Senators Panfilo Lacson and Vicente Sotto III, who are running for president and vice president, respectively, were welcomed by thousands of their supporters in Negros Occidental Saturday, November 13.
They made a different approach of presenting their platform of government through “Online Kamustahan” that connected them live and virtually with supporters converging in 23 district stations in the province.
The tandem with some of their senatorial bets, actor and Bacolodnon Monsour Del Rosario and Dr. Minguita Padilla, gathered around 1,000 supporters at the Barangay Tangub Social Center in Bacolod City for the activity.
On issues hounding the sugar industry, especially the high price of fertilizers, Lacson said the matter needs the national government’s intervention.
He said he has been working out to curb sugar smuggling which for him is the primary enemy of the sugar industry.
One of the solutions to address the concern is digitalization, especially of the Bureau of Customs, the presidential aspirant said.
“Beyond automation, we need to digitalize government procedures so that smuggling can be controlled which is the enemy of the sugar industry,” Lacson said
He said there are cases where the price of sugar is low on top of the fact that smuggled sugar is dumped in the country.
Lacson added that the government needs to have a doable program for the welfare of the sugar industry and the [entire] agriculture sector as well.
The senator likewise noted that the prices of fuels are high so the price of fertilizers are also high.
He stressed that government intervention is very important.
Lacson furthered that the problem is that, instead of helping the farmers in terms of farm implements, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is marred with corruption.
For his part, Sotto said all the output of the farmers, like 50 percent of it, should be bought by the government so that farmers would enjoy a good price.
“The cost of fertilizers should not be high (while) the government should give out the fertilizers to farmers. However, what happened? It resulted in the fertilizer scam that was uncovered years back,” Sotto said referring to his allegation that the corruption has been happening at the DA.
As the campaign nears, the tandem said that they have agreed to maintain their campaign at high level without mudslinging their competitors who are also running.
Instead they will present their plans of what they want to do for the country and the Filipino people, the officials said.
They said that they will focus on good governance and platforms, and that it doesn’t matter to them who else is running.
This was in reaction to the recent developments that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio filed her candidacy for vice president and Senator Christopher Lawrence Go seeking for president.
About the revival of the Negros Island Region, Lacson said what the people want in the two provinces should be followed and shall prevail.
“There are peculiar and unique conditions that the people want so that should prevail,” he said.
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, on the other hand, confirmed that Lacson and Sotto visited the Governor’s Office on Saturday.
“We talked about 2022 and how to do about the shares of local government units because we can expect that our National Tax Allotment would be lower because of poor collection last year,” Lacson said.
“We talked about the latest development of Mayor Sara Duterte joining the race for vice president and there’s no commitment made,” the governor added.*