By Lade Jean Kabagani
Presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquaio (Photo courtesy of Team Pacquiao)
MANILA – Senator Manny Pacquaio ended his campaign in his hometown General Santos City on Saturday the way he started it: Reiterating his presidency will be pro-poor.
During his miting de avance, he said the country’s tax measures must be reformed to help the poor improve their living conditions.
“Kaya mahal lahat ng bilihin, dahil ang taas ng taxes natin (All prices of commodities are high because of high taxes),” the 43-year-old Pacquiao said.
If he wins, Pacquiao assured at least five millionaires will dare to invest in the country and will give livelihood opportunities to the marginalized.
He also called out corrupt public officials who force the government to just rely on tax revenues, thus oppressing Filipinos, especially those belonging to the lowest-socioeconomic households.
He said the economy will never be boosted with corrupt officials running the government.
To grow the country’s gross domestic product, Pacquiao said his administration will focus on boosting the production, distribution, and consumption of local produce as well as avoiding importation of basic commodities.
“Paunsa man? Tuguti ko ninyo igsuon kung unsa mapaagi pagpalakpak pakusog sa ekoniya kay miingon man sila ako — ang ilang panlaban sa akoa, si Manny Pacquiao di na kabalo (How? Let me tell you how we are going to alleviate the economy. As they said I am, their defense against me, Manny Pacquaio knows nothing),” he said, noting that he has no vices that his opponents can throw at him.
Pacquiao said he has been studying public administration, debunking criticisms that he is not fit for public service due to his educational background.
He emphasized that what he doesn’t know is how to steal people’s money and deceive and bully the underprivileged.
He said he will strengthen micro, small and medium enterprises to provide better opportunities for college undergraduates.
“Pakusugon nato na para ang trabaho mangita ug tao dili ang tao magitag og trabaho (We will boost that so that jobs will find people, not people finding jobs),” he said.
He will make sure that his administration will be as conservative as possible in terms of government spending and promised to allot up to PHP200 billion to implement a housing program nationwide.
He likewise vowed to review all government contracts to make sure corruption will be prevented.
“Igsuon, magsama-sama tayo nationwide, kung ikaw ay nahihirapan sa buhay (If you are having a hard time in life, let’s unite),” he said. (PNA)