budget.

He underscored the need for senators to provide amendments on how to present what he dubs as a “democratized” national budget which would involve the public when it comes to scrutinizing government allocations.

And lastly, education and health are the priorities of Balita.

“Education is a great equalizer. Almost all of us dreamt to be a teacher. It is a sector that paved the way to all professions. We have to support it to the max,” he said.

On the health frontier, Balita is batting for the government to attend to the needs of Filipino health workers to prevent them from leaving the country.

Banking on his experience as a professional review center chain founder, Balita reminded the government to act immediately before the country runs out of medical professionals.

“There should also be long term solutions for this – even legislative – because there has to be concrete action to prevent further crisis, not only nursing but in other professions as well,” he said.

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